Capstone Research Paper

Below is a copy of my Capstone Research Paper.  This includes an extensive Literature Review as part of the research portion of the Participatory Action Research project.  Included are more detailed analyses of the two surveys which were posted earlier with the results, as well as my recommendations on this topic.  Enjoy!

Capstone

High School Student Survey

This survey was printed out and given to high school music and non-music students.  I received 148 responses and the summary of the results are listed below.

High School Participation Paper Survey

All questions are concerned with your time spent in high school.

How are you encouraged to attend college?

Select as many as apply.

  •        Teachers discuss the possibilities in class
  •        School advisors/counselors supply information and support
  •        Extracurricular coach/mentor encourages attending college
  •        College students or faculty visit campus
  •        Parents stress the importance of college
  •        No one encourages college attendance
  •        Other:

Are you involved in music?

  •        Yes
  •        No

If yes, does this involvement help support going on to college?

Provides scholarship opportunities, visit colleges through musical events, etc.

  •        Yes
  •        No
  •        N/A

Are you enrolled in College Preparation, Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), Community College, or other “higher-level” courses?

  •        Yes
  •        No

If yes, which ones?

Select as many as apply.

  •        College Preparation
  •        Honors
  •        AP
  •        Community College
  •        N/A
  •        Other:

Is music ever incorporated into classroom activities to reinforce subject matter?

Such as songs, background music, class performances, etc.

  •        Yes
  •        No

If yes, please list these musical activities.

 

What are your plans for after high school?

Results

The results found in this survey show a significantly higher percentage of students who were involved in music in high school and took College Preparation, Honors, Advanced Placement, Community College, or other “higher-level” courses (Table 1).

Table 1Comparison of High School Students Involved in Music vs. High School Students Not Involved in Music and Enrolled in Courses Geared Toward College

 

Involved in music? CP, Honors, AP, Community College, or Other* Courses Percent
Yes 108 71 65.7%
No 40 21 52.5%
Note.  CP = College Preparation.  AP = Advanced Placement.*Other refers to any other “higher-level” courses geared toward college.

Additionally, a high percentage of music students claim their music education supports college attendance (Table 2).

Table 2Comparison of High School Students Involved in Music Claiming Music Supports College Attendance vs. Claiming Music Does Not Support College Attendance
Does music involvement support college attendance? Percent
Yes 65 60.2%
No 14 13.0%
N/A 29 26.9%
Total 108
Note. N/A = Not Applicable.  Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding.

Unfortunately, there was also 26.9% of music students who were unsure how to answer this question (Table 2).  Furthermore, the positive feedback I received regarding what they want to see in their other core classes and how music was beneficial to them are listed below:

  • Physics using the bass
  • Formula parody
  • College advertiser plays music to gain the students’ attention.  They talk about college music scholarships, visiting CSUMB, and looking at the music department and school
  • One teacher made fire dance to dubstep

Post High School Participant Survey

This is a copy of the anonymous survey posted as a Google Form link to my Facebook webpage, emailed to my coworkers, and emailed throughout the Liberal Studies department.  I received 75 responses and the summary of the results are listed below.

High School Influence on College Attendance Online Survey

All questions are concerned with time spent in high school.  Please answer according to your high school participation.

How were you encouraged to attend college in high school?*

Select as many as apply.

  •        Teachers discussed the possibilities in class
  •        School advisors/counselors supplied information and support
  •        Extracurricular coach/mentor encouraged attending college
  •        College students or faculty visit campus
  •        Parents stressed the importance of college
  •        No one encouraged college attendance
  •        Other:

Were you involved in music in high school?*

  •        Yes
  •        No

If yes, did this involvement help support college attendance?

Provided scholarship opportunities, visited colleges through musical involvement, etc.

  •        Yes
  •        No
  •        N/A

Were you enrolled in College Preparation, Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), Community College, or other “higher-level” courses during high school?*

  •        Yes
  •        No

If yes, which ones?

Select as many as apply.

  •        College Preparation
  •        Honors
  •        AP
  •        Community College
  •        N/A
  •        Other:

Was music ever incorporated into classroom activities to reinforce subject matter?*

Such as songs, background music, class performances, etc.

  •        Yes
  •        No

If yes, please list the musical activities you remember.

 

*Required answers

Results

The results of this survey show a significantly higher percentage of students who were involved in music in high school and took College Preparation, Honors, Advanced Placement, Community College, or other “higher-level” courses (Table 1).

Table 1

Comparison of Respondents Involved in Music vs. Respondents Not Involved in Music in High School and Enrolled in Courses Geared Toward College

Involved in Music? CP, Honors, AP, Community College, or Other* Courses Percent
Yes 21 18 85.7%
No 54 38 70.4%
Note.  CP = College Preparation.  AP = Advanced Placement.

*Other refers to any other “higher-level” courses geared toward college.

However, the respondents of this survey did not believe their music involvement supported college attendance (Table 2).

Table 2

Comparison of Respondents Involved in Music in High School Claiming Music Supported College Attendance vs. Claiming Music Did Not Support College Attendance

Did music involvement support college attendance? Percent
Yes 9 42.9%
No 12 57.1%
Total 21

 

Interview Transcript

The following transcript is an interview with a local high school educator:

  1. How important is music in the lives of your students?

Music is VERY important to the larger majority of my students.  Most of my students stay in music all four years of high school.  Many of them play in ensembles outside of the school day, such as Mexican “Banda” and other folk music.  I serve a large population of minority students.  Many of them play more than one instrument.  They value the training they receive in my classes.  Several students take multiple music classes.  

  1. Do you believe music education has the potential to increase college attendance?

 Absolutely!  

  1. If yes, how so?  If no, why not?

 Not only do I believe that, but there are several studies available that prove that music education helps to prepare students for success in college.  Some of these studies are available at NAfme on the web site.  (National Association for Music Education, formerly known as MENC.  Music study helps to increase SAT Exam scores.  Music study increases brain development and cognitive function.  Music classes tend to attract students that are more interested in attending college.  I believe this is due to the discipline required to learn music.  

  1. How do you think music education could be implemented into courses to complement subject matter?

 I think music could be implemented into all courses if the teacher is inclined to do so.  Teachers can play classical music quietly while students are working independently, as well as during collaborative time.  Science classes k-12 can build simple musical instruments.  Math classes can study the ‘mathematical’ components of music.  History classes can teach social awareness of a society through learning about the music during that time period.  The list is endless.

  1. Are there any techniques you have tried and were successful?

Since I teach music all day, I try to incorporate other subjects such as history, science and math.  Also, I teach my students the benefits of music education so they are aware that their chances of attending and succeeding at a four year university increase with music study.