Attention, preference, and identity in music listening by middle school students of different linguistic backgrounds

Carlos Abril, Patricia J. Flowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Monolingual (English) and bilingual (English, Spanish) sixth-grade students (N = 60) from two urban school settings in the United States listened to three versions of the same song (English, Spanish, and instrumental). While listening to each example, students tapped a computer touch pad every time they became distracted from the music. After listening, students described the nature of their distractions, and rated each song version for preference and identity. Finally, students were asked to describe the reason for their preference decisions. Analysis revealed no significant difference between monolingual and bilingual students in the number of self-reported distractions. However, there were significant differences by song version, with fewer reported distractions for the instrumental version. Qualitative and quantitative differences in distractions were noted between monolingual and bilingual students. There was a significant positive correlation between identity and preference. Bilingual students preferred and identified most closely with the Spanish version; monolingual students preferred and identified most closely with the instrumental version.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-219
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Education

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