The literature suggests that there is often no alignment between student preferences and what and how it is taught in the music classroom. A total of 749 Cypriot secondary school students, aged 12 to 14 years, responded to a survey addressing enjoyment of music, motivation for school music lessons, and perceptions of the music classroom environment. The survey included a questionnaire with six subscales: Involvement, Affiliation, Teacher Support, Task Orientation, Order and Organization, and Rule Clarity. High ratings for Affiliation, Teacher Support, and Rule Clarity suggest that, overall, students’ perceptions of the classroom environment were positive. They were not uniform, but varied on the basis of student characteristics. Girls rated Rule Clarity higher than boys. Younger students tended to rate Task Orientation, Order and Organization, and Rule Clarity higher than older students. Higher-achieving students tended to rate Affiliation and Teacher Support higher. Older boys rated Involvement lower than younger boys, whereas older girls rated Involvement higher than younger girls. It can be inferred that boys experienced a gradual increase in perceived Affiliation as their achievement improved, although the pattern was less consistent for girls. Girls tended to report higher motivation for school music lessons than boys. Motivation was enhanced by classroom environments in which students experienced higher levels of enjoyment of music, engagement, and support from teachers. The findings show that the music classroom environment should be characterized by student engagement, clarity of rules, good organization, clear goals, teacher support, and affiliation between classmates.
- secondary school music