Parental involvement in instrumental lessons: Self-efficacy and personal satisfaction
Parental involvement and support in their child’s instrumental lessons has been shown to be linked to musical achievement. However, little is known about how parents develop their supportive interactions.
In a study by Creech & Hallam (2009), parental involvement, self-efficacy and personal satisfaction were studied. The results demonstrated that these parental support factors were influenced by parent-pupil and parent-teacher interactions. Personal satisfaction of parents was found to be the most vulnerable factor in the interpersonal relationships surrounding instrumental lessons. This suggests that the teacher’s self-efficacy and ability to empower parents with the confidence to help their children in learning a musical instrument, can be become a significant predictor of children’s confidence and ability to persist with learning. This is termed by Bandura (1997) as collective efficacy enhancement. These results further suggest that parental efficacy is malleable and a teacher’s role could also include an awareness of their capacity to effectively engage parents in their children’s musical tuition.
In the study by Creech & Hallam (2009) parental involvement included providing practical and facilitative support to children, with the highest rated responses by parents included providing quality instruments, instrument maintenance, providing a space for practice at home, and making arrangements for lessons and transport.
Parent responses concerning self-efficacy found that the greatest amount of variability was in parents’ ability to help their children with their instrument learning and achieve their potential. The results mean that some parents felt a high sense of self-efficacy in their ability to help their child with their learning whilst other parents felt a lower sense of self-efficacy.
The outcome found most sensitive to interpersonal dynamics was personal satisfaction. This finding suggests that parents’ satisfaction was affected by perceived teacher leadership, reciprocity (positive influence) and intimidation (negative influence). The implications are that parents can be affected by teacher interactions and this can have a flow-on effect for the child.
The authors reintroduce the notion of the teacher as the ‘responsive leader’ (Creech, 2006). Parents as well and students are both potential beneficiaries of partnerships with responsive leaders. In this scenario, parents will feel a higher sense of self-efficacy in their ability to help with their child’s musical achievement through their perception of a teacher who is supportive and caring.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.
Creech, A., & Hallam, S. (2009). Interaction in instrumental learning: the influence of interpersonal dynamics on parents. International Journal of Music Education, 27(2), 94-106.
Hallam, S., & Creech, A. (2006). Every picture tells a story Pupil representations of learning the violin. Educate, 6(1), 21.