Using research paper music topics with your music appreciation classes is an effective way to encourage students to explore and research music that they are interested in. Through broad research paper music topics such as music history, theory, performance, composition and styles of music, students can explore their chosen music research topic in greater depth. By assigning research paper music topics you can help your students become more engaged with their studies and better understand how the music selected for research and study works. Here are seven benefits of incorporating research paper music topics with your music appreciation classes.

  1. Development of Critical Thinking and Analytical Thinking Skills
  2. Improvement of Writing Skills
  3. Expansion of Music Knowledge
  4. Stimulation in Interest of Music as a Subject
  5. Increased Engagement through Student Choice
  6. Development of Research Skills
  7. Improvement of Performance Skills

Read on to find out the benefits of using research paper music topics with your music students.


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Development of Critical Thinking and Analytical Thinking Skills

One of the most important benefits of using research paper music topics as a lesson or as assessment is that it encourages critical thinking skills among your students. Your music students must think critically about their chosen topic to find relevant information and make well-informed decisions while writing their music research paper. By using their critical and analytical thinking skills the music student must determine which elements are most important when it comes to analyzing their chosen music research topic so that they can effectively communicate their findings in a clear and concise manner.

One of the best ways to help your music students develop their music analytical skills is through the Elements of Music. This could be done in several ways, but the most beneficial way is for your music students to choose a piece of music that represents the music topic that they have chosen for study. Then by using the Elements of Music, or even just a couple of the Elements, they can analyze how the music has used the elements of music in a critical way.

Once a student has completed their analysis using the Elements of Music, they can present their findings of their research paper music topic in several ways. This could be in the form of an essay, speech, podcast or even as a video presentation.

If you would like to know more about Critical Thinking in the music classroom you can read this blog post – 5 Reasons Why Music Education is Important here.



Improvement of Writing Skills through Research Paper Music Topics

The process of writing using research music paper topics also helps improve student’s written communication skills. As the music student works through the steps required for completing a successful music research paper—from collecting data and evidence, interpreting it correctly, constructing an argument based on that interpretation—students gain valuable practice in formulating ideas into logically organized arguments while sharpening their grammar and syntax abilities along the way. This skill set can be beneficial not only within the music classroom but beyond as well!

If you would like a FREE set of the Music Paragraph Writing Posters for your music classroom, click here. This free resource has links to a variety of helpful teaching tools to help you and your students write about the elements of music in their own music research assessments.


Expansion of Music Knowledge using Research Paper Music Topics

By using research music paper topics with your music classes, your students will gain a deeper understanding of the music history. Your music students will find information behind different forms of music and how these forms have been used throughout time by different cultures around the world. This will help them gain additional knowledge that can benefit them in other areas such as listening, composition and performance.

This music teaching strategy not only benefits the student through their independent study, but also is a great form of assessment! Many schools in recent years have wanted their teaching staff to move away from summative assessment to formative assessment. When a student is completing their own research as part of an assessment, you are using “Assessment for Learning”.

You can learn more about this assessment strategy here.


Stimulation in Interest of Music as a Subject

Using a variety of research music paper topics with your music students provides them with an opportunity to take ownership of their learning. There is a lot of educational research that supports the idea that engagement and interest increase when students are given opportunities to explore music topics that they’re interested in without the constraints imposed by other assignments. Having the freedom to choose their own topic allows them to become more invested in their music project and improves their engagement with the course.


Increased Engagement using Student Choice

Another key benefit of using research paper music topics as part of your lessons or assessment, is that it allows for student choice. Having your music students complete music research papers allows the student to investigate topics that interest them most and explore those interests in detail through reading scholarly articles, books, interviews with experts, etc.. By having this freedom to choose what they want to learn more about in their study of music, they may discover something new that sparks further interest in other music-related areas as well, such as performing and composing.

When you assign a music research paper assessment, you provide an extra incentive for your students to stay engaged with course material throughout the semester or year-long course. When a student has long-term major projects due at various points throughout the course schedule, it requires them not only to review past lessons but also stay current on upcoming music course material as well.


Development of Research Skills with Research Paper Music Topics

Working through a music research paper topic teaches your music students valuable research skills. We know that today, more than ever, of the importance of being able to find reliable sources, evaluate information critically, synthesize data from multiple sources, and draw informed conclusions based on evidence collected during the process of researching a particular topic area. All these skills will serve students well both inside and outside of the music classroom in many different areas throughout life.


Improvement of Performance Skills

The last benefit of using research paper music topics in your music class is that it provides an opportunity for students to be creative when exploring a subject matter related to music. While conducting research, they may come across unexpected musical techniques or ideas that could spark new approaches for understanding or performing particular pieces of music. By pushing your music students out of their comfort zone and encouraging them to be creative in their approach, you can help develop a whole new level of appreciation for the power of music within your classroom environment.

By exploring and researching a variety of music paper topics, it helps to encourage creativity since it allows students to explore topics outside of those traditionally found in music textbooks or lesson plans. The music research they undertake could encourage them to come up with new music performance ideas or perspectives by discovering stylistic features used by other composers and musicians throughout history. This creative thinking helps them become more innovative musical thinkers who are better equipped to develop their own performance style on their chosen instrument.

Incorporating research paper music topics into your music curriculum can be a great way for teachers and students alike to learn more about various musical genres, styles, composers, and musicians while also encouraging creativity and critical thinking skills among learners. Not only does this lesson or assessment activity help make learning engaging and interesting, but it also gives teachers an opportunity to assess student progress and understanding on certain subjects related to music theory or performance techniques as well! So why not give it a try today? See what kind of amazing results you get when you start incorporating research paper music topics into your lessons!

Until next time

Happy Teaching

Julia from Jooya

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