UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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"What is the right instrument for my child?” The Importance of Instrument Choice and Motivation for Music Students By Katja Endemann

Structured activities such as learning an instrument and practicing at home are believed to provide challenge, concentration, and intrinsic motivation, promoting positive development of children. Students generally enjoy starting to learn a musical instrument, but research has shown that their motivation and enjoyment of learning significantly declines across childhood through adolescence.

Research has shown that instrument choice can play a significant role in the experience of learning music. Educators and parents often face a challenge in guiding children through the instrument selection process. Dr. Katja Endemann will talk about the various elements that influence students’ instrument selection; including gender, culture, shape of the instrument, timbre preference, musical or physical aptitude, popularity, and social aspects. The presentation will also expand on the instrumental matching procedures many schools have established to assist students with their decision-making process.

A better understanding of what motivates the adolescent instrument learner, and the factors involved in instrument selection, may help us to support meaningful music-making and self-expression of students. Dr. Katja Endemann shares her doctoral research results and insights gained from her professional experience in teaching instrumental lessons and directing band programs for over 15 years.

Biography: Dr. Katja Endemann studied saxophone at the Richard-Strauss Conservatory in Munich, the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, and at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Her teachers were George Garzone, Ralph Lalama, Jim McNeely, Tony Moreno, and Bill Pierce. While at Berklee, she was a recipient of the Charlie Parker Award for outstanding musicianship and graduated summa cum laude. She earned a masters degree from New York University in performance and composition. She also holds a doctorate degree in education from Argosy University.

Dr. Katja Endemann was selected for the ASCAP Film Scoring Seminar in New York, where she recorded her composition for orchestra, including musicians of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera. She was a finalist in the Sundance film scoring fellowship in California and has performed throughout Europe and the USA at famous venues, including Bachzaal, Bimhuis, Gasteig, Knitting Factory, Joe’s Pub, Lincoln Center, and the Blue Note. She played at the 2004 International Association for Jazz Educator convention in New York City featuring Lenny Pickett and Teo Macero.

She was a faculty member of the New York Pops - Salute to Music program at Carnegie Hall in New York. This program was offered to students who wish to study music, but whose schools and parents have limited resources. She worked as general music teacher, jazz band director, and instrumental instructor at the United Nations International School in New York City for ten years; and more recently joined the teaching staff at the German European School in Singapore. Her doctoral research focused on the relationships between instrument choices of children, motivation, and practice.

To attend, please register at: http://goo.gl/forms/zA8bI2jaZv

You can now watch Katja's presentation here:



7 March 2016
Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Venue: Choral Room NIE3-02-04 (NIE Block 3, Level 2, Room 4) National Institute of Education, 1 Nanyang Walk, Singapore 637616

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