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Larissa Mapua

Dr. Mike Petelle

Advanced Scientific Research

1 May 2011

The Effect of Participation in Music Classes on PISA Scores and GPAs

Abstract

It was hypothesized that countries with obligatory music programs had higher PISA 2009

scores than countries that did not require students to take music classes. A t-test was performed

to test for significant difference between music and non-music countries. The music countries

scored significantly higher with a p=0.0001. This suggests that successful PISA test scores could

be related to successful music programs. However, music countries spend significantly higher

amounts of money on primary and secondary education than non-music countries; therefore, the

difference in PISA scores may have been due to the high-scoring countries ability to afford

developed education programs. It was hypothesized that high school students participating in

music classes had higher GPAs than students who did not participate in music classes, and that

students who planned to major in music or played in music ensembles outside of school had

higher GPAs than those only participating in school music classes. An ANOVA test was

performed to test for significant difference in GPAs among active, participating, and non-music

students. There was no significant difference with a p= 0.19. This suggests that GPA is not

strongly influenced by the number of music credits a student obtains, their participation in music

ensembles outside of school, or their choice to major in music.


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Introduction

Studies have shown that music plays a significant role in the brain from the time of birth

(as cited in Rauscher et al., 1995). Music enhances the firing patterns of neurons in the brain,

which in turn improves higher brain functions in thoughts and actions (Rauscher et al., 1995).

Promoters of music education proclaimed the benefits students receive from music training as

early as the 1900s (Demorest, 2000). Music classes can improve several areas that contribute to

success and satisfaction in education. Studies have shown a positive correlation between the

number of music courses taken and attendance rates (as cited in Anonymous, 2010). Results of

studies indicate that active music students have lower dropout rates and less disciplinary issues

(as cited in Anonymous, 2010). Music courses of ensemble performance assist students in

gaining efficient communication and cooperation skills. Students are given the opportunity

to develop positive relationships in music groups (Anonymous, 2010).

One benefit of particular interest to musicians and non-musicians alike is general

intellectual development (Demorest, 2000). People interested in the benefits of music education

often ask, Does music make you smarter? (Demorest, 2000). Contemporary theorist Howard

Gardner (as cited in Demorest, 2000) explains intelligence as a combination of many different

types of intelligences, such as linguistic, logical-mathematical, and spatial. Music is considered a

type of intelligence as well, and there is no doubt that music education makes students smarter in

music (Demorest, 2000). Components of musical intelligence include special abilities in

determining pitch, timbre, and rhythm (Hock, 2005). Gardner reports that musical intelligence is

the earliest type of intelligence to be displayed in children (Hock, 2005). However, the majority

of people assume the word smart means also smart at a subject other than music (Demorest,

2000). It would be false to proclaim that any type of music study benefits any academic

undertaking. Also, there are limits to measuring intelligence with merely grade point averages
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and test scores. It is more appropriate to ask the question: Does participating in music classes

improve academic achievement?

The question has often been proposed as to whether music classes in school can cause

positive stimulus to academic core subjects (Spychiger, 1998). In order for the outcomes of

music education to be understood, the following five qualifications must be met (Spychiger,

1998). 1) Limited and elongated effects of musical engagements need to be distinguished from

each other. It is important to note whether the results of a study are short-term or long-term

effects. 2) The direct sources of positive effects on the brain are not always music and musical

activities. 3) Environmental and social surroundings have a stronger effect than the cognitive

aspect. This is displayed in the actions of a youth orchestra ensemble; the children interact

socially with one another and have to trust each other to perform well, regardless of previous

individual achievement. 4) The quality of the music instructor is a large contributing factor to the

effects of academic success. It is not true that any type of music training will produce the same

results as formal, high-quality music education. 5) It is important to also remember that music

makes you smarter is a simplistic, false view (Spychiger, 1998).

With the mentioned qualifications, a popular claim often associated with the benefits of

music called the Mozart Effect can be analyzed. The publicity of this claim was sparked when a

study by Rauscher and colleagues (1995) reported that short exposure to a Mozart sonata

increased spatial-reasoning abilities (as cited in Schellenberg, 2006). The report was concluded

from a behavioral experiment of three groups. The first group listened to a Mozart piano sonata,

the second group listened to a mix of Philip Glass, an audio-taped story, and a dance piece, and

the third group sat in silence for ten minutes. After listening to the audio stimuli, Paper Folding

and Cutting (PF & C) items from the Stanford Binets Intelligence Scale were issued to the

students. PF & C items included symmetrical operations of mirror reflection and rotation; the
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students were asked to predict how a cut paper would appear unfolded. It was concluded that the

process of hearing music organized firing patterns of cortical neurons so that the right

hemisphere of the brain could perform spatial-temporal tasks. Music acted as exercise for

neurons by exciting them (Rauscher et al., 1995).

Mozart was chosen because he began composing at the age of four, so it is expected that

he utilized spatial-temporal patterns fired by neurons in the cortex through his music (Rauscher

et al., 1995). Spatial-temporal reasoning is a reliable factor of academic success and is critical in

learning mathematics and science (Rauscher et al, 1997). Key features of spatial-temporal

reasoning include these tasks: altering mental images according to space and time, comparing

physical images to mental images, and understanding sequential patterns (Grandin et al, 1998).

Rauscher et al. (1997) tested spatial reasoning in preschool children separated into three groups

by the type of received training: private keyboard lessons, private computer lessons, and no

keyboard or computer lessons. Spatial reasoning was tested by time it took the participants to

complete the following activities: creating a mental image of a puzzle and then putting it

together, visually matching and sketching geometric designs, matching patterns using colored

blocks, and placing pegs in a hole according to its assigned color. Significant improvement on

the spatial-temporal reasoning tests was found only in the keyboard group. This suggests that

music education yields long-term enhancements in areas of the brain that do not primarily

respond to music. It is proposed that increased enhancement may improve students learning of

standard school curricula (Rauscher et al, 1997).

Gardner reported Mozart to be a musical genius and a famous example of musical

intelligence (as cited in Hock, 2005). The Mozart Effect attracted attention because the original

study was published in the prestigious journal Nature, and because the results were translated

into an immediate increase of eight IQ points (Schellenberg, 2006). Based only on this study,
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many people then falsely concluded that music makes people smarter. The validity of this study

is questioned when considering the conditions. The two groups who did not listen to a Mozart

sonata listened to ten minutes of silence or a relaxation tape. Those audio stimuli were not as

arousing or engaging to listen to as the Mozart sonata. It is known that mood also influences

performance on problem-solving tasks, so the effect could have originated from a change in

mood, not the exposure to Mozarts music (Thompson, 2001). As of May 2000, less than fifty

percent of the twenty tests published successfully replicated the effect. It is indicated that the

short-term effect was insignificant under these conditions (Schellenberg, 2006).

It has been hypothesized that other composers music may have an effect similar to the

Mozart effect as well. In contrast, Petsche et al. (as cited in Rauscher & Shaw, 1998) showed the

extreme differences in how brains process Mozart versus Schoenberg through

electroencephalography (EEG) analyses. A comparison of digit span scores after listening to

Pachelbels Canon and a piece by Bartok did not produce a significant difference in results

(Rauscher & Shaw, 1998). Yet, enhanced spatial-temporal task performance resulted after

patients listened to Fantasia for Piano, 4 Hands in F Minor by Schubert (Rauscher & Shaw,

1998). A study by Nantais and Schellenberg (1999) also found that spatial-temporal abilities

were enhanced after listening to Schubert.

Researchers have also provided compelling evidence that the Mozart effect is produced

by differences in arousal and mood. The subjects in a study by Thompson (2001) completed a

test of spatial abilities after hearing an energetic sonata by Mozart, a slow, sad adagio by

Albinoni, or a period of silence. Enjoyment, arousal, and mood were measured as well. At first,

the Mozart effect was apparent in the results revealing higher performance on spatial tasks by the

Mozart group. However, when differences in enjoyment, arousal, and mood were held constant

by statistical means, the Mozart effect was not evident in the data.
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Studies of the effect have produced an inconsistent pattern of results with some studies

producing it and others failing to do so (Jackson, 2004). Two experiments by McKelvie and Low

(2002) did not support the findings of enhanced spatial scores. The first experiment compared

responses to a Mozart piece and a popular dance groups song. There was no significant

improvement for either of the groups in spatial IQ scores. The second experiment used the same

methodology as the original Mozart effect study, but the results did not support the claim of the

effect. An experiment by Steele (1999) also failed to replicate the effect, even though key

procedures of the original study with positive results were followed. From this study, it is

concluded that little evidence exists to base intellectual programs, such as the popular Mozart

videos for babies, on the existence of the effect.

Although there is certainly data to refute the Mozart effects existence, there is valid

research to support it to an extent. The enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning was replicated

during a study by Rauscher (1998) under certain conditions. The Mozart effect was not present

until a verbal distraction was heard after the pre-test and before the listening treatment. The

results are similar to a study by Rideout and Taylor (as cited in Rauscher & Shaw, 1998) in

which enhancement occurred after hearing spoken relaxation instructions between the first test

and the playing of music. It is suggested that a delay period is necessary between the pre-test and

the music exposure in order to reveal the Mozart effect (Rauscher & Shaw, 1998).

One long-term study included children under the age of five who received eight months

of music training (as cited in Demorest, 2000) which consisted of daily singing for thirty minutes

and keyboard practice for at least ten minutes. The control group received no music instruction.

The children were tested on five spatial reasoning tasks every four months. The children who

received music training displayed significant improvement on one of the five tasks, assembly of

objects, and scored significantly higher than the children without music training.
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Phoneme awareness also contributes to academic achievement. When students do not

understand phonemes, units of speech represented by letters in the alphabet, the process of

learning to read and write becomes a serious struggle (Adams et al, 1998). A childs level of

phonemic awareness is a strong indicator of later reading achievement. If the ability to recognize

and report phonemes in words is developed through instruction, it will accelerate reading and

writing success (Adams et al, 1998). Gronko (2005) determined the relationship between music

education and increased phonemic awareness in young children through his experiment. The

analysis of the data shows that kindergarten children who took four months of music classes

showed significantly advanced development of phoneme awareness when compared to children

who did not receive music classes (Gronko, 2005). A similar study by Piro and Ortiz (2009)

found that students who took piano lessons for three years scored significantly higher in

vocabulary and verbal sequencing tests than students who were not involved in music.

An experiment conducted by Herrera et al. (2011) revealed that music training also

affects the reading achievement of children who speak languages other than English. Preschool

children whose first language was Spanish or Tamazight, a Berber dialect spoken in Morocco,

participated in the two year study. The children who received phonological and music training

significantly outperformed those who did not take the special training. The special training was

effective by instilling greater phonological awareness and naming speed in Spanish. Naming

speed is another reliable predictor of a childs future reading level. The study supports the notion

that the benefits of music training can apply to young children of various ethnicities (Herrera et

al, 2011).

As seen in the Mozart effect studies, it has been revealed that there are possible benefits

to music education. The Mozart effect produces short-term benefits while academic achievement

is produced as a long-term benefit (Rauscher & Shaw, 1998; Rauscher et al, 1997). A positive
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correlation between music education and academic education of young students around the globe

is shown in numerous studies and findings (Johnson & Memmott, 2006; Kinney & Forsythe,

2005; Southgate & Roscigno, 2009). These studies and findings support the fact that music

students gain many benefits other than learning how to play an instrument. When observing the

hours of practice music students partake in, it is clear that music teaches discipline and hard

work, which are important to incorporate into ones academic study habits (Miller & Coen,

1994). Highly respected musical experts involved in education from regions all around the globe

support this notion. In England, The Inspector of Schools to the English Board of Education

reported that music classes used within school education programs awakened the minds of

children and generally prepared them for academic success (Scholes, 1995). Will Earhart,

president of the Music Educators National Conference in 1919, stated that music impacts

knowledge applied in geography, history, and foreign languages (Morrison, 1994). Horace

Mann, founder of the American school system, proclaimed that music was essential to the

education of youth to develop aesthetic appreciation, citizenship, and critical thinking (Miller &

Coen, 1994).

Students who are active members of music organizations often have higher academic

achievement than students who do not participate in music organizations (Southgate & Roscigno,

2009). This is seen in an analysis conducted on data collected by the U.S. Department of

Education (Southgate & Roscigno, 2009). The results show that the participating students

academic success is associated with being in a music program. The students ranged from young

children in kindergarten to adolescents in high school. Many factors were considered within the

data, such as ethnicity and parent involvement in the childs music life. An example of such

parent involvement would be attending their childs music concerts. For the children in

kindergarten and first grade, music in school positively impacted achievement in math. High
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school students obtained a higher achievement in reading while attending music classes in school

(Southgate & Roscigno, 2009).

Another analysis was performed on data collected from the Ohio Fourth-Grade

Proficiency Test scores of students attending a school with an Arts IMPACT program and of

students attending a traditional school. The Arts IMPACT program offers students weekly

lessons in art, music, drama, and dance. Results revealed that students of the Arts IMPACT

program scored significantly higher on the math and science sections of the test than the

traditional students did. In the reading and writing sections of the test, no significant differences

between the test scores were found (Kinney & Forsythe, 2005). Cox and Stephens (2006)

conducted a study on high school students with and without music education. No statistically

large difference was found in their mean math grade point averages or in their GPAs. Scatter

plots of the data displayed a slight upward trend in GPAs as the number of music credits

increased. There were no low GPAs as the music credits increased.

Research has shown that students who studied fine arts, especially music, during

elementary, middle, and/or high school years scored significantly higher on both the verbal and

the mathematics sections of the SAT (Demorest, 2000). However, this data is often

misinterpreted to be the direct result of studying music instead of considering other factors, such

as the characteristics of music students. It is inaccurate to claim causation within this study and

studies similar to it. (Demorest, 2000)

A study by Johnson and Memmott (2006) analyzed the relationship between

participation in school music programs and standardized test scores. The experiments include

data on both elementary students and middle school students. The difference in size between all

of these scores was small, yet the scores of the music students were greater. Examination of the

elementary school data indicate that children involved with music education programs performed
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better on both English and mathematics standardized tests than other students who did not have

that educational experience. The results of the middle school data indicated that for both English

and math tests, students in both general music programs and instrumental programs had scores

higher than those not attending any music classes or instrumental programs. Let it be noted that

these studies show correlation, but do not mean causation between music classes and academic

achievement.

Research by Dickenson (1993) shows that schools producing significant academic

achievement in the United States spend 20 to 30% of the day on the fine arts with emphasis on

music. Included is St. Augustine Bronx Elementary School, which implemented an intensive

music program after nearly failing academically in 1984. Today 90% of the students are reading

at or above their grade level (Dickenson, 1993).

Morrisons (1994) study also supports the idea that high school student members of band,

orchestra, or chorus to have higher grades in core academic classes than students who do not

participate in music programs. The National Center for Educational Statistics compared the

grades of music participants and nonparticipant sophomores from public and private schools. In

this study, a larger percentage of music participants had higher grade averages in math, history,

English, and science (Morrison, 1994).

A strong foundation of music education is greatly valued by the world's leading

academically successful countries. The 1988 International Association for the Evaluation of

Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test, a study of the aptitudes of adolescent students in

seventeen countries, shows that Hungary, Japan, and the Netherlands were the leading nations in

scientific achievement. For decades, these three countries have made instrumental and/or vocal

training mandatory from elementary school to high school. In the 1960's, the Kodly system of

music education was established in Hungarian schools. It is reported that by the third grade,
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participating students sing on pitch with impressive accuracy and beautiful tone. Additionally,

general academic achievement of Hungarian students, especially in math and science, is

outstanding (Dickenson, 1993). In 1968, the Netherlands made music classes mandatory in

secondary schools (Kelstrom, 1998). In Japan, students take a minimum of two courses each

week in music performance (Jensen, 2002).

The foundation of music in academic education of the most successful countries contrasts

with the United States' focus on math, science, vocabulary, and technology (Dickenson, 1993).

The United States was ranked fourteenth among the seventeen countries (Ponter, 1999). This low

ranking could possibly be related to the lack of formal music education in the American school

systems. In the United States, music is mainly valued as entertainment and not as a significant

contribution to education (Miller & Coen, 1994). Few students in the United States have a

balanced curriculum in music instruction, and music classes are often cut from schools when an

economic crisis strikes (Miller & Coen, 1994). It was hypothesized that countries with obligatory

music programs in their general education systems had higher PISA 2009 scores in math,

reading, and science than countries that do not require students to take music classes. It was also

hypothesized that high school students enrolled in music classes had higher GPAs than students

who did not participate in music classes, and that students who planned to major in music or

participated in music ensembles outside of school had higher GPAs than those only enrolled in

music classes.

Materials and Methods

62 countries that participated in the PISA 2009 were separated into two groups: countries

with and without required music programs in their general pre-college education systems. It was

researched online to determine if a country required music programs. The country had to have

compulsory music programs in their general education schools nation-wide past the primary
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level (which was usually from grades 1-6) to be included in the music country group. Three t-

tests were performed to test for significant difference between the countries PISA test scores in

reading, mathematics, and science.

90 North Cobb High School students were given a survey. Two homerooms, one with

juniors and one with seniors, were randomly selected from a list of homerooms to be given

surveys as the non-music student group. The randomly selected band, chorus, and orchestra

students were given surveys as the participating and active music student groups. The survey

asked for the participating students sex, grade, weighted GPA, number of music credits obtained

in high school so far, and whether they planned to major in music during college. It also asked,

Have you been an active member of a music ensemble outside of school such as the Georgia

Youth Symphony Orchestra? If you are, please state what music ensemble. An ANOVA test

was performed to test for significant difference between the non-music, participating music, and

active music students GPAs. Participating music students had to have obtained at least two

music credits in high school and active music students had to have been an active music

ensemble member or planned to major in music.

It was proposed that if there was a significant difference between the music and non-

music countries, with the music countries having higher scores, economical factors may have

conflicted. The countries with the higher PISA scores may have been more developed than

countries with lower PISA scores. Therefore, the high-scoring countries may be able to afford

music programs in education, while the low-scoring countries may not have the resources for

establishing music programs. The average expenditure per student (%) in primary and secondary

education and GDP per capita (PPP) in the value of 2010 US dollars was found of each country

in the music and non-music group. The expenditure per student percent was multiplied by the
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GDP per capita (PPP) to find the amount spent on primary and secondary education each country

spent per student in US dollars.

Results

Three t-tests were performed to determine a difference between PISA 2009 reading,

mathematics, and science scores of countries with and without music required in their education

systems. Music countries scored significantly higher than non-music countries with each t-test at

p=0.0001. The mean reading score was 505 for music countries and 445for non-music countries.

The average reading score of all participating countries was 493. The mean math score was 513

for music countries and 443for non-music countries. The overall math score mean was 496.The

mean science score was 516 for music countries and 450 for non-music countries. The overall

science score mean was 501.

An ANOVA test was performed to test for a difference between GPAs of non-music,

participating music, and active music students. There was no significant difference with p=0.19.

The mean GPA of non-music students was 3.52, the mean of participating musicians was 3.70,

and the mean of active musicians was 3.63.

A t-test was performed to test for significant difference in the amounts music and non-

music countries spent on primary and secondary education per student. There was a significant

difference with p= 0.014.The music countries spent significantly higher amounts of money on

education with a mean amount of $7279 while the non-music countries had a mean amount of

$4421.

PISA 2009 Countries with and without Obligatory Music Programs in General Pre-College Education Systems

With Music Program Without Music Program


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Slovenia, Estonia, Netherlands, Japan, Portugal, Korea, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany,

Finland, United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, France,

New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Canada, Switzerland, Poland,

Denmark, Hungary, Spain Sweden, Slovakia, Israel, Luxembourg, Lithuania,

Turkey, Dubai, Russia, Chile,

Serbia, Bulgaria, Uruguay, Mexico, Romania,

Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia,

Brazil, Montenegro, Jordan, Tunisia,

Indonesia, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Albania,

Qatar, Panama, Peru, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan

PISA 2009 Scores of Countries with and without Music in General Education

Subject Scores of Countries With Music Program Scores of Countries Without Music

Program
Reading 481. 483. 489. 494. 495. 499. 500. 501. 314. 362. 370. 371. 372. 385. 390. 398.

503. 508. 520. 521. 536. 539. 402. 404. 405. 408. 412. 413. 416. 421.

424. 425. 426. 429. 442. 449. 464. 468.

470. 472. 474. 476. 477. 478. 483. 484.

486. 494. 496. 496. 497. 497. 500. 500.

501. 506. 515. 524.


Mathematics 483. 487. 490. 498. 501. 503. 507. 512. 331. 360. 365. 368. 371. 371. 377. 381.

519. 526. 529. 536. 541. 546. 386. 387. 388. 403. 405. 414. 419. 419.

421. 427. 427. 428. 431. 442. 445. 447.

460. 466. 477. 482. 483. 487. 487. 489.

492. 493. 494. 495. 496. 497. 497. 513.

514. 515. 527. 534.


Science 488. 493. 496. 499. 500. 503. 512. 520. 330. 369. 373. 376. 379. 383. 391. 400.

522. 528. 532. 538. 539. 554. 401. 401. 401. 402. 405. 410. 415. 416.

425. 427. 428. 439. 443. 447. 454. 455.

470. 484. 486. 489. 490. 491. 494. 494.

495. 498. 500. 502. 507. 508. 508. 514.


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517. 520. 527. 529.

The GPAs of Non-Music, Participating Music, and Active Music Students

Non-Music (0-1 credit) Participating Musician (2+ music Active Musician (2+ music credits and

credits) member of ensemble/music major)


2.50, 2.80, 3.00, 3.00, 3.00, 3.10, 2.50, 3.20, 3.20, 3.20, 3.20, 3.30, 3.00, 3.00, 3.17, 3.20, 3.20, 3.39, 3.40,

3.17, 3.20, 3.20, 3.20, 3.20, 3.30, 3.50, 3.50, 3.50, 3.50, 3.70, 3.70, 3.40, 3.60, 3.60, 3.75, 3.79, 4.00, 4.06,

3.30, 3.30, 3.30, 3.40, 3.40, 3.40, 3.70, 3.77, 3.80, 3.80, 3.88, 3.90, 4.12, 4.20, 4.20, 4.20

3.40, 3.50, 3.50, 3.50, 3.50, 3.50, 3.95, 4.00, 4.00, 4.00, 4.10, 4.10,

3.50, 3.50, 3.50, 3.60, 3.75, 3.75, 4.12, 4.29, 4.50

3.75, 3.75, 3.75, 3.80, 3.80, 3.80,

3.83, 3.88, 3.90, 3.90, 4.00, 4.12,

4.20, 4.20, 4.50


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Country With Expenditure per GDP per capita, Expenditure per

Obligatory Music Student in Primary purchasing-power- Student in Primary

Program and Secondary parity (US $) and Secondary

Education (%) Education (US$)


Slovenia 26.935 20328.793 5475.56
Estonia 22.43 20961.317 4701.62
Netherlands 21.56 37329.682 8048.28
Japan 21.975 33656.831 7396.09
Portugal 28.155 21535.538 6063.33
Korea, Rep. 19.56 26596.622 5202.30
Finland 24.21 35278.394 8540.90
New Zealand 18.73 32712.14 6126.98
Norway 22.46 52065.032 11693.81
Iceland 24.42 39763.222 9710.18
Denmark 29.45 35689.175 10510.46
Hungary 24.39 18229.415 4446.15
Spain 22.01 30484.277 6709.59
Liechtenstein 13.2 122100 16117.2*
* denotes the figure an outlier

Country Without Expenditure per GDP per capita, Expenditure per

Obligatory Music Student in Primary purchasing-power- Student in Primary

Program and Secondary parity (US $) and Secondary

Education (%) Education (US$)


Austria 24.83 38367.54 9526.66
Belgium 27.24 35530.227 9678.43
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Croatia 19.64 13231.725 2598.71


Czech Republic 18.34 22270.512 4084.41
Germany 18.37 32595.659 5987.82
United States 23.46 46577.186 10927.01
United Kingdom 26.03 35560.733 9256.46
Ireland 19.55 43250.851 8455.54
France 21.88 32085.64 7020.34
Switzerland 24.41 40273.38 9830.73
Poland 23.19 16383.289 3799.28
Sweden 28.32 37512.906 10623.65
Slovakia 15.20 20370.838 3096.37
Israel 20.88 27554.021 5753.28
Luxembourg 21.43 70567.306 15122.57
Lithuania 18.08 18108.014 3273.93
Turkey 11.86 9844.432 1167.55
Chile 12.69 13919.321 1766.36
Serbia 35.25 10804.616 3808.63
Bulgaria 22.90 11612.109 2659.17
Uruguay 9.55 10416.02 994.73
Mexico 13.35 14144.172 1888.25
Romania 18.3 11509.404 2106.22
Thailand 16.55 8050.873 1332.42
Trinidad and Tobago 9.51 22300 2120.73
Colombia 13.58 8995.963 1221.65
Brazil 18.09 9900.056 1790.92
Jordan 14.5 5105.106 740.24
Tunisia 9.45 8406.8 794.44
Indonesia 11.75 3985.405 468.29
Argentina 18.3 13340.319 2441.28
Kazakhstan 14.5 10867.48 1575.78
Qatar 9.5 78260.406 7434.74
Panama 8.7 11532.381 1003.32
Peru 9.0 8606.119 774.55
Azerbaijan 6.6 6120.925 4039.81
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Discussion

There was no significant difference between GPAs of non-music, participating music,

and active music students; this did not support the hypothesis. This suggests that GPA is not

strongly influenced by the number of music credits a student obtains, their participation in music

ensembles outside of school, or their choice to major in music. The PISA 2009 reading, math,

and science scores of countries with compulsory music programs in their education systems were

significantly higher than the scores of countries that do not view music as a compulsory subject

nation-wide; this supported the hypothesis. Music countries spend significantly higher amounts

of money on primary and secondary education than non-music countries; therefore, the

significant difference in PISA 2009 scores between music and non-music countries was due to

the high-scoring countries ability to afford developed education programs.

This study revealed these results on account of several factors. The homerooms the

survey was distributed in had students taking honors and AP classes which may have caused the

non-music students GPAs to be higher than the average high school student. With a small

sample size there was less of a chance that a distribution representative of the entire student

population would be obtained.


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Caution must be used when using the results of this study to support a hypothesis. The

survey included only 90 North Cobb High School juniors and seniors, which is not a fair

representation of all students. This study could be improved by using a larger sample size, such

as 250 students with equal representation from chorus, band, and orchestra. Additionally, the

study would provide results more representative of the student population if the students had

been randomly selected from a list of the entire school population, rather than randomly selected

by homerooms. There would be more of a chance that general students not enrolled in honors

and AP classes would be included in the sample. Additionally, the study would provide results

more representative of the entire student population if the survey was given over a broader

geographic location, such as the whole state of Georgia.

It is suggested that future experiments analyze how band, orchestra, and chorus

individually affect students GPA. Another future study could include analyzing the difference in

PISA scores between countries main type of music programs, such as instrumental or vocal

programs. Also, a survey could also evaluate the amount of time one spends practicing outside

of instructional time or the amount of time one spends in music lessons. Student data could be

analyzed to see whether these factors affect students GPA.

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