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1 C-crcs Cognitive - Counselling Reserch & Conference Services (eissn: ) Volume I Effects of Music Composition Intervention on Elementry School Children b M. Hogenes, B. Vn Oers, R. F. W. Diekstr, M. Skld The Hgue University of Applied Sciences, The Hgue, 2521 EN, The Netherlnds b VU University, Amsterdm, 1081 HV, The Netherlnds Abstrct The present study ims to contribute to the understnding of the effects of music eduction, in prticulr music composition s clssroom ctivity in elementry schools. The intervention (experimentl condition) focused on three-step-model for music composition, bsed on the Culturl Historicl Activity Theory of eduction, nd hs been compred with techer-centered pproch minly bsed on students reproduction of music (control condition). Results indicted tht fter the six-month intervention period, students in the experimentl group were more enggement in music eduction s compred to students in the control group. The reserch didn t show sttisticl difference in lerning outcomes with regrd to intelligence, cdemic chievement nd music chievement, lthough the students of the experimentl group performed better with regrd to reding comprehension thn their counterprts in the control group. The uthors conclude tht music composition s clssroom ctivity is fesible nd useful in elementry schools Published by C-crcs. Peer-review under responsibility of the Editor of the Volume. Keywords: Music composition; children Open Access licence:

2 1. Introduction For long time, music eductors nd reserchers hve suggested tht music, either in the form of music eduction, music prctice, or exposure to music, cn hve significnt impct on school chievement, school ttendnce rtes, nd student conduct, both in elementry nd secondry school (Wller, 2007; Koopmn, 2005). 2. Problem Sttement The question is however if these clims find support in vilble scientific studies. Besides music eductors nd musicins, eductionl reserchers hve considered the question of wht effects music eduction cn hve on child development. Some reserchers clim to hve found effects on cognitive functioning, such s the increse of concentrtion nd cdemic chievement, in ddition to effects in the socil nd emotionl domin (Elliott, 1995; Grdner, 2004). 3. Reserch Questions The im of the present study is to gther empiricl evidence with regrd to the effects of productive music eduction on enggement in music eduction nd both music nd cdemic chievement. Our min reserch question is: Wht re the effects of music composition s clssroom ctivity on enggement in music eduction nd on cdemic nd music chievement? The uthors specificlly investigted the effect on cdemic nd music chievement of productive music eduction on elementry school students, s compred to techer centered pproch minly bsed on reproduction of music with regrd to singing, plying instruments, nd music nd movement. Enggement in music eduction mens tht students re ble to, nd motivted to, prticipte in music ctivities. 4. Purpose of the Study Given the min reserch question concerning music composition s clssroom ctivity (productive music eduction) study ws set up to the effects of music composition s clssroom ctivity on enggement in music eduction, music chievement, nd cdemic chievement. In the present study two formts of music eduction: productive music eduction with composition s clssroom ctivity s core ctivity (designted s experimentl condition), nd techer centered pproch minly bsed on reproduction of music (designted s control condition) were compred. Active music listening, nd music nd movement were importnt elements of both interventions. 65

3 5. Reserch Methods A rndomized groups pretest posttest follow up design ws used for this study. Although the students were not rndomly ssigned to the experimentl nd control group, the clsses were. The two music interventions were implemented in 18 weekly lessons of 45 minutes ech. The lessons were given on weekly bsis. Pre test dt on singing, listening, intelligence, lnguge, reding comprehension, nd mthemtics were collected during the first two weeks of the school yer, strting in September Post test dt on the sme vribles were collected six months lter, right fter the intervention. Follow up dt were collected t the end of the school yer, five months fter the intervention. 6. Findings The overll results of the present study compring two types of music eduction, n intervention tht showed the following: First of ll, the study demonstrtes positive effects on students enggement in bot types of music eduction, but lrger effects in the music production condition, which confirms the hypotheses tht music production would led to more enggement in students thn music reproduction. Secondly, this study does not support the hypothesis tht music eduction contributes to nonverbl intelligence nd no differences were found between students in the music production condition versus students in the reproduction condition. This devites from the findings reported by Bstin (2002) in which significnt positive effects of music eduction on intelligence hs been reported. Thirdly, the findings of this study prtly confirmed Hypothesis 3: The students of the experimentl group performed better with regrd to cdemic skills thn the control group thn their counterprts in the control group, t lest such n effect hs been found for reding comprehension. It remins uncertin to wht this difference should be ttributed. One possibility is tht students in the experimentl group hve mde extensive use of musicl nottions for their compositions, nd trnsfer to reding comprehension could hve tken plce. Fourth, lthough both groups showed progress in this respect, no significnt difference between both groups on singing ws found, such despite the fct tht the control group sng much more thn the experimentl group. This might indicte, since relevnt vribles here re melody nd rhythm performnce, s well s expression nd comprehensibility, tht these cn pprently lso be improved by non singing music ctivities. Fifth, students in the experimentl group showed tendency for better musicl bilities, especilly listening (instrument & ensemble discrimintion/ recognition, nd udition), lthough this difference from the control group did not rech sttisticl significnt difference. In other words: hypothesis 4 ws disconfirmed. A possible explntion for this 66

4 difference, lthough wek, could be tht composition s clssroom ctivity my demnd more of students deep level listening processes th performing music. 7. Conclusions In conclusion, this study highlights the surplus vlue on severl dimensions of composition s clssroom ctivity, such s enggement, certin cdemic benefits, such s reding comprehension, nd possibly udition. Furthermore this study hs shown tht music composition is fesible nd useful in elementry school. Students re ble to compose music like they re ble to sing songs, ply instruments nd perform dnces. The uthors of this study conclude tht productive music eduction is evidently more engging for students thn reproductive forms of music eduction. However, productive music eduction requires different pedgogicl, didcticl orgniztionl, nd reflective skills of techers to competencies, thn reproductive music eduction. For exmple, using forms of coopertive lerning nd differentited instruction. This hs consequences for techer eduction. The vlue of these findings re substntited by the fct tht the current study meets scientific stndrds (Slvin, 2008) with regrd to: (1) Rndomized ssignment: clsses were rndomly ssigned to the experimentl nd control group; (2) Smple size: 131 students prticipted in this study; nd (3) Durtion: the study lsted 10 months. Nevertheless there re number of limittions to this study. First of ll, rndomiztion ws only t level of clsses nd not students, neither school. Secondly, both interventions were crried out by the sme techer. A possible proclivity towrds one or the other pproch to music eduction cnnot be excluded s hving ffected the outcomes. Third, it cn lso not be excluded tht differences between both conditions hd to do with other fctors thn the presence or bsence of composition s n ctivity. For exmple music composition might require different forms of interction between techer nd students thn reproductive music ctivities. Not withstnding these possible limittions, the findings with regrd to enggement nd certin cdemic skills, such s reding comprehension skills t fvor of music eduction by composition, re intriguing enough to wrrnt further reserch nd reconsidertion of the content of music eduction in elementry schools. 67

5 References Assen: Vn Gorcum. Slvin, R.E. (2008). Perspectives on evidence bsed reserch eduction. Wht works? Issues in synthesizing eductionl progrm evlutions. Eductionl Resercher, 37(1), Bstin, H.G. (2002). Musik(erziehung) und ihre Wirkung. Eine Lngzeitstudie n Berliner Grundschulen [Music eduction nd its effects. A long-term study in elementry schools in Berlin]. Minz: Schott Elliott, D.J. (1995). Music Mtters. A new philosophy of music eduction. New York: Oxford University Press. Grdner, H. (1983, 2004). Frmes of mind. The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Bsic Books. Koopmn, C. (2005). Muziek mkt slim? Over de rechtvrdiging vn muziekonderwijs [Music mkes smrt? About the justifiction of music eduction]. In J. Herfs et l. Muziek Leren. Hndboek voor bsis-en specil onderwijs [Lerning Music. Hndbook for elementry nd specil eduction]. Wller, G.D. (2007). The impct of music eduction on cdemic chievement, ttendnce rte, nd student conduct on the 2006 senior clss in one Southest Virgini Public School division. Blcksburg: Unpublished doctorl disserttion. 68

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