International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online)


Formal and Informal Music Learning: Attitudes and Perspectives of Secondary School Non-Music Teachers
Dr. John L. Vitale

This study investigates formal and informal music learning through the attitudes and perspectives of 41 randomly  non-music teachers from a suburban Toronto, Canada high school. Data collection includes a questionnaire based on a semantic differential scale, as well as a randomly  focus group. Hence, this is a mixed method study integrating both quantitative and qualitative data. Results indicate that the attitudes and perspectives of the participants were very positive towards informally trained musicians. Specifically, participants generated three principal themes. The first theme of value indicates that informally trained musicians are very esteemed members of society. The second theme of creativity identifies how informally trained musicians are great composers. Lastly, the theme of non-conformity focuses on the steadfast desire of informally trained musicians to achieve musical competency without formal instruction. From an education perspective, conclusions demonstrate that formal music educators should consider the inherent advantages of informal music learning.

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