The University of St. Thomas

RIME

RESEARCH & ISSUES IN MUSIC EDUCATION

September 2005 : VOLUME 3 : NO. 1

Featured Articles

An Investigation of Secondary School Students' Self-Reported Reasons for Extracurricular Musical and Athletic Activities

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to discover the self-reported reasons for involvement in after-school, extracurricular music and athletic activities of high school students. One hundred-sixty high school students participating in either extracurricular athletic or musical activities served as subjects. Extracurricular activities were defined as un-graded activities offered beyond the regular school day. An open-ended, free response questionnaire was used to determine what personal factors students felt contributed most to their reasons for choosing to participate in extracurricular activities. Questionnaires were analyzed for similarities and differences and responses were coded and categorized. Four distinct categories of subject responses emerged from the analyses: Social/Integrative, Kinesthetic, Self-Esteem, and Self-Efficacy. Athlete and musician participants shared similar reasons for participating in extracurricular activities. Both groups articulated satisfaction in sharing their athletic or musical activity with others; a need for physical expression/release through musical or athletic movement; positive feelings of self-worth as a result of participation; and a sense of self-confidence in their ability to participate successfully in athletic and musical endeavors. Conclusions and implications for future study are discussed.

Introduction

For many U.S. students, an important part of the secondary school experience includes participation in after-school extracurricular activities offered through a school district. Such opportunities allow students to pursue areas of interest to them beyond the curricular offerings of the normal school day and are often sources of great enjoyment and satisfaction. Extracurricular offerings in schools typically include fine arts, athletics, student government, hobby/activity groups, and academic clubs or organizations. It is estimated that nationally, 83% of students aged 6-17 participate in at least one extracurricular activity during their school career (Ehrle & Moore, 1997). The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that four out of five high school seniors participated in at least one extracurricular activity in 1992 (NCES, 1992) and of those, 42% chose athletics and 28% chose performing arts. A study of high school sophomores states that over 55 percent participated in activities offered beyond the school day and that 73.6 percent of students involved in extracurricular activities participated in sports (54.8%) or music (21.5%) after school, outpacing all other activities combined (Ingels, Burns, Chen, Cataldi, & Charleston, 2005).

Testimonials and research studies discussing the benefits of extracurricular activities abound; thus, parents, school boards, teachers, and administrators recognize the importance of such activities. An informal examination of information from twenty randomly chosen public school websites reveals that students who participate in extracurricular activities develop a sense of community and culture among one another and within the schools. Moreover, along with developing new skills, students may learn the value of teamwork, as well as experience healthy competition and improve physical strength and ability. Researchers have shown statistically significant relationships between extracurricular activities and a variety of positive, as well as a few negative outcomes (Eccles, Barber, Stone, & Hunt, 2003). Participation in extracurricular activities has been linked to higher self-esteem (Lee, 1996; Jaffee and Ricker, 1993; Holland & Andre, 1994; Duda, 1989; Nolin & Vander Ark, 1977); lower dropout rates (Finn, 1993); better attendance (O’Brien & Rollefson 1995); success in school and on tests (Snyder & Spreitzer, 1990; Soltz, 1986); reduction of at-risk behaviors (Eccles & Barber, 1999; Ebie 1998; Cutietta & Ebie, 1994; Cooley, 1992); physical fitness (Rainey, MeKeown, Sargent & Valois, 1998) and as a predictor of success in college and later in life (O’Brien & Rollefson, 1995). Such beneficial results are difficult to overlook, and therefore encourage the educational community to embrace valuable extracurricular activities.

There are, however, some conflicting data regarding the benefits of extracurricular activity. McNeal (1995) found that dropout rates among 14,249 high school students were not significantly affected by participation in fine arts programs. Female athletes exhibited higher occurrences of eating disorders than a non-athlete control group (Taub & Blinde, 1992), and although student athletes smoked less than their non-athletic counterparts, binge drinking was shown to increase (Rainey, 1996). Schneider and Klotz (2000) found that, while academic achievement test mean scores of student musicians were higher than student athletes and a non-participant control group, participation in music or athletics was not a conclusive predictor of academic success in schools. Although a few researchers have found less than positive results, a majority of studies surveyed for the current investigation demonstrated a trend toward the beneficial effects.

To this point the review of literature has focused on the statistics and traits of secondary students involved in after-school extracurricular activities, however, research that identifies student-generated reasons for choosing to participate in these activities is rare. Given the number of students that participate in extracurricular events each year, there appears to be more to the experience of participation in extracurricular activities than the benefits reported in previous studies. Because extracurricular offerings directed toward athletic and music-making activities attract the greatest number of students, previous research related to those specific areas follows.

In a study designed to elicit student opinions on the value of participation in music, Hylton (1981) studied written responses of 673 high school choral students in order to determine the meaning of the high school choral singing experience. Based on subject responses to an open-ended question, Hylton determined that there were psychological, communicative, integrative, musical-artistic, and spiritualistic reasons for enrolling in, and singing in choir during the school day. Psychological reasons included the attainment of personal growth and satisfaction and knowing oneself. Communicative reasons included the need to express music, ideas, and feelings to audiences. Integration involved reported social aspects and the need or desire to participate in a choral music ensemble with others. Musical-artistic included improving music making ability and increasing musical knowledge and skill. Lastly, spiritualistic statements “reflect a feeling that singing and communicating with an audience are religious or spiritual experiences, or ways of expressing spiritual thoughts or feelings” (p. 290). Hylton concluded that participants in high school choral ensembles experienced many intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and that the educational experience becomes more meaningful as a result of participation. While this study focused on a class that met as a regular part of the school day, it is possible that these findings are transferable to a similar population—that is—those students who engage in additional musical or athletic activities meeting before or after the regular school day.

Researchers in athletics studies have pursued student-generated responses regarding participation in extracurricular sports. Spence and Poon (1997) reported that 79% of males in their survey chose sports because they believed they were capable of being good athletes and good at sports, while 68% of female athletes reported playing for socialization reasons, and physical fitness. Freyer (1997) investigated the reasons for participation in team sports of adolescent females. She found that her sample of 130 adolescent female athletes identified 11 variables of sports participation. These included increasing athletic skills, achieving in competition, staying physically fit and attractive, improving feelings of self-worth, and making new friends. These results are supported by Dworkin, Larson, and Hansen, (2003) who emphasized that extracurricular activities are different than many other school activities because of the opportunities provided to develop social and leadership skills, increase peer-awareness, and improve emotional fitness.

Researchers have considered utilitarian values of participation in after-school sports and music programs, such as building a sense of community, improved school attendance, and generally better academic performance (Eccles, Barber, Stone, & Hunt, 2003; Snyder & Spreitzer, 1990; O’Brien & Rollefson 1995). Identifying non-musical or non-athletic reasons can assist teachers and researchers in improving the school experience for students and can perhaps advance the beneficial effects of the aforementioned studies. Asking students why they choose to participate in extracurricular activities has revealed more valuable information that can potentially be used to enhance learning.

It has been shown in the review of literature that extracurricular participation in both music and athletics has many positive effects on involved students and that a majority of students choosing an extracurricular activity choose to participate in at least one of these two areas (Ingels, Burns, Chen, Cataldi, & Charleston, 2005; Ehrle & Moore, 1997; NCES, 1992). What has not been established is a comparison specifically of athletes and musicians and their self-reported reasons for choosing to participate in athletic or musical supplementary activities. What do students themselves say about the role of sports and music in their lives? Do similarities exist between these two groups? If so, can these be identified?

The decision to study music and athletics together in this investigation was based on the reality of the importance of these two extracurricular activities in the lives of secondary school students. In addition to holding the highest number of participants, student involvement in sports and music appear equally predictive of encouraging quality behaviors with respect to several important indices, including: expectation to earn a four-year degree or higher; expectation to go directly to college; highest test quartiles; never cutting class; and viewing grades as important (Ingels, Burns, Chen, Cataldi, & Charleston, 2005). Participation in extracurricular activities, while affected by a child’s socioeconomic status, appears to attract participants despite SES levels. In a survey of secondary schools in seven states Moore, Hatcher, Vandivere, & Brown, (1999) reported participation in extracurricular activities among those students living below the U.S. poverty level at 73% and 89% for higher income students. Given the apparent importance and benefits of these two activities in the lives of students in schools and the anecdotal dissimilarities of students who might choose to participate in each, this study was undertaken to determine if any relationship existed between students’ reasons for choosing to participate in sports or music.

Purspose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the self-reported reasons for participation in extracurricular music or athletic activities of secondary school students. Analysis of an open-ended, free response questionnaire was used to determine what factors students felt contributed most to making participation in extracurricular activities meaningful. Because an underlying rationale behind the study was to compare student reasons for participation in after-school extracurricular activities, only those students and activities were studied. While many students were engaged in music and/or physical education classes throughout the day, students pursuing additional school-sponsored activities were the focus of the present study. It is important to note that the after-school activities investigated in this document were not offered in place of actual curricular coursework. Rather, these activities were offered in addition to regular curricular offerings.

Methodology

Subjects in this study (N = 160) were drawn from urban, suburban, and rural high schools in the Southwestern United States and were participating in athletic or musical extracurricular activities at the time the study was conducted (no participants in this study reported involvement in both a school-sponsored sport and music activity). Eighty-two subjects were involved in school-sponsored, non-graded, after-school extracurricular musical activities, including jazz band, jazz choir, marching band, madrigal choir, and show choir. Seventy-eight subjects participated in school-sponsored extracurricular athletic activities including football, boys’ and girls’ basketball, soccer, cheerleading, boys’ and girls’ tennis, and cross-country. Subjects were chosen based on their willingness to participate in the study and because of their participation in these extracurricular activities. They completed a short demographic form, answered the research question, and returned the completed forms. Subjects receiving a questionnaire and demographic form numbered 190. Returned questionnaires numbered 172, and of these, 12 were unusable because of inaccuracies, incomplete or missing answers, and illegible responses. The total number of useable returned questionnaires numbered 160, resulting in a usable return rate of 84 percent.

The use of the open-ended question as an instrument to gather information has been shown to be successful in research studies by Gorlow and Schroeder (1968), Farrell (1972), and Hylton (1981). The research questions used in this study were designed based on the work of these authors and it was believed that this method would allow for more variation and freedom in response for participants. The athletics research question was written as follows: “Take a moment and think about the sport you play. We would like to know why you participate in sports after school. What about your experience as an athlete is most important to you?” The music research question was similarly written: “Take a moment and think about the musical ensemble you play or sing in. We would like to know why you participate in music after school. What about your experience as a musician is most important to you?” Subjects were instructed to simply answer the question in as much detail as possible.

Questionnaires were gathered and collated separately by athletics or music. A mixed-method approach was used combining both qualitative and quantitative assessments of these data. Data analysis and coding process was accomplished by reading each subject’s response, highlighting specific statements in each response such as “I love to share my singing voice with others” or “the physical skill that I can develop in basketball is why I play so hard,” and then typing the highlighted responses onto a separate document. Next, using accepted coding processes as outlined by Wolcott (1994), and Emerson, Fretz, and Shaw (1995), subject responses were analyzed to determine if larger general categories might exist. These categories were chosen based on the content and the quantity of statements that could apply to a specific area. The author was not trying to identify similarities between athletes’ and musicians’ responses during these analyses; rather, statements were analyzed for content and similarities or differences. Interesting similarities between subjects’ rationale for choosing activities such as playing sports on a team in front of parents and spectators or performing in a jazz band in front of parents and spectators became apparent during the data analysis. For example, responses regarding physical movement, that one might assume would be unique to sports, were found in the responses of musicians’ reports of learning to play instruments with speed and dexterity or discussing show choir choreography.

In all, four categories, encompassing both athletics and music emerged from the coding process: Social/Integrative, Kinesthetic, Self-Esteem, and Self-Efficacy. The Social/Integrative category included any statements made by subjects that reflected the need to be involved with others in athletics or music. Such involvement included statements indicating the value or importance of teamwork, sharing experiences with teammates, ensemble members, and/or audiences, and developing/maintaining friendships with peers on the team or in the ensemble. The Kinesthetic category included statements expressing the need for physical movement in the form of running, jumping, “making shots,” playing a musical instrument, marching in formations, dancing in show choirs, or working the vocal mechanism. Such statements reflected a personal need to be physically active, develop technical, corporeal skills, and to express oneself through movement (Vajngerl, 2000). The third category, Self-Esteem, included statements signifying the intrinsic fulfillment or satisfaction brought about by participation in athletic or musical activities. Finally, the category Self-Efficacy contained statements indicating one’s belief in one’s musical or physical abilities and skills.

Results

The results of data analyses are presented in two sections. First, the number of responses associated with each category by frequency is reported. Second, the results of a series of t-tests for independent samples examining potential differences between athletes and musicians are reported. A total of 406 statements were identified from the 160 questionnaires and placed into the appropriate category, depending on the meaning of each statement. Returned questionnaires ranged from one statement to as many as 11 statements which could be applied to a specific category.

By frequency count, the majority of responses were related to social/integrative. One hundred twenty-three statements (30.2%) fell into this category. This finding seems to indicate that the athletes and musicians participating in this study chose to participate in extracurricular activities because of a need to experience teamwork. Teamwork included aspirations of sharing of common goals with others, performing well in front of others, and for friendship and socialization with people of like interests.

The category self-esteem received the 114 responses, or 28.1% of all statements. Subjects reported that playing a sport or performing in an ensemble helped them experience positive feelings about themselves, and provided them with achievable goals—musical or athletic—that also contributed to feelings of personal satisfaction and wellbeing.

Kinesthetic responses were cited third most frequently. Eighty-seven (21.4%) statements were best matched with subjects’ reported need for physical movement or contact, and the development or refinement of physical and technical skills. It appears that both student musicians and student athletes appear to value and need the physical aspects of their chosen extracurricular activity.

Lastly, statements relating to experiences of self-efficacy appeared a total of 46 times, or 11.3% of all responses, indicating that musicians and athletes share in the notion that they are talented and possess the necessary skills to succeed in music and in sports. The analyses of these statements indicated a predilection for one’s own personal proficiency and ability to help oneself during any activity. The remaining 9% of statements were dispersed among disparate areas discussed later.

A second analysis of subject responses was undertaken to determine if there was any significant difference between athletes and musicians by category. Four t-tests for independent samples were computed using raw scores from the statement analyses. Subject statements were converted to a numerical score and assigned one “point” based upon the number of their responses in each category of the study. For example, one form contained three responses that met the criteria of the category social/integrative, three responses applicable to self-efficacy, zero responses in the kinesthetic category, and one response in the self-esteem category. The dependent variable was the converted numerical scores assigned to the four categories and the independent variable was group. No significant differences were found (social/integrative t (158) = -1.25, p = .213; kinesthetic t (158) = -.1067, p = .915; self-esteem t (158) = .878, p = .381; self-efficacy t (158) = -734, p= .464) indicating that subject responses as grouped into the four categories of social/integrative, kinesthetic, self-esteem, and self-efficacy, were not significantly different between athletes or musicians.

Discussion

Throughout the United States, secondary school students participate in extracurricular athletic and musical activities. While schools, supportive organizations, and researchers cite utilitarian benefits such as improved attendance, higher test scores, better academic grades, and fewer at-risk behaviors (Eccles, Barber, Stone, & Hunt, 2003; Lee, 1996; Jaffee and Ricker, 1993; Holland & Andre, 1994; Duda, 1989; Nolin & Vander Ark, 1977; Eccles & Barber, 1999; Ebie 1998; Cutietta & Ebie, 1994; Cooley, 1992), it is generally not known if these beliefs have any impact on why students themselves choose to participate in extracurricular activities. Further, it is not known if participants in the two after-school extracurricular areas highest in participation—athletics and music—experience similar or dissimilar reasons for choosing to engage in activities beyond the normal school day.

The goal of the current investigation was to identify reasons for participation in extracurricular athletic or musical activities as reported by involved students. An open-ended question was used to allow subjects to respond freely, without any additional guidance. Subject responses were then analyzed for content, coded, and placed into four primary categories extrapolated during the coding process. The four categories were: social/integrative, kinesthetic, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. Based on national data suggesting that the majority of students who choose extracurricular participation select athletics or music and based on the similarity of these students’ scores on indices of school success (Ingels, Burns, Chen, Cataldi, & Charleston, 2005; Moore, Hatcher, Vandivere, & Brown, 1999), the decision was made to investigate both athletes and musicians.

The most important finding of this research was that athletes and musicians described similar reasons for choosing to participate in sports or music, according to the four categories outlined above. Meaningful experiences were important to the participants, and it was clear that they had opinions on the topic. This finding supports earlier research in both athletics and music. Previously, Freyer (1997) revealed that student athletes chose to participate in sports because of their desire for the social and psychological aspects of teamwork. Lee (1996) found that athletes described a need for high integration with others and were proud of their athletic abilities. Hylton (1981) found that student musicians chose to participate in their school choirs for a variety of reasons, categorized five ways: psychological, communicative, integrative, musical-artistic, and spiritualistic. Musician responses in the current investigation were similar and appropriate to each of Hylton’s categories. Athlete responses shared many commonalities with Hylton’s categories suggesting a relationship between underlying reasons for participation.

The social/integrative category received the highest number of statements. Both musicians and athletes reported that they chose to participate in extracurricular activities for reasons including being around others of like interest, working together as a team to achieve a common goal, making and maintaining friendships, to “have fun” while playing a sport or music, and to communicate through their activities. This finding is consistent with Lee (1996), Freyer (1997) and Hylton (1981) each of whom found similar reasons for participation in such activities. Working toward a common goal with one’s team or musical ensemble was a recurring theme in the responses. One subject wrote of the experience “It’s so cool to be working together trying to reach the same goal; each one of us is giving it everything.” Although it appears this comment could apply to an athletic activity, it came from a jazz band member.

The subjects in this study displayed a need to express themselves physically, supported in a study by Vajngerl (2000). In the case of the athletes, this desire was manifested in the physical movement and aggression that one experiences when playing an organized team sport. “The sore muscles, the aching knees, my back that just kills…but when we win, then it’s all worth it!” Another subject wrote, “if I couldn’t get out and run off this energy, I’d blow up.” There was also a desire among subjects to become better and stronger physically, and more adept at the activity. “I practice making shots all the time because I want to get better” one subject wrote. Musicians expressed very similar thoughts on this issue, and although not perhaps on as large a scale as athletes, they nevertheless expressed the need for physical movement. Such movement included playing instruments, marching, dancing, singing, and practicing. Statements in the kinesthetic category included: “I love marching in band and learning how to make our lines look so good,” and “playing the violin is my life. When I practice a section over and over until I get it, I know that I’m becoming a better musician and better player because of it.” One show choir member wrote “…working on getting every step in dance right to go with the music is fun, but also makes me a better musician and dancer because I can feel the music more.” Certainly musicians express themselves through music making, and perhaps these physical statements illuminate yet another dimension. Vajngerl (2000) wrote of “aesthetic movement” and the female athlete’s ability to express herself emotionally through physical movement. It is possible that the music subjects also express themselves through movement and music. Experiencing physicality in athletics and music seems important to both athletes and musicians.

The third category was self-esteem. Athletes and musicians described positive feelings because of participation. This finding supports in part Nolin and Vander Ark (1977) who found that students participating in music experience higher self-esteem than those who did not participate in music. It also confirms Lee (1996), Jaffee and Ricker (1993), Holland and Andre (1994) and Duda (1989) who demonstrated a clear link between athletic participation and higher self-esteem. One athlete wrote: “After I play in a game, or sometimes even after practice… I feel so much better about me” (emphasis in original). Another stated: “It really doesn’t even matter sometimes if we win. I like feeling good and that’s why I do this.” Musicians similarly wrote, “I love how music makes me feel inside.” “I love that music makes my self-esteem go totally off the scale.” “I just feel better when I play my trumpet or listen to music.” It is interesting to note that in some of the responses, participation in the activity seemed to be solely for the purpose of enhancing self-esteem, and not really toward any other goal.

The concept of self-efficacy, believing in one’s own abilities and confidence in his or her ability to manage situations (Ormrod, 2002), is drawn from the Social Learning Theory of Albert Bandura. Self-efficacy influences choices, effort, persistence, and feelings in situations. In the current study, subject responses were placed into this category when the response contained statements that indicated that the subject believed in his or her abilities on the playing field or in the musical ensemble. One comment from an athlete perhaps best summarizes the statements appearing in this category: “It’s a great feeling to know that I can play hard and that I have the skill it takes to out-shoot the other team in b[asket]ball.” A musician wrote: We’re playing this piece and I have the clarinet solo. I’ve practiced and I know I can play it well, even when the pressure’s on. That makes me so proud.” Based on these and other comments it seems that among the reasons for choosing to participate in extracurricular activities, both athletes and musicians believe in themselves and in their talents, skills, and abilities.

Throughout the analysis of the 406 statements, 37 were incongruous to the four categories of social/integrative, kinesthetic, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. Such responses included religion, career, and at-risk behaviors. Twelve music students and two athletes described religious reasons for participating in extracurricular activities. Hylton (1981) found a similar occurrence with respect to religious or spiritual responses. Musicians’ responses were generally from vocal music areas and included statements like: “I am so thankful to God for my talent.” An athlete wrote: “I try to do my best for God and my family.” The remaining spiritualistic statements were similar in content.

Participation in extracurricular activities because this involvement might lead toward a successful future was also discussed. Eleven athletes included statements about the future, such as “I want to go to college and sports is my ticket there.” One musician wrote: “I know that I can get a scholarship to college if I keep improving my voice, so I sing in all the choirs I can.”

Finally, eleven subjects responded with comments about extracurricular activities keeping them from at-risk behaviors. Such a finding, though small in size compared to the balance of this study, is nevertheless important and is supported by Eccles and Barber, (1999), Ebie (1998), Cutietta and Ebie (1994), and Cooley (1992). Illustrating this, in the current study an athlete wrote “sports can keep you straight so you don’t get into drugs.” A musician stated “I’m busy with show choir and after-school piano lessons. If I didn’t have that I’d be getting into something with my friends. I’m glad I have music.” While these findings are contradictory at some level to the findings of Eccles, Barber, Stone, and Hunt, (2003) and others, investigation is needed to determine if a positive relationship exists.

Implications and Directions for Future Study

Although music and athletics are different activities, participants in the current study experienced similar benefits and feelings from their involvement. In disciplines that often compete with one another for practice or rehearsal space, more cooperation and jointly supported activities are encouraged. As evidence of this, and as previously stated, no participants in this study reported involvement in both a school-sponsored sport and a music activity. Participation in these activities is widespread among adolescents in secondary schools, and although involvement is affected by socioeconomic status, these activities nevertheless attract high percentages of students (Ingels, Burns, Chen, Cataldi, & Charleston, 2005; Moore, Hatcher, Vandivere, & Brown, 1999). Given these similarities, school personnel are encouraged to seek out ways to involve students in activities across the diversity of these two curricula—perhaps specifically encouraging students to try an activity outside of their perceived comfort level. Athletes might find participation in musical activities to be rewarding, thereby taking steps toward removing stereotypes and diversifying and enhancing ensemble membership.

The researcher placed several limitations on this study and did not consider gender or grade level in the analysis of data. Furthermore, analysis by specific sport or by specific musical activity was not undertaken. A future study could investigate subject responses within these distinct categories. It is possible that further associations or delineations could be discovered as a result of additional analyses. Another limitation placed on this study was considering only extracurricular school-based offerings. Students participate in private music lessons, dance lessons, and various athletic pursuits (karate, twirling, etc) not sponsored by the local school. An examination and comparison of these individuals’ reasons for participation in such activities would be of interest.

That athletes and musicians share such an emotional connection to their avocation is of importance. Both groups in the current study reported the need to share the rich experience of their activity with others. Musicians wrote of communicating emotion through music, and athletes wrote of the emotional release of aggressive physical activity. Both groups reported enjoyment in becoming more skilled at their craft through practice. More investigation is needed to isolate any other factors that might be shared experiences between student participants in sports and music. Involvement in these activities may encourage emotionally healthy and lower-stress lives for students.

A future researcher might investigate the responses of subjects who enroll in music during the regular school day to determine if there are common rationale cited between these participants and the after-school participants—many of whom may participate in both. A comparison of students who pursue athletic activities and also take physical education courses during the regular school day would likely prove more difficult to compare as there are typically not “team” sports offered during the school day in physical education elective courses.

In a recent poll of the public’s attitude toward public schools conducted by the Gallup organization and Phi Delta Kappan (2005), parents of students in schools and adults without students in schools agreed that earning average grades in school and participating in extracurricular activities was more important to the experience of children than earning “A’s.” In addition, these same respondents preferred that schools offer a wide variety of courses to students rather than focusing only on basic curricula. Findings in the Gallup/PDK poll suggest parental and public support for a well rounded and complete educational experience is on the rise during the past four years. Subjects in the current study were aware of the value of music and sports in their lives and are seemingly supported by public opinion.

The benefits of extracurricular activities for students in secondary schools have been established by previous researchers and are supported in the current study. Athletes and musicians surveyed as a part of this study reported real and personally positive experiences as a result of these additional, supplemental opportunities in extracurricular athletics or music, and trends suggest that students will increasingly participate in school-sponsored extracurricular activities.

The findings of this study are not meant to diminish the importance of curricular offerings in music and physical education during the regular school day. Rather, these findings may be seen as additional evidence of the value of self-expression to students—a value to which music educators have always subscribed. It is hoped that the findings of this study will be of use to the profession as we continue to seek improvement in our educational structure and course offerings.

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About the Author - Brian Ebie, assistant professor of music education and interim assistant dean for academic student services at the University of Arizona, has been active as a music educator at both secondary and higher education levels for over 17 years. Prior to his appointment at Arizona, Dr. Ebie was on the faculty of The University of Akron as an adjunct professor of music education and organ, and served as a faculty senator.

Dr. Ebie completed the Ph.D. in music education at Kent State University and studied choral conducting with Dr. C. M. Shearer (KSU) and Dr. Edward Maclary (University of Maryland), and organ with Barbara MacGregor (University of Akron). Active as a researcher, he is a frequent presenter at state, regional, and national research symposia and has articles published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Psychology of Music and Contributions to Music Education.

Dr. Ebie is currently President of Arizona Collegiate Music Educators and is a member of the national review board of the Desert Skies Symposium for Research in Music Education.

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