The effect of an integrated curriculum on fourth graders' achievement in and attitude toward music instruction

Shirley E Lacroix, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an integrated curriculum on fourth graders' music achievement and attitudes toward general music instruction. Participants were two classes of fourth grade students (N = 41) randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. Taught by the same teacher, students in the experimental groups received integrated music and language arts instruction; students in the control groups received traditional music instruction.

Prior to treatment, music background was assessed using the Music Background Questionnaire (Yoder-White, 1994) and Metropolitan Achievement Tests (1993) scores were gathered. In addition, data were collected across subjects' pretreatment and posttreatment music achievement and attitude using the Silver Burdett Music Competency Tests (Colwell, 1979) and Music Attitudes Profile (Yoder-White, 1994). Additional posttreatment data were gathered including a written survey, small group interviews, and video data of the teaching segments.

Results of two-tailed dependent t tests of pretreatment and posttreatment music achievement scores by condition indicated significant gains in music achievement for control and experimental students. However, results of two-tailed dependent t tests of pretreatment and posttreatment music attitude scores by condition did not indicate a significant effect of treatment on music attitude for control or experimental students. Two null hypotheses were tested using a between-participants one-way multivariate analysis of covariance with reading comprehension as the covariate. The effect of the instructional approach on students' achievement in music and attitude toward music was not significant.

Qualitative data from small group interviews revealed that students more frequently identified liking music class or a specific activity than they expressed a dislike for music class or a specific activity. In addition, results of the analysis of a random sample of videotapes for student participation behaviors revealed positive participation behaviors of students in both groups.

Based upon the results of this study, the researcher concluded that students in both the experimental and traditional groups made significant gains in music achievement. However, neither approach significantly affected participants' attitudes toward music instruction. Further research needs to be conducted in order to reach a greater understanding of the benefits of integrating music and other disciplines.

Subject Area

EDUCATION, MUSIC (0522); EDUCATION, ELEMENTARY (0524)

Recommended Citation

Shirley E Lacroix, "The effect of an integrated curriculum on fourth graders' achievement in and attitude toward music instruction" (2002). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3077998.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI3077998

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