Cognitive Scores - First Time Academic Achievement

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Cognitive Scores For First Time Academic Achievement

Cognitive Scores For First Time Academic Achievement

Review of Literature

A modest number of research articles or literature reviews have been concerned with the effects of music education on what has been called general academic achievement, so called because a variety of disciplines were involved. Academic achievement as measured in these studies usually involves reading and/or language arts and mathematics; occasionally science or other disciplines are included as well.

Using records from two area high schools, Trent (1996) determined that those high school seniors who had participated in instrumental music programs from sixth through 12th grades scored significantly higher on standardized tests of language arts and math than their counterparts who had participated in non-music extra-curricular activities or who had not participated in extra-curricular activities. Several authors who conducted literature reviews arrived at conclusions supporting these three studies: those who participate in music have higher academic achievement than those who do not (Arnett-Gary, 1998; Shobo, 2001; Yoon, 2000).

Not everyone, however, obtained such clear results. Two researchers found that music participants had higher achievement scores in reading but not math (Dryden, 1992; Neuharth, 2000). Kluball (2000) found that the study of instrumental music was significantly related to mathematics and science tests but not to language arts, social studies, writing and the SAT verbal and mathematics tests. Other researchers have either found no significant difference in the academic achievement of music participants and other students (Haanstra, 2000; Holmes, 1997; Sprouse, 1971) or identified alternative explanations for their apparent superiority (Cox, 2001; Rossini, 2000; Schneider & Klotz, 2000; Shadd, 2002). In reviewing the literature, McIntyre & Cowell (1984) found that findings were unclear and often contradictory.

Only five experimental studies have been identified that tested the effects of music instruction on academic achievement. Three of the five obtained results indicating that music instruction did have a positive effect on academic achievement. Olson (2003) affirmed parallel reading and math concepts through Kodaly music instruction with first, second, and third grade students. Female students at all three grade levels improved math scores and males at the first and second grades improved reading scores. Barr, Dittmar, Roberts, & Sheraden (2002) provided elementary students with 16 weeks of instruction for the improvement of listening skills in addition to music instruction. Results indicated improved academic performance. Hoffman (1995) compared fifth graders who received keyboard instruction with those who received traditional text-based music instruction. After one year of instruction (at the end of fourth grade) the keyboard students had higher scores on only one measure, a subtest of language mechanics. However, after two years of instruction (at the end of fifth grade), the keyboard students outperformed their counterparts on total language, 3 R's battery, concept of numbers, math computations, math applications, and total math.

In contrast to the positive effects on academic achievement found in the studies mentioned previously, Hines (2000) found that neither reading nor mathematics achievement was affected by the type of instruction students ...
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