Factors Influencing the Choice of Music Studies in Malaysian Public Universities

  • Fatin Hani Mohd Sheriff Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Pan Kok Chang Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Keywords: Music studies, academic factors, institutional factors, financial factors, personal/social factors


Introducing music in the early childhood can help influence students to have a positive attitude in pursuing music in a higher level of education. Examining the developmental aspects of the decision to continue music studies among undergraduate music students is necessary in order to determine which factors had the most influences. This study investigates factors influencing choice of music studies among undergraduate music students in Malaysian public universities namely institutional factors, academic factors, financial factors, and personal/social factors. A survey method was adopted, and 489 respondents were chosen using proportionate stratified random sampling to answer the questionnaire. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The finding showed that academic factors was ranked as the most influential factor on choice of music studies among music students. The results on inferential statistical analysis using independent-samples t-test and the One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test showed that there were significant differences on factors influencing choice of music studies between ethnicities, universities attended, and instruments played. It is hoped that the findings will be beneficial to students, educators, and the university music programmes. Educators will also have access to the most up-to-date information in order to come up with strategies in encouraging students to study music.


Download data is not yet available.


Cabrera, A., & La Nasa, S. (2000). Understanding the college-choice process. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2000(107), 5-22.

Constantine, M. E. (2011). The High School Musical Experiences of College Students. Doctoral dissertation, Case Western Reserve University.

Curtis, R. (2012). Factors Influencing the College Choice of Music Majors Attending A Four-Year Institution: A Comparative Study. Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University.

Filter, S. (2010). The Choice-of-College Decision of Academically Talented Students. Doctoral dissertation, The George Washington University.

Gillespie, R. & Hamann, D. L. (1999). Career choice among string music education students

in American colleges and universities. Journal of Research in Music Education, 47(3), 266-278.

Hamilton, A. T. (2016). Factors that lead students to study music education: A descriptive study. Master thesis, University of Louisville.

Jones, M. O. (1964). Factors Influencing Students in the Choice of Music as A Career. Doctoral dissertation, Florida State University.

Kelly, S. (1988). Marketing your college music program to students. Music Educators Journal, 75(3), 27-29.

Klinedinst, R. (1991). Predicting performance achievement and retention of fifth-grade instrumental students. Journal of Research in Music Education, 39(3), 225–238. https://doi. org/10.2307/3344722.

Locke, J. (1982). Influences on the College Choice of Freshman Music Majors in Illinois. Doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois.

Lindeman, C. A. (2004). Ten strategies for higher education and the k-12 music teacher shortage. Music Educators Journal, 90(3), 66.

Ludeman, V. L. (1964). Contributing Factors in the Selection of College or University By Freshman Music Majors. Doctoral dissertation, Colorado State University.

Madsen, C. K., & Kelly, S. N. (2002). First remembrances of wanting to become a music teacher. Journal of Research in Music Education, 50(4), 323-332.

McCarthy, C., O’Flaherty, J., & Downey, J. (2019). Choosing to study music: student attitudes towards the subject of music in second-level education in the Republic of Ireland. British Journal of Music Education, 36(2), 139-153.

McClellan, E. R. (2007). Relationships Among Parental Influences, Selected Demographic Factors, Adolescent Self-Concept as A Future Music Educator, and The Decision to Major in Music Education. Doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

McClellan, E. R. (2011). Relationships among parental influences, selected demographic factors, adolescent self-concept as a future music educator, and the decision to major in music education. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 187, 49-64.

Mizener, C. P. (1993). Attitudes of children toward singing and choir participation and assessed singing skill. Journal of Research in Music Education, 41(3), 233–245. https://doi. org/10.2307/3345327

Nor, M. M. (2011). Developing human capital through music education in Malaysia. Academic Research International, 1(2), 220.

Overmier, R. D. (2003). Recognizing the choices of freshman music majors. Paper presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, Honolulu, HI.

Sichivitsa, V. O. (2007). The Influences of parents, teachers, peers and other factors on students’ motivation in music. Research Studies in Music Education, 29(1), 55-68.

Thornton, L., & Bergee, M. (2008). Career choice influences among music education students at major schools of music. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 177, 7- 17.

Yoo, H. (2020). Factors influencing future music participation: A review of literature Based on the Theory of Planned Behavior. National Association for Music Education.

How to Cite
Mohd Sheriff, F. H. and Chang, P. (2022) “Factors Influencing the Choice of Music Studies in Malaysian Public Universities”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 7(1), pp. 313 - 324. doi: 10.47405/mjssh.v7i1.1241.