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A Music Education Proposal to Improve Student’s Retention in Elementary School

by Yuneisy Brito Naylet Garcia Wonnya Guanche Margara Delgado Livia Moreno

An Action Research Submitted to the Educational Research Methods in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master in Education (Specialization in Guidance and Counseling) (EDUC 600/709)

Ana G. Mendez, University System Dr. Maria Sevillanos 2014


Table of Content Pages Chapter I: Introduction……………………………………………………………………….3 Statement of the Problem…………………………………………………………..3-4 Justification…………………………………………………………………………....4 Definition of Terms……………………………………………………………………4 Chapter II: Literature Review…………………………………………………………………5 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………...5 Literature Review………………………………………………………………….5-11 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………11 Chapter III: Methodology……………………………………………………………………12 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………..12 Implementation and Procedure…………………………………………………....12-14 References………………………………………………………………………………....15-16 Appendix………………………………………………………………………………………17 A

Study Conceptual Framework…………………………………………………17


Technology Applications……………………………………………………...18


Chapter I: Introduction The educational academic scholars have found the impact of music application on pedagogical measurement and music perception into the instructional design, this research is conducted to use music education as a tool to improve student’s knowledge retention to advance in Elementary School. There is a selection of different strategies that teachers have to choose from when deciding to teach a subject in their elementary school classroom. Music could be also incorporated into the instructional design to see its effects on retaining the knowledge that students are learning. Hauser, Pager, and Simmons (2000) study found the following: During the last 25 years the percentage of students in primary education with knowledge retention problems has increased according to latest research. Regardless of the current rules of the No Child Left behind Act (NCLB), a higher number of students are being left behind because of grade retention than ever in the past. The biggest problem with these researches about retention is the fails to support its efficacy as an intervention. Recent evaluations indicate that at least 2 million U.S. students are held back every year. Statement of the Problem The problems of the student’s retention are poor instructional method and student’s ability to independently apply concepts noble higher critical thinking. Does music education help to improve student’s retention in Elementary School? This research proposal seeks to demonstrate the importance of music to improve student’s retention knowledge in Elementary School. The students are not developing a good academic retention and this is influenced in their academic scores and their knowledge progress. An effective music educational program


need to be created and it should be implement in the classroom as an instructional tool to improve retention. Justification Students of Elementary School facing formal teaching environment confronted certain difficulties in Knowledge retention. Is very difficult to them focus on a topic or task, easily distracted and bored, showing little or no interest to the formal education. Being all those early years totally important to the scholars who attend primary school is vital to find a way to teach them in an exciting environment where the education is a lot more enjoyable and appealing to them. Is time to use new tools to innovate and why not through the music. "Music allows children to expand their capacities emotional, mental, physical and spiritual" (Stopello 2001). In the cognitive area we see as since the child is in the womb we use the music of great musicians such as Mozart to stimulate not only their emotional area but also the intellect and knowledge. Numerous studies have proven that through music children develop memory skills experiencing improvements in their IQ this proves that music should be part of the nursery and primary education. “Music is the universal language of mankind� (Henry Wadsworth) Definition of Terms For the purpose of clarifying terms in this study, the following definition is provided: Knowledge Retention: the act or power of remembering things; memory; the capacity of the students to remember the information or data given in the classroom from their teacher instruction at Elementary School.


Chapter II: Literature Review Introduction Is important to provide a musical environment in which students know they can reach, explore their potential and innovating with new strategies that will help knowledge retention in the elementary school classroom to the progress of their scholar achievement and progress. Among the educational academic scholars have found the impact of music application on pedagogical measurement and music perception into the instructional design, this research is conducted to use music education as a tool to improve student’s knowledge retention to advance in Elementary School. An inspired and creative teacher with a conscious concern in the process involved in music education “need to see herself not as one who gives art to students but as one who can open up windows on the world to students as well to herself” (Dimondstein 1974). Literature review Through the history of great men has shown that music has great influence when it’s used to develop retention skills, improve educational quality and academic achievement. For example Thomas Jefferson, founder of the Declaration of Independence played the violin to help himself to develop thinking and big ideas, Albert Einstein began his education with very poor educational ratings achievement to the point that the teacher advised his parents not to waste time or money because he wouldn’t learn, his parents bought him a violin and music was the key to developed his intellect and level of retention today’s day history marks him as one of the most intelligent men in the stories, among many others who have benefited for music. Through the last years several studies have focused on the influence of music in the classroom as a tool for improving the knowledge retention and academic progress in elementary


school here some of this research: In an investigation named “The Effects of Phonemics-Based Music on Letter-Sound Recognition in a Kindergarten Classroom” conducted by Beth B. Molley, she says that introducing music to students at an early age is important because the critical period for the brain to develop musical intelligence is before the age of nine years old (Molly 2003). This research suggested that the music is not used only as a way to children to make connection with symbols and patterns; it is also an important basis for reading. Molly is agreeing with Snyder Theory (1997), when she writes: “Music is preliterate and aural, it becomes a perfect rereading tool to understanding language patterns before symbolic codes are understood” (Synder 1997; p. 167). In her investigation, the author explain that most students receiving literacy instruction an support in every course, that’s why is important to train teachers on how to effectively use literacy-based strategies with the students. Teachers in every subject and at every grade level must work together to provide students with a language rich, literacy based education (Molly 2003). The connection between music and cognitive development can help the students to learn in an effective way, singing is an exciting and beneficial way for students to learn that letter sound can be manipulated to create spoken words. Finally, Molly conclude that many research questions whether learning information through music leads to the retention of knowledge or if the learner only temporarily remembers the information. Others note strong connections between music and learning, supporting the theory of using music as an instructional tool. Music is one aspect that will be always essential or important in education. In the article, “Music in Classroom,” by Jennifer O. Prescott, presents the importance of music in various areas of education, as well as some that might not have been thought of before. Prescott focuses on is math, a subject not usually recognized as a “musical” topic. In her article Prescott mention Kay


Smitherman, a retired math teacher from Texas, who says that math could be teaching with music "Kids come to school knowing 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' and 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. "Wouldn't it be nice if children came to school already knowing math formulas by heart?" (Smitherman 2005), whose "Math Songs" activities appear in the January/February issue of Instructor, has completed a second career of setting math-themed lyrics to popular tunes to help kids memorize essential formulas and skills. She explains that with music the steps, sequences and numbers are already inserted in their brains. During a test they hummed until they got to that part of the exam and are easy to them remembered, then wrote it down. She believed that uses songs in her classroom help her students pick up things like formulas and fallow steps, Smitherman’s tactics were long-established when one of her students told her after a test that she reminisced how to do a problem after humming the song she had been showed to them at the classroom (Prescott, 2005). Prescott further points out a section in the article that centers on the effects of music not only in math as well in read, vocabulary and many other subjects that will be easy to remember the knowledge acquired in the classroom humming these contagious songs. A first grade teacher from Florida uses a song called “The Way We Read” in order to show the students to read from left to right (Prescott, 2005). Susan Stackhouse, Elementary school teacher, makes up her personal words to popular songs to teach her kids with language difficulties. Agreeing to Prescott, not only does music help students learn and retain knowledge, it also helps increase test scores. Prescott states, “Numerous studies reveal that kids who participate in music programs show improved spatial-temporal skills, enhanced academic performance, and better social skills” (Prescott, 2005, para. 23). This tactic is an effective method or technique to have students motivate and embed in anything they need to learn for mastery memorization and/or retention of


knowledge. Using music as a tool to teach a subject all the kids are involved in teaching and learning academic progress, it's less effort for the teacher, it's fun and gets the work done. In the article “How the Music can help your Child Learn” ( Zrinka, 2011 ) different experts were trying to define the effects of music on the learning process in elementary school students . They were motivated by a theory which became popular in the late 1950s , where it is stated that listening to Mozart can temporarily improve school performance and stimulate retention development. This theory has been controversial by many critics as do children who are musically educated have IQs that exceed the national average, and their inquiry was can really Mozart music make our children smarter? This still an issue todays day but, what is a statistic is that music education helps children through a wide range of criteria; this includes academic performance in general. This approach is proved by a set of evidence to claim, McMaster University in Canada research, selected and compared two groups of students between the ages of 4 and 6, a group took music lessons and the other received no music instruction. The results revealed that children who received music instruction were above their peers who had not received instructions as to musical memory skills, mathematics and even IQ. Other research conducted by Brigid Finucane, one of Ancient Music Instructor children in the Merit School of Music in Chicago, talked about the positive effects of music instruction on students. She suggests that the "Formal music instruction requires focus, discipline and determination – excellent qualities which are often transferred into other areas of the student's life” she says that beat and rhythms are vital components in music, students who can maintain a solid beat have a greater fluency in their reading. The music their sing provides vocabulary improvement, teaches tenses and plurals, uses poetic language, allows visualization, and


encourages good pronunciation. Through music they learn about their selves, culture and many others as, science and math, creativity, jobs, the environment, and emotions. On the other hand, Scott Cross, International Development Manager for Kindermusik educator, also explains about how beneficial it can be music education classes for student achievement. His music program it is used in young children to help understand concepts like up and down, fast and slow, and start and stop. Scott says “reading musical notes from left to right reinforced learning process; the child acquires better sense of direction when using the words left and right in a book. Counting numbers ( 1, 2 , 3, 4 ) is also used , thus allowing to keep a constant rate, strengthens the role of numbers and helps the child to better understand his early mathematical concepts ". Data obtained from an investigation by the National Association of Music Education show the benefits of teaching music in elementary students. These students took a test called the SAT exam and throw that students who had been educated musically had not significantly higher than their counterparts rating-musically trained Los musically trained students achieved 56 points higher on the verbal portion and 39 points higher on the math portion of the exam. Other experts teaching music also mention many benefits of music education for students in elementary school. They argue that music helps in building greater self-esteem, concentration and coordination. This article demonstrated how music can positively influence in working with elementary school student, as children can profoundly progress if they are included in the music curriculum as a necessary option. Besides all the academic benefits, to sing, dance and move students can perform with joy. This paper summarizes an extensive review of the contributions of different subject matter experts when developing the article entitled How Music Can Help Your Child Learn (Zrinka 2011). The literature review will summarize to discuss the results of investigations


and descriptions of specialists to demonstrate the importance of music in learning and establish conclusions drawn based on the review. The discussion is divided into four sections: (1 ) the results of an investigation conducted by the McMaster University in Canada, ( 2) research according Brigid Finucane , one of Ancient Music Instructor children in the Merit School of Music in Chicago ( 3) investigation of Scott Cross, International Development Manager for Kindermusik Educator , ( 4) benefits of music education , the conclusions and recommendations for future research. Recently the University of Southern Mississippi, The Aquila Digital Community, conducted a research about the “The Effects of Music on Foreign Language Retention in Elementary Schools� by Hayley M. Collins; he is concerned about “Foreign language is becoming a necessity in education today. With the recent influx of immigrants, it is essential that educators are able to communicate with those students so that they can have the same quality education as those students that speak English as a first language (Collins 2013). The author says that is a diversity of different tactics educators have to choose from when determining to teach a foreign language in their elementary school classroom. Even though this is so, there are still educators who choose to rely on the traditional method; the author believes that teaching through traditional education is not enough that students learn more when this innovating. The author objective of this research was to appreciate student score development in the class using the music through interactive play technique over the rote technique. The final punctuation was deliberate and evaluated by finding the class and individual averages of each class of children. The study revealed that adding music through interactive play to the foreign language vocabulary instructional design does improve vocabulary retention scores (Holley 2013).


Hayley M. Collins 2013 said: “This study investigated the effect of music through interactive play on Spanish vocabulary retention for first graders. The data of participants were 38 first grade students from two classrooms. The students were given two tests: a pretest to test their prior knowledge of the subject and a posttest given about a week following instruction to test how well the students retained what they had learned. These scores were averaged by class and compared for each class to determine the effect music through interactive play had on the vocabulary retention of these particular first graders.” “Using interactive play in the classroom, such as music and centers, helps students develop in areas such as language, cognitive, social, emotion, and physical development” (Riley & Jones, 2007). Conclusion In conclusion, previous studies have shown that music is a very useful tool to help children to the development of their cognitive skill in primary age. Its helps they develop habit studies to progress academically and retention of knowledge. The research question is: Does music education help to improve student’s retention in Elementary School? This study is a musical education proposal to improve student’s retention in elementary school to contribute the research done previously in search of tools to demonstrate that through music students would have greater knowledge retention and better academic achievement, suggesting that each teacher and academic institution in elementary school added the curriculum of each subject or course strategies and musical activities that help students develop high knowledge retention in primary age level for academic success and academic achievement.


Chapter III: Methodology Introduction There have been many investigations related about the music and its influence on brain development of the child from an early age. Those researches indicate that music can be a powerful tool in learning and to become useful in the process of knowledge retention. It has been shown that children who study music from an early age, they are promoting the superior memory. These children in the future will be able to face, address and solve tasks related to knowledge retention (memorize) and the ability to resolve conflicts. These and many more skills are developed by learning music, these research have also shown that these skills are developed regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic status. So forth the status does not interfere with the development of skills that are fostered through music. Implementation and Procedure It is contemplate important to conduct research related to the influence of music in the development of retention capacity at the elementary school, will be choose for the methodology of this research proposal measure results qualitatively and quantitatively. Create a system of exercises for all students integrating the music, showing that music can raise the level of assimilation and retention of knowledge in students. This study would help increase the learning outcomes of all students. On the other hand, would help to achieve better results in the general test like FCAT that each year is delivered in our educational institutions to the students. In this investigation, the proposing is to make a "Motion Exercise System Integrators" to be implementing in an Elementary School, grades 1st through 5th. Starting by creating a multidisciplinary work group; the group should be composed of a representative from each


subject teacher and led by music teacher. Beginning by carrying out training by the group leader; this training is to explain the other teachers the importance of the link with the music in all subjects. Demonstrating with the data that can be obtained from the investigation, how to raise the level of student’s knowledge through music. Will be explained the need for this research work and why will be realized with the students and teachers of this school. The principal purpose is increase the retention skill and strengths of the students and at the same time it would help this school get better results on the general tests. The teacher training will be conducted for a term of a one month; where each teacher will perform its proposed exercises for the course teaching and would be ready to start monitor the kids progress and start with the investigation for a period of one year. The teachers understand that music is a tool. The exercises are aimed at transforming the way content with some degree of difficulty in an easy to understand and assimilate material by the students. On the first stage to the investigation, the multi-disciplinary group could be worked only with a particular content area. This content should not have a high level of complexity, to constitute a piece of evidence for the participants. To the extent that teachers and students are more familiar with the methodology, they can go adding more subjects with higher degrees of difficulty. We began to implement a survey to all participating students, where we perceive which is the level of commitment from them to the proposal. The survey only questions that allow us to measure qualitatively if they (students) have understood what the project is about, how the results would help in their teaching and how they would make it easier to understand materials that become difficult to learn. It is very important to mention that the parents of these students will be involved in this research work. First step a short survey where the school will ask if they would support their


children in a proposal to increase levels of assimilation and retention of knowledge; where both, their children, and the school where raise their educational outcomes and improve their performance in Test as the FCAT. Thus, we would be receiving, in a sense, their consent to engage the students in the implementation of this research. The effectiveness of the method was measured with a test mode when start the implementation of research and may culminate with another test at the end of the course, or be referenced FCAT results. They could take this last instrument as reference test, but shall be taken into considerate for the test program start. The initial test should measure the same knowledge that is measured in the FCAT. Should be implemented so that we can get an accurate idea of what were the grades of students in each knowledge area being evaluated. With these two instruments would get the specifics of how students raised their teaching performance, comparing grades one to the last meter. This would be a very effective way to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of multidisciplinary working method that will be implementing. Using a measuring instrument or another at the end of the academic year, remain at the discretion of the team that implemented the program. The implementation time of the investigation shall be not less than one academic year. If we consider that the skills of assimilation and retention of knowledge are not measurable in a short period of time. The sample used may vary depending on the school and availability of teaching staff involved in the program. It can be used in a first step (one academic year) a group of the school. After measuring the results, involve all staff. We can start by all groups at a time, if all the teaching staff is ready. In any case, the discipline concerned (music) will be led by music teacher, but the implementation of the research would lead the group making the proposal.


References: Baker, S.L. (7- 2010) Music Benefits the Brain, Research Reveals. Natural News: Northwestern University scientists. Retrieved February 10, 2014, Boyd, D. J. (2010) The role of teacher quality in retention and hiring using applications-totransfer to uncover preferences of teachers and schools. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research. Collins, H. (2013). The Effects of Music on Foreign Language Retention in Elementary School. Retrieved February 11, 2014, Edward, L. Bayless, K. Ramsey, M. (2005) Music: A way of Life for the Young Child. 5th Edition. Music Education: Music for a Lifetime. Chapter 8 Pag 195-196. Feldman, E., Contzius, A. (2010). Instrumental Music Education Teaching with the Musical and Practical in Harmony. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis. Gromko, J.E. (2005).The effect of music instruction on phonemic awareness in beginning readers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 53(2), 199-209. Hackett, P. Lindeman C. (2004) The Musical Classroom: Background, Models, and skills for


Elementary Teaching. Music in the Classroom. 6th Edition. Chapter 1, P. 2-5 Molley, B. (2003) The Effects of Phonemic-Based Music on Letter-Sound Recognition in a Kindergarten Classroom. Retrieved February 10, 2014, lley_0.pdf Peters, Z. (2011) How Music Can Help Your Child Learn. Retrieved February 12, 2014, Prescott, J. (2005) Music in the Classroom: Instructor’s handy guide for bringing music into your classroom. Retrieved February 11, 2004, (This article was originally published in the January/February 2005 issue). (np) Do the language we speak shape the way we see the world? Retrieved February 11, 2014 P. 2-6.


Appendix A

Study Conceptual Framework


Technology Application


Final Proposal  
Final Proposal