Factors related to career success in classical musicians

Laurie Deane Talbot, Fordham University


The major purpose of the present study was to examine the relationships among gender, role models or mentors, gender-role socialization, students' self-perceptions of creative potential, ratings of creative ability, and teachers' ratings of students' chances for success. A further purpose of this study was to examine the effects of gender, gender-role socialization, creativity, and career goals on expectations for career success. Previously mentioned hypotheses were tested using the following measures: Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) Figural test, Adjective Check List (ACL) Creative Personality Scale, Masculinity and Femininity scales, a demographic information form, and a Teacher Rated Career Success Scale (TRCS) which was developed by the author to measure each student's private studio music teacher's perception of the student's chances for career success as a performer on his or her respective instrument. The subjects for this study were 121 graduate performance majors (61 males and 60 females) at the Yale University School of Music.^ Results of statistical analyses indicated the following: (a) there does not appear to be any relationship between a student's characteristic gender role socialization and the teacher's assessment of the student's potential for success; (b) role models were not significantly related to teachers' assessments of students' potential success; (c) there were no significant relationships between gender-role classification and self-perceived chance of long-term success, nor was self-rated chance of success related to availability of role models; and (d) for self-rated chance of success as well as for teacher ratings of potential career success, TTCT scores were better predictors than ACL scores. Results of a multiple regression analysis indicated that average scaled scores on the Torrance tests, self-rated comparison to peers, and having the goal to become a soloist explained 23% of the variability in teacher ratings of potential for success. Results of a discriminant analysis predicting self-rated chance of success indicated that peer comparison, average Torrance score, goals of being in a major orchestra, and goals of being a soloist correlated most strongly with this function. The present study was limited with respect to generalizability due to the fact that the entire sample was from a highly prestigious school. ^

Subject Area

Music education|Educational psychology|Personality psychology

Recommended Citation

Talbot, Laurie Deane, "Factors related to career success in classical musicians" (1993). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9412161.