The purpose of this study was to determine if a sequenced, music literacy based approach in the general music classroom had any effect on the English language acquisition of Hispanic third grade bilingual students. The following questions were addressed through this study: 1. What was the effect of a sequenced literacy based music curriculum; 2. How does the amount of music instruction (minutes per week) effect English Language acquisition?
The study involved the use of one control group and two experimental groups which were comprised of third grade bilingual students from a transitional bilingual program. Group A (control) was comprised of students from two elementary buildings each with music teachers who employed a text book based approach to the instruction of the district music curriculum. Groups B and C (experimental) were comprised of students from one elementary school where the music teacher employed a sequenced literacy based approach (Kodály approach) to the district music curriculum. The predominant use of folk song material was a second distinguishing factor between Group A and Groups B and C.
Groups A and B received music instruction twice a week for thirty minutes each meeting. Group C received music instruction three times a week for thirty minutes each meeting (over a fifteen week period). The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the amount of time allotted to music instruction.
The participating students were tested using the New York Language Assessment Battery (LAB). This battery was used as the testing measure because it was already in place as part of the evaluation process in the participating district’s bilingual program. Using a pre-and post-test design, student percentile and stanine scores on each of the sub-tests and the total battery were statistically analyzed in regards to group membership and gender. Paired t-tests, MANOVA analyses, and ANOVA analyses were employed.
The study found no statistical significance between the participating groups in regards to pre-and post-test scores. Each of the groups showed statistically significant gains on the reading and writing sub-tests and on the total battery.