This paper considers the effects of children's gender associations on their preferences for musical instruments, and questions whether the limited range of instrumental selection made by boys can be regarded as a result of such associations.
The research project was devised to investigate the responses of infant school children to male and female musicians. The findings indicated that instrumental preferences were influenced by gender associations which could be lessened by providing positive role models. Whereas girls were more able to cross over gender divisions than boys, boys had a narrower range of interests in instruments. It was shown that the provision of an opposite gendered role model helped to overcome the associations made with particular instruments.