Welcome to the MUSIC Model

Welcome to the website for The MUSIC® Model of Motivation (click in the upper-left corner for the menu). The MUSIC model was developed by Dr. Brett D. Jones (2009) as a research-based motivation model to help instructors motivate learners. Over many decades, researchers around the world had identified many principles and theories of motivation. However, what was lacking was an updated model of motivation designed for instructors that could be tied to concrete strategies and measurable outcomes. The MUSIC model has met this challenge by combining the most important research ideas into a multidimensional model that is understandable to teachers, professors, and instructional designers.

MUSIC® is an acronym that can be used to remember the five key principles of the model that relate to the words eMpowerment, Usefulness, Success, Interest, and Caring. The principles are listed below.

The instructor needs to ensure that students:

  1. feel empowered by having the ability to make decisions about some aspects of their learning,
  2. understand why what they are learning is useful for their short- or long-term goals,
  3. believe that they can succeed if they put forth the effort required,
  4. are interested in the content and instructional activities, and
  5. believe that the instructor and others in the learning environment care about their learning and about them as a person (Jones, 2009).

To find teaching strategies directly linked to each of the five MUSIC components, you can look in my in my 2009 article or in my 2018 book, Motivating Students by Design: Practical Strategies for Professors (parts of the book are available in the PDF linked to the bottom of the "Overview" page).

The video below provides a brief overview of the MUSIC Model.

The photo near the top of this page was taken by Brett Jones in Blacksburg, VA, near the Virginia Tech campus.