Effects on an integrated reading and music instructional approach on fifth-grade students’ reading achievement, reading attitude, music achievement, and music attitude.

Andrews, L.J. (1997). Effects on an integrated reading and music instructional approach on fifth-grade students’ reading achievement, reading attitude, music achievement, and music attitude. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of North Carolina, Greensboro, N.C.

Abstract:

The researcher conducted a study to determine if integrated reading and music instruction had an effect on students’ reading and music achievement and on their attitudes toward reading and music. The study included a treatment group and control group. Both groups received separate reading and music instruction, while only the control group received integrated music and reading instruction twice a week. The researcher delivered this instruction in the context of the students’ regular reading classes. Results showed the treatment group had a significantly more positive attitude toward reading and music than the control group at the end of the study. No significant differences were found on reading or music achievement between the groups.

Key Findings:

Students receiving integrated reading and music instruction had a significantly more positive attitude toward reading and music than the control group at the end of the study. No significant differences were found on reading achievement or music achievement between the groups.

Significance of the Findings:

Integrated reading and music instruction affected students’ positive attitudes toward music and reading. However the integrated reading and music instruction made no difference in the reading or music achievement of the students. Such findings may be of interest to educators who are considering integrated or more traditional methods of music and reading instruction.

Methodology:

The study involved two fifth grade classrooms each with 29 students. During the research, which lasted eleven weeks, both classes received reading instruction from the same reading teacher as well as comparable music instruction twice a week delivered by the researcher. Twice a week, during their regular reading instructional period, one of the classes (the treatment group) also received 20 minutes of music integrated reading instruction from the researcher. The other class (the control group) did not receive this integrated instruction. The researcher assessed all participants at the beginning and end of the research period using the Music Attitudes Profile, Elementary Reading Attitude Survey, Silver Burdett Music Competency Test Book 5, and the Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension subtest of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. To assess previous music training, all participants completed a Music Background questionnaire.

The researcher conducted t-tests and multiple analyses of variance (MANOVAs) to assess differences between the treatment and comparison groups in reading achievement, music achievement, reading attitude, and music attitude.

In analyzing the pre-assessments, the researcher found that there were no significant differences in the reading achievement, music achievement, and music attitudes between students in the treatment and control groups. However, the treatment group had significantly higher reading attitude scores than the control group.

Limitations of the Research:

Participants were not randomly assigned to the treatment and control groups and additional differences between groups beyond attitudes toward reading may have been present at the start of the study. Additionally, the novel presence of the researcher in the reading classes where she delivered integrated music and reading instruction may have influenced students’ attitudes about the subjects.

Questions to Guide New Research:

Would similar results occur if students were randomly assigned to the conditions? Would similar results occur if students’ regular teachers provided integrated music and reading instruction?