Perceptions and beliefs of selected music education research studies
Smith, James Scott
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This qualitative study was designed to ascertain the perceptions of students, parents, music teachers, school administrators, and school board members regarding a correlation between music participation and academic success. While all the interviewees were from different schools, they represented one school district. Each interview was audio-recorded for the perceptions of the six research synopses I provided the interviewees to read. The problem I investigated was to determine if research findings affect the attitude of individuals who are closely associated with school music. Do music teachers, school administrators, school board members, and music students and their parents believe these studies? The purpose of my dissertation was to ascertain what fourteen individuals believed in regarding the research studies presented to them. What they believed and comprehended from reading six research synopsis reports pertaining to a relationship between music participation and academic achievement. The research studies were chosen by me because of the relationship between music education and academic success. I explored the understanding and meaning that individuals associated with school music education assigned to these selected research findings in music education. In order to achieve the purpose of this study, a qualitative descriptive design was employed to examine the understanding and beliefs of selected individuals involved with school music education concerning selected research on music participation and academic success. Specific questions I investigated were: 1) To what extent do participants believe and understand the selected research supporting a connection between music and academic achievement? 2) What is the nature of understanding the selected research supporting a connection between music and academic achievement for participants? 3) What meanings do participants assign to selected research supporting a connection between music and academic achievement? 4) For participants, is there a connection between their musical biographies and perception and interpretation of selected research supporting a connection between music and academic achievement? 5) To what extent do these selected research findings influence participants? All interviewees reflected on the functionality of music participation to further academic success. In addition, interviewees mentioned missing variables of the findings of the researchers. While many of the interviewees did not believe music participation to be the contributing factor for academic success, they did believe parental involvement was a key factor for student’s academic success.