Regardless of the type of music students listened to while being evaluated, their fine motor skills performance did not significantly vary. There are a number of possible explanations for these results.
The most likely explanation for the lack of significant findings in this study is the small sample size. With only 12 students in the sample, it is quite likely that the sample size simply was not large enough to detect any significant differences that may actually exist. In other words, while music and type of music may in fact have an important role to play in the performance of fine motor skills, it could be that a sample of 12 is too small to allow for the detection of a significant difference. Consequently, future research should examine this question with a larger sample size in order to determine whether a larger sample size may produce statistically significant results. In general, larger sample sizes are more likely to lead to significant results.
An alternative explanation for the findings is that there is actually no effect of music on fine motor skills development. The statistical analyses in this study would suggest this conclusion. In other words, regardless of whether a student listens to classical music, party music or no music at all, their fine motor skills remain the same. While the statistical analyses support this conclusion based on the current data, an examination of the actual group means calls this conclusion into question. The no music group and the party music group both had performance means of 1.5, while the classical music group had a group mean of .5. Simply by observing these means, it would appear that there is actually a group difference present. However, it could be that the sample size (as discussed above), is simply too small for this difference to be significant.
If there is no relationship between music and fine motor skills performance, it could be an indication that fine motor skills are unrelated to environmental factors. Perhaps fine motor skills are either innate or are a result of practice, rather than a result of extrinsic factors such as music. Future research should examine this question with a larger sample size and should also investigate the potential role that other environmental and internal factors may play. It may be that intrinsic factors are more important predictors of fine motor skills than extrinsic ones, such as motivation to practice or ability to focus. By designing a study that compares different potential influencers, it may be possible to develop a more detailed understanding of how fine motor skills develop and differ between students.
Finally, it may also be that the sample age was not appropriate. For example, it could be that extrinsic factors such as music have more of an influence on fine motor skills at a different age, other than the age sampled. Future research should include a larger sample with more diverse age groups. This would allow age to be used as a covariate in the statistical analyses, which would then allow for a determination of whether music influences fine motor skills at one age, but not at another age.
Consequently, based on the current study's findings, the null hypothesis, that all group means would be equal, failed to be rejected. As such, it cannot be concluded, based on this study alone, that music has any relation whatsoever to the development or performance of fine motor skills in young children. The results of this study indicate that there is no basis to make use of music in the training of fine motor skills in children. Future research should re-examine this research question to determine whether a larger sample size or a sample that is more diverse with respect to the age of its participants, may be able to find a significant difference statistically.
EFFECTS of MUSIC on FINE MOTOR SKILLS
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Schlaug, G., Norton, a., Overy, K., & Winner, E. (2006). Effects of music training on the child's brain and cognitive development. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1060, 219-230.
Schneider, S., Munte, T., Rodriguez-Fornells, a., Sailer, M., & Altenmuller, E. (2010). Music-supported training is more…