I am currently engaged in research into differentiation in the music classroom. There has been very little research and thus resources in this area. My research in this area has led me to developing a new differentiation task called the “Muject”.  This research was presented at the 2014 ANZARME Conference in Queenstown NZ.

My research has been both action based, collaborative and based on interviews and feedback from students. I also subscribe to numerous music education and research journals.


Feedback on the “Mujects” presentation:

I wish to congratulate Andrew on his presentation at the recent ANZARME conference held in Queenstown, NZ. I believe this to be Andrew’s first presentation in the research arena, and this can be a daunting experience given the audience of very experiences music researchers from the two countries. His presentation was delivered extremely well and received with accolades from the audience.

Presentations and research such as Andrew’s continue to inform the body of knowledge on music education. His focus on motivation and engagement of junior high school music students is particularly important, given that music is so much a part of the culture at this age, yet in many situations music is not enjoyed at school. If music is to continue as a subject in senior secondary, we need to engage the junior students.

I wish him well with his “MuJect” project, and I would certainly encourage him to continue his studies into the PhD arena.

Thank you for your contribution to ANZARME 2014, and best wishes for your future teaching and research.


Dr Kay Hartwig

Director of Internationalisation
Senior Lecturer,
School of Education and Professional Studies
Griffith University
Mt Gravatt, Q. 4122 Australia


Hi Andrew

Your presentation on Mujects was really interesting and an excellent example of someone who is really doing great work allowing students to drive an inquiry into how music may work for them. I felt that this fitted really well with a much more modern approach to music education which allows for student choice and voice to drive what happens in the classroom. From my perspective, I was delighted to see great use of technology such as the boy learning to play piano from his iPad via YouTube (which is how I learnt to play electric guitar!) etc

Keep on doing the good work you are doing.

Stuart Wise PhD

Programme Coordinator GradDipTchLn (Sec)
School of Teacher Education
College of Education
University of Canterbury

Andrew Stopps’s paper was one of the highlights of the conference for me. Andrew considered the problem of differentiation within the context of a highly diverse music classroom setting. One of the key challenges for educators, particularly in music, is the question of how to bridge the apparent gap between students interests and ensuring engagement with knowledge that can lead somewhere. Andrew’s paper looked at an innovative student-centred ‘Muject’ that had very positive results in terms of student engagement and subsequent motivation for learning. I consider it an important example of theory in practice and with Andrew’s permission I hope to cite this work in a future paper.

Dr Graham McPhail

School Critical Studies in Education
Faculty of Education
University of Auckland


Hi Andrew

I am writing to tell you how much I enjoyed your presentations at the ANZARME Conference in Queenstown. In particular, I found your presentation – Many Minds: One Class – to be timely, given the recent re-emphasis on student-centred learning. The notion of differentiation can be problematic for many teachers, not just those in music, and you seem to have found ways to overcome this. I know the entire conference were impressed by your data and creative approach—very enterprising. Could I also congratulate you on your delivery of your material, you are a natural and engaging speaker and demonstrably rigorous and academic in detail.

I look forward to hearing many more presentations from you.

Kindest regards

Trevor Thwaites

PhD, MEd, Bmus, DipTchg.
Principal Lecturer
School of Curriculum and Pedagogy
Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland


Andrew presented for the first time recently at the 2014 ANZARME conference. I commend him for the discursive nature of the presentation which allowed listeners to understand more about his critical attributes and self-revealing honesty about his teaching and wish to scrutinise his practice through undertaking Action Research. He presented in an engaging and insightful manner about the exploratory creative work he undertakes with students.

Dr Errol Moore
Senior Lecturer
PGDip (Otago) DipTchg FTCL BA, PhD



  • Differentiation in Music Education
  • Group Composing and Collaborative Learning
  • Musical Aptitude Testing and Data