Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Research Paper:
Music in High Schools
Psychology Research Project
Examining the Effects of Music Education in Various Students
Children are often encouraged to undertake creative activities in order to improve their imagination and achieve a balance between studying and relaxing. One creative activity is to partake in music education. Music is one field in which a student can be as creative as he or she desires, for there is no limit placed on how much or how loudly one can play his or her instrument. Music classes, though structure, encourage these facets, and keep students on their creative toes, and therefore are vitally important for the development of children.
There have been many studies on this topic, especially in light of many schools cutting their music education programs. Most of these studies have proven, beyond a doubt, that music education helps students in many ways, including with development of certain parts of the brain. This research aims to describe these studies in further detail, as well as to find the relationship between the number of music lesson that students take and academic performance. If a positive relationship exists, as the studies state, there are possible chances to design lessons that effectively help students improve their grades. This design may enhance the field of psychology as well, specifically by finding the association between learning creative actions and one's ability to memorize information and solve problems.
The hypothesis needing to be tested here is: "The more music lessons students take per week, the better these students' grades." The research method is descriptive, allowing the researcher to determine the strength of the relationship between taking music lesson and academic performance of students. A survey will be conducted in four local elementary schools. These four schools are close to each other so it is more convenient and faster for data collection.
Research and Survey Design/Method
At each school, 200 surveys will be handed out to the students, who are randomly picked from different classes. The subjects therefore include students from five grades: one, two, three, four and five. This gives more variability in the response. Furthermore, as the sample is randomized, the answers are more likely to approach the true data. The time to conduct the survey is break time between classes and lunchtime when students are free and more willing to finish the survey.
In order to meet ethical requirements of psychological research, the experiment will be reviewed by an institutional review board in order to protect the subjects from possible harm. Secondly, all the children will have been informed in advance about the nature of the study any risk of harm it may bring. Thus, there will be no physical harms to the subjects. Thirdly, all the individual data from the survey will be kept confidential. Only the summaries for groups of subjects will be publicized. Lastly, at the end of the research, all the participants will supplied with full informational booklets.
The survey contains a series of 9 questions, rendered below:
1. What grade are you in?
2. Do you take music lessons? Answer: Y or N (If yes, the students is asked to question 3. If no, the students is asked to skip question 3 and continue with question 4).
3. How many music lessons do you take per week?
4. Do you find it easy to concentrate?
5. How long can you study with no rest?
6. How do you memorize your lesson? Choose one: visually - auditory
7. What is your average grade?
8. Do you have (a) tutor(s)?
9. What subjects do you like best and what in what subjects do you perform best?
In the same school, there are always groups of students that are different from each other in terms of socioeconomic factors. In fact, children who take music lessons are often from wealthier families that can afford the tuition fees for these lessons and thus these children's parents are often more dedicated in terms of time to their children's studying.
It is also important to mention that these children often perform better because they have access to more sources of knowledge such as private tutors, who can help them solve difficult problems and prepare them for lessons before classes. Meanwhile, those that do not take music lessons may come from less wealthy families and may have parents who must work hard and who may have no time to take care of the children. The children may, therefore, have to work by themselves. This study will aim to see whether there is, according to this description, indeed, a positive relationship between music lessons and academic performance.
Limitations and Biases
There are certain limitations that might affect the true nature of answers given by respondents. Firstly, there might be a flaw in the design of the questionnaire itself, which would leave respondents in a state of ambiguity trying to answer a particular question. The study will strive to make sure that the design of the questionnaire questions is direct and straight to the point to lower all chances of ambiguous questions.
Secondly, is the problem of respondents being insincere in answering the questions may also be present. The students might just answer blindly and irrationally; this would slightly affect the outcome of the survey. Finally, the surveyor's role could also play an important role in the end result; a mistake in interpretation or miscalculating could be potential risks while conducting a research. To eliminate any faulty calculations, the data will be counted and recounted three times in total to eliminate the risk of transcription errors.
Beyond the survey method, there are many factors that may also influence the academic performance of the students. Those who take music lesson such as learning how to play an instrument have their concentration improved because they have to concentrate on the movement of their fingers, breathing rate and follow the rhythm. Further limits of this research include the fact that the survey is conducted within one city only and at four branches of the same school. The class structure, the teaching method, and the exams in those schools therefore have something in common. Nonetheless, the study will do its best to eliminate all sources of bias.
Note 1: Please note that I have edited and added logical subtitles to all the sections above, which you wrote, in order to have the paper in the proper format, with a smooth flow. If there are any citations, you must also include them.
Note 2: Please note that below I will start the literature review, which should be placed before the section entitled Research Design/Method, according to APA style guildelines.
The first source to be examined here for the purposes of verifying the truth contained in the hypothesis presented above is an article from Science Daily. The article in this publication presents a study conducted at Long Island University by Joseph Piro and Camilo Ortiz. This study was conducted for the purposes of finding out whether music education can truly have an effect on cognition and aimed to shed light "on the question of the potential of music to enhance school performance in language and literacy." (Science Daily, 2009)
Having stated its purpose, the study then aims to see whether this hypothesis, so similar to the one presented above, is true. Therefore, the study focuses on two elementary schools in the U.S., one of which routinely trains children in music, and one that does not do so. The sample study numbers 46 and 57 students, respectively. The authors also only study children who play/do not play the piano, and measure the advancement only in the fields of vocabulary and verbal sequencing, as partly stated above. The authors continue,
"Several studies have reported positive associations between music education and increased abilities in non-musical (e.g., linguistic, mathematical, and spatial) domains in children… There are similarities in the way that individuals interpret music and language… Tt would not be unreasonable to expect that some processing networks for music and language behaviors, namely reading, located in both hemispheres of the brain would overlap." (Piro and Ortiz, 2009)
With a solid base for the study, the authors are also careful to denote that both of the schools chosen for the study have in their curriculum balanced literacy programmes "that integrate skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening." (Piro and Ortiz, 2009) Furthermore, the authors denote that participants were individually tested, and results were analyzed only at the end of the school year period. Even so, the results clearly showed that those students exposed to music education had "significantly better vocabulary and verbal sequencing scores than did the non-music-learning control group," and thus the authors conclude that this "provides evidence to support the increasingly common practice of 'educators incorporating a variety of approaches, including music, in their teaching practice in continuing efforts to improve reading achievement in children'." (Science Daily, 2009)
The study presented above seems to give the positive answer necessitated to the hypothesis of this paper…[continue]
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