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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Kokotsaki, D. & Newton, D.P. (2015). Recognizing creativity in the music classroom. International Journal of Music Education 33(4): 491-508.

Author(s) from Durham


This study examined trainee music teachers’ judgements of the musical creativity of secondary age students. Nine pieces of music composed by Year 8 students (13 years of age) were evaluated by 17 postgraduate, trainee teachers. These musical pieces were sorted into a diamond-shaped formation according to how creative they were perceived to be with the most creative pieces placed at the top and the least creative ones placed at the bottom of the diamond. This approach helped the trainee teachers achieve some agreement in their evaluation of the students’ creativity. As well as a practical approach to recognizing musical creativity, the analysis of the trainees’ responses led to the identification of some attributes, such as representing the stimulus idea well and making imaginative use of musical elements and musical devices, which can help teachers to recognize, evaluate and promote children’s creative responses in music.

School of Education