An investigation into how the development of musical improvisation skills impacts Year 7 girls’ self-efficacy as performers of sub-Saharan African music
The research examines the correlation between the development of improvisatory skills and pupil self-efficacy with regard to musical performance. The case-study highlights the difference between self-concept and self-efficacy, drawing attention to their importance within and beyond the Music classroom. Six, twelve-year-old students were observed within small-group, African Drumming lessons, and, in this setting, a social constructivist approach was used to explore improvisation. Whilst learning improvisatory skills appeared to strengthen the self-concept of all participants, this did not necessarily result in an increase in students’ self-efficacy. The research demonstrates the complexity of self-efficacy and suggests a need for further study, focusing particularly on the relationship between pupil expectations, ability and self-efficacy.