Correlation between Passive Musical Intervention and Mathematics Achievement of Low-Attaining Elementary Students

by Cristina M Figueiredo

Institution: Central Connecticut State University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Music in education.; Mathematics – Study and teaching (Elementary); Academic achievement.
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2064599
Full text PDF: http://content.library.ccsu.edu/u?/ccsutheses,2297


Current literature suggests a correlation between active musical intervention and increases in cognition, spatial ability, motivation and achievement. However, research is limited in depicting the relationship between passive musical intervention and the mathematical attainment of the lowest-achievers. Therefore, utilizing Gardner's Multiple Intelligences theory as a theoretical framework, this study examined possible mathematics achievement gains of homogeneously grouped low-achieving math students from a passive classical music experience. This study was conducted in an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse K-5 intradistrict magnet school in a suburban town in the state of Connecticut. The 28 students participating in the study consisted of both boys and girls from grades one, two, three and five. Specifically, a control group receiving no musical intervention and an experimental group receiving musical intervention (passive listening to Mozart sonatas during instruction and assessment) were examined. Both the control group as well as the experimental group were composed of smaller targeted remediation groups consisting of one to five students each. Mathematical growth from pretest to posttest between control and experimental groups were calculated and compared using a paired t-test analysis. After nine weeks of study, no correlation was found between passive musical intervention and mathematics attainment of homogeneously-grouped low-achievers. Round one of the study, consisting of four weeks of targeted remediation, revealed a p value of 0.6365, suggesting no meaningful correlation between variables. Similarly, round two of the study, revealed a p value of 0.5880, again suggesting a lack of correlation between passive musical intervention and mathematics achievement. A small sample size, lack of sample stability as well as time limitations may have impacted reliability in this study. Further research is needed to clarify the relationship between passive musical experiences and mathematics achievement, specifically with the lowest-achievers. Additionally, studies that incorporate greater sample sizes that remain constant throughout the study will provide further evidence regarding strength of correlation between variables. 'Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Mathematics for Elementary Teachers.'; Thesis advisor: Philip Halloran.; M.S.,Central Connecticut State University,,2016.; Advisors/Committee Members: Halloran, Philip P.