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Motivation is essential for academic and musical success, but how best to motivate today’s music student? While motivation has been a topic of interest among psychologists and educators for many decades, current scholars are expressing concerns that myriad student distractions and stresses brought about by recent changes in culture and technology pose new challenges for teachers such as shorter student attention spans, a superficial “scanning” approach to reading, decreased critical thinking ability, information overload, time management, and lack of “soy skills” (such as face-to-face communication).
Rather than dwelling on perceived problems with today’s students, this presentation emphasizes practical tips for music teachers drawn from comprehensive review of the literature and research across diverse fields including neurology, psychology, and education; as well as research specifically related to music education and pedagogy.
Nancy H. Barry is Professor and Program Coordinator of Music Education in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Auburn University. She earned the Bachelors of Music Education from Middle Tennessee State University; Master’s degree and Ph.D. in music education, and certificates in Electronic Music and Computers in Music from Florida State University.
Barry has numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals such as Arts and Learning, Psychology of Music, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Contributions to Music Education, UPDATE, and Bulletin of Research in Music Education, and is a frequent presenter at national and international professional conferences. She served as editor of the Journal of Technology in Music Learning, and currently serves as reviewer for national and international research journals such as Psychology of Music.
Barry is an active member of professional organizations such as NAfME and the College Music Society (CMS). Professional service includes past President of the CMS Southern Chapter, National CMS Secretary from 2016 – 2018, currently co-chairing the CMS Career Development Committee, and serving as a screener for the 2022 and 2023 Grammy Music Educator Award. Barry was awarded the Auburn University Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship in 2022.