Feedback from stakeholders

“I am interesting with the research ” How can Classical Music Reinforce the Attention of Thai Secondary School Students in the class” because the project reveal the classical music has some positive effects on attention of secondary students and can be utilized in various for the students of Thailand . For example ,  we can put this program before students getting to attend difficult subject like Math. However, the method could use some modifications with university students here as they are older and might have higher pressures than secondary students but it also means that their thoughts could be more critical which i think it could be a great challenge for you.”

Akharawong Barameethanaset
The director of Uthaithanee Community College

 

“I personally believe that classical music can help improved children’s IQ , EQ and MQ. The project would be valuable for children’s development as can help them in many ways . Self-Expression is one of the skills that would be essential in the era of Thailand 4.0 (It’s new economic model to push Thailand up in high-income range )which you needed to be adaptive to gain new knowledge constantly in the modern world. Moreover,  the use of Thai classical music as a way to develop their concentration and elevate mood level is something that gives great values to the heritage of our culture . I trust that this project could positively apply to schools in my jurisdiction.”

Mr. Veera Khaengkasikarn the Deputy permanent secretary of Regional Education  of Office No.2 ,Ministry of education

 

Research implication and future implication

The result provided an implication that even short duration of classical music listening could reduce Thai students to some extent.  As to a future implication, it was obvious that the way participating students listen to classical music was similar to the way a Buddhist performs a mindfulness practice which was common in Thailand and it was proved helpful in reducing stress of American students (e.g. Bringus, 2016; Sherman, 2017).  This traditional practice in Thai culture might be combined with classical music for use in school.

As to the area of studies to be further conducted, I reviewed Chan et al. (2011). They systematically searched 9 databases and reviewed 17 studies including various types of trials of music listening in reducing depressive symptoms in adults. In so doing, they conclude that “all types of music can be useful as listening material”. It also consistent with the result of the small intervention conduced by Miss Panchai on November 23, 2018.  So, this conclusion and the small intervention justified my recommendation that further studies also focus on music of other types including music in Eastern civilizations which was regrettably overlooked.

Reference

Chan, M.F., Wong, Z.Y., and Thayala, N.V. (2011) ‘The effectiveness of music listening in reducing depressive symptoms in adults: A systematic review’, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 19 (6), pp. 332 – 348. Available at https://doi-org/10.1016./j.ctim2011.08.003 (Downloaded: 31 August 2018).

Sherman, J. (2017) Mindfulness: action research examining the effectiveness of mindfulness in a Montessori Small-group intervention setting. A Master’s Paper. Available at http://minds.wisconsin.edu>handle>s (Downloaded: 20 October 2018)

Bringus, R. (2016) The effectiveness of mindfulness on students’ attention. Masters of Arts in Education Action Research Papers. St. Catherine University. Available at http://sophia.stkate.edu/maed/ 187 (Downloaded: 20 October 2018)

Small intervention

On November 23, 2018, Miss Panchai’s report was sent to me.  The report revealed that both students’ math scores and Anxiety level were improved after music listening,  These two students (14 and 15 years old)were requested to take section one of the test consisting 20 questions before listening to music.  Out of total scores of 20, scores of the student participating in the Mozart’s session were 16 while scores of another were 14.  After the intervention, both were requested to take section two consisting of 20 questions as well.  Post-intervention scores of Mozart’s session student were 18 and she finished the test before time two minutes while scores of another were 17 and he finished just in time.  For the Anxiety level, Male scored lower from 4 to 3 and Female also scored lower from 3 to 2 . Miss Panchai also told me that both paid good attention to intervention. She also mentioned that a male student was a bit slow at the beginning and .get stuck from time to time. But after music listening, he seemed has more confidence and started to build his speed up to finish with better scores. For a female student, she had done  fast from the beginning and even faster after music listening.

These were the songs they listened to. All of the songs were considered as a master piece in their culture.

 

Asian Classical

Written by Qin dynasty (221-206 BC) composer Yu Boya, this piece is written for the guqin, also called the qin (gu means ancient), a seven-stringed member of the zither family that has changed little if at all in the last three millennia.

Ranat-Ake or Thai Xylophone ,  Traditional Thai instrument that has over 3000 years history.

Feedback from testers

Male student : ” I think the Thai song can make me feel really uplifting when the rhythm and melodies started to accelerate which makes me feel encouraged ”

Female student : “There was a variety of melodies that makes me feel like i’m in the place where it’s so peaceful . I think it helps me in decreasing the pressure of doing exam”

 

To respond to David’s suggestion

Obviously, this report clearly answered David’s question whether or not Eastern classical music can provide positive effects.  Fortunately, the answer is positive but because it was the result of such a small intervention, more studies on it is needed to confirm this answer. Also, they don’t have enough time to swap the test which i missed a chance to gain more of feedback as  stakeholders can compare and contrast.

Further , to answer if they would academically improve their Math Subject in their class is still arguable even though their score was improved in intervention. This is because the Math Test that they’ve done might not be as same as they normally do in class as this is Math speed test which focus more on speed rather than solving complex equation. However , according to the result , it showed that they have better attention.

As to European classical music, I think Mozart’s can represent must kinds of classical music in the Western world.  As the intervention totally conduced by myself told me, most students were worried about math class.  This was also true for the two students taking the math test conducted by Miss Panchai.  It should be observed that the two schools on which the interventions took place were local schools.  Most of their students were poor and had many types of difficulty.  Math anxiety of these students can reflect both their family well-being and their shoot status.

Additionally, It is true that what the research focus on was students’ anxiety instead of their attention which is essential to educational success.  But the attention of students, as suggested by secondary theories I had surveyed, can be impaired by their anxiety and hence students’ anxiety can reflect their attention.  So, the way to reduce students’ class anxiety is helpful to their ability to maintain attention which is essential to their class success.

 

Reference

http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/features/Performing_Arts-Classical_Music/37955/Listen-The-top-ten-traditional-Chinese-songs-you-need-to-hear.html

ข้อสอบพร้อมเฉลย การแข่งขันคณิตศาสตร์และคณิตคิดเร็ว ระดับภาค และระดับประเทศ

https://thaimusicinstrument.blogspot.com/2015/10/21-39.html

What I learned from the research result and how it can be utilized?

What the research result also told me was the value of classical music which was more than I imagined.  Although the positive effects of classical music on attention of Thai students were not observable, it obviously made these students calmer and more relaxed.  This finding was consistent with the researches such as Chou (2010).  So, apart from reinforce students’ attention, classical music would be beneficial to their own social-emotional health.

The research also told me that music listening was in someway related to students’ anxiety.  As indicated in table 1, among ten students, seven had mild degree stress and two had moderate stress.  Man, who told me that he usually don’t listen to music, was the only one who had most stress. Also , I realized that even though these students expressed their concerns about Math subject , most of them had minimal level of anxiety according to the result of anxiety test. Further, this also indicates that these students might not be acquainted with the self-evaluation of their stress.  So, its accuracy must be considered carefully.

The research results can be utilized in various secondary schools of Thailand.  It seems that political approaches such as that of Georgia governor Zell Miller to provide every child born in Georgia with a tape or CD of classical music (Mozart effect, n.d.) are not appropriate in Thai educational context.  I recommend that a music appreciation program be arranged in all Thai secondary schools.  This program would allow students to listen to classical music regularly over an appropriate time span and in appropriate environments and to know some music history as an essential part of human civilization.

There were some limitations on the part of the research. One worth mentioning was the use of the Anxiety Test. As the Test as modified classified the students’ anxiety into four levels, it was a crude classification. As to the way all participants were recruited, they all were volunteers who loved music and were prepared to embrace music of any types and hence might not represent some portion of the target population . As to the way participants were recruited, they all were volunteers who loved music and were prepared to embrace music of any types and hence might not represent some portion of the target population.

References

Chou, P.T. (2010) ‘Attention drainage effect: how background music effects concentration in Taiwanese college students’, Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(1), pp. 36 – 46.

‘Mozart effect’ (n.d.) Wikipedia. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozart_effect (Downloaded: 6 November 2018)

Tutoring

These are comments from David

  • I should look into research about attention span as this is not just about anxiety
  •  I could do some intervention with Math test as feedback told me that students  have stress with Math class
  • Is it possible to improve their Math’s ability?
  • Is there equivalent to European Classical music ?  Why it is just Mozart ? Is Eastern Classical music can also provide positive effect(especially from my home town)?

In response to these comments, I requested Miss Panchai Saetan who was a teacher of Watprachasathatham school and was acquainted with my family, arranged a small intervention at her school.  I told her to conduct two music listening sessions performing concurrently.  Mozart’s was used for one and Chinese and Thai Classical music for another.  Only one student participated in each session.  Apart from pre- and post-intervention tests and in-depth interview, there were math test from I.A.M.A.  (International Abacus and Mathematics Association) which was used in a national speed math competition.  She told me that such intervention will be conducted on in two or three weeks.

 

Response from school

On October 12, 2018, Miss Chanan’s report was sent to me.  In the report form, I listed displaying signs of anxiety of students to be observed:

(1)       arguing,

(2)       complaining,

(3)       lack of focus,

(4)       avoidance, and

(5)       work refusal.

According to the report, between September 24 to October 8, 2018, there was not any change in any items of the displaying signs of anxiety of the ten students observable.

It seemed that this report could not change the field data analysis earlier concluded.  This report justified a further conclusion that the positive effects of classical music listening on attention of these students were not so great that they were observable.

Why was the change not observable?           

As to the changes of anxiety symptoms of students which were not observable as reported by the school deputy director, it could be explained.  This was due to the duration of the intervention.

According to Chan et al. (2011), “it is recommended that music listening session be conducted repeatedly over a time period of more than 3 weeks to allow an accumulative effect to occur”.  For this intervention, the music listening sessions had been conducted three times over a time span of 8 days which was very short.  Moreover, the music listening was sometime disturbed by the noise outside.  So, the change would not be so evident that it was observable.

The final conclusion I would reach was that to effectively reinforce the attention of Thai secondary school students in the class by classical music, the music listening sessions are to be conducted regularly over an appropriate time span and in appropriate environments.

Reference

Chan, M.F., Wong, Z.Y., and Thayala, N.V. (2011) ‘The effectiveness of music listening in reducing depressive symptoms in adults: A systematic review’, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 19 (6), pp. 332 – 348. Available at https://doi-org/10.1016./j.ctim2011.08.003 (Downloaded: 31 August 2018).

Share my breakthrough story in class

Today, I had opportunity to share my story about breakthrough . After I shifted my content from music therapy to music for heath and well-being as to avoid ethical conflicts. As a result, I realized that even though the result of my first intervention(Kovitthamrong School) was not show any significant change . However, what I have learnt about it is that i might have not tested with the right target audience which led me to another stakeholders(Pracharaj Bampen School) which are students who needed help with their studies.

How did I arrange the data collected?

While waiting for the report of Miss Chanan on the changes of students’ anxiety since the day after the intervention, I arranged the data collected in the three days of intervention.

I looked at pre- and post-intervention test scores of each student. What I wanted to know was whose total post-intervention scores were lower indicating the reduction of his anxiety as the result of the intervention and whose scores did not change indicating no effect occurred as the result of the intervention.

For analytical use, I created table 1. It consisted of four columns. Column 2 indicated scores of each question (in column 1) of each student with the total scores indicated at the bottom of each box. Column 3 indicated the post-intervention test score of each student in the same manner. Column 4 indicated the changes. The rest of the table was left for noting in-depth interview of each student.

How did the table help me?         

Table 1 provided me with a clear picture of data to be analyzed quantitatively.

When I look at column 4, I found that there were five students having post-intervention test scores lower than their pre-intervention test scores.  They were Hoke (score change = -1), Dan (-1), Song (-2) and Tee (-2).  The number of five out of ten students having scores lower, indicating they were less stressed as the result of the participation, could be explained that positive effects of music listening on student’s attention were insignificant.  Furthermore, the score change of Pai (+2) indicated the negative effects of the intervention.

Table 1 Results from Questionnaire

Questions Pre-invention Post-invention Change Answers to interview questions
1. Omo
(1) 0 0 0 Enjoyable when hearing music; less stressed by music; prefer favorite song to classical music; relax stress by talking with friends; believe classical music can relax stress.
(2) 0 1 +1
(3) 1 1 0
(4) 1 0 -1
2 2 0
2. Ball
(1) 1 1 0 Have good dream when hearing music; less stressed by music; Relax stress by hearing music, watching TV, enjoyably eating KFC; want to hear classical music more and longer.

 

 

(2) 2 1 -1
(3) 1 1 0
(4) 0 1 +1
4 4 0
3. Pai
(1) 0 0 0 Feel relaxed by music; relax stress by talking with friends; feel more encouraged when hearing classical music . he thinks that 20minutes is too long
(2) 0 1 +1
(3) 0 1 +1
(4) 0 0 0
0 2 +2
4. Hoke
(1) 1 1 0 Walk around school building when stressed; want to hear classical music more; feel more pleasant to hear it.
(2) 1 1 0
(3) 0 0 -1
(4) 0 0 0
3 2 -1
5. Dan
(1) 1 1 0 Worried about homework; relax stress by hearing pop songs; less stressed when hearing music.
(2) 1 1 0
(3) 1 1 0
(4) 1 0 -1
4 3 -1
6. Man
(1) 2 1 -1 Be enchanted by music hearing; usually don’t listen to music; relax stress by sleeping.
(2) 1 3 +2
(3) 4 3 -1
(4) 1 0 -1
8 9 -1
7. Song
(1) 1 0 -1 Feel rarely stressed; never worried about the  class; reasonably worried about behaviors of friends; listening music of all types.
(2) 1 0 -1
(3) 0 0 0
(4) 2 0 0
2 0 -2
8. Woody
(1) 0 0 0 Be happy when hearing classical music; rarely stressed; feel more encouraged when hearing classical music.
(2) 1 1 0
(3) 1 1 0
(4) 0 0 0
2 2 0
9. Tee
(1) 0 0 0 Feel as if in sleep when hearing classical music; slightly worried about math; believe music can release stress.
(2) 1 0 -1
(3) 1 0 -1
(4) 0 0 0
2 0 -2
10. Tua
(1) 0 0 0 Enjoyable when hearing music; rarely stressed; relax stress by hearing pop music and playing sports; believe classical can reduce stress.
(2) 1 1 0
(3) 0 0 0
(4) 0 0 0
1 1 0

How about in-depth interview?  

The number of students having scores decreased became slightly improved when taking into account in-depth interview of these students.  For students having scores unchanged, the in-depth interview revealed that all of them also welcomed the intervention.  Omo (pre-intervention score: post-intervention score = 2:2) told me in the third day interview he believed hearing music could reduce stress and made him comfortable.   Ball (4:4) expressed the same view saying he believed music could reduce his math anxiety and useful for his personal life.  Woody (2:2) told me that music made him more encouraged.  Even Tua (1:1), who was a highly successful sportsman and felt rarely stressed, expressed their feeling that he felt more encouraged by music.

As to one student who had score higher (Pai, +2), He was also insisted that the intervention was somehow helpful but he thinks 20 minutes for music hearing was too long for the session.

How about group discussion?    

The number of students having scores decreased was also supported by the data collected by group discussion.  When I asked their opinion about the session , most of them think that it was helpful with their study.  However, Man (8:7), who told me in both interviews he was always stressed and he relaxed stress by sleeping without hearing music, later on raised his hand and said he thought music of any types could reduce stress to some extent and in sometime.  But it could not make him so smart that he could get a good grade in math.  His friends were apparently satisfied with his comment an applauded for him but no one further commented.

How could I conclude my research?    

It seemed clear that, on the part of five students having scores unchanged and one having scores higher, the data from in-depth interview and group discussion could outweigh quantitative data.  So, it could preliminarily conclude that the field data analysis revealed that, at least to some extent, the classical music could reduce class anxiety of Thai secondary school students and hence helped reinforce their attention.

 

2nd session and last session

In the second day intervention, which held on September 17,2018, there were only two activities, i.e. the listening of music and imagination writing of students.  These two activities were similar to the practices of the first day intervention but that day i only have a short time to so there was no any interview after the session. It took me only about an hour to complete the music listening session.

Students seemed to be more relaxed as we started to feel more comfortable getting to know each other. We moved to conference room where it was more quite to conduct an intervention and the room also have air conditioners so students can be fully at ease. They even asked me if they could lay down on the floor while listening to musics. I didn’t refuse that as I want to make them feel comfortable . It showed that they were very much relaxed . However, there were few of them started to playing each other while everyone listening to musics. The assistant teacher had to step up telling them to stop playing and to be more focused on the process. This showed that some of these students can lose their focus easily.

 

How did the third day of intervention go on?

The third day intervention hold on September 21, 2018.  I arrived at school at 1 as a usual.  Two parts of music session were conducted in the same ways as the previous two.

After the music session of this day was completed, I conducted the post-intervention test.  Again, the Anxiety Test as modified was used.

How did the in-depth interview of third day go on; what data I could collect from the interview?

Apart from the quantitative evaluation, there were in-depth interviews in the third day intervention.

As in-depth interview questions were relating to conditions of students who had participated in all phases of the intervention, they were reasonably different from those used in the first day intervention.  These questions include:

(1)       What are you worried about regarding to the class (if any)?

(2)       It your anxiety exists, do you think music can decrease it?

(3)       How does it make you feel while listening to music?

Again, I explained each question clearly and noted each answer by myself and comforted each student in organizing his answer. The followings were answers to the questions.

Omo

Omo told me that, with regarding the class, what he was worried about was math.  He felt he was sometimes stressed and hearing music could reduce stress.  It made him more comfortable and more encouraged although he felt math was still a hard subject.

Ball

Ball told me that only math that made him reasonably worried about and he felt stressed when he thought of it. He believed that his stress had been slightly relaxed when hearing music.  Music hearing made him feel encouraged. He believed hearing this kind of music for a period of time could keep him a way from stress and also could be useful for his personal life.

Pai

He told me he was worried about math which was very difficult. Math teachers were very kind but the subject content was complicate.  A lot of math homework were assigned to him and his friends.  Apart from math, there were nothing causing him stressed.  When hearing the music, he thought about math and class environments which makes him feel a bit stressed in a first part of the song but at the end of the song he felt more encouraged. He explained to me that it might be the rhythm of the song that makes him feel like that. He also felt that 20 minutes might be too long for him.

Hoke

He told me that what he was worried about was his math class. It was very difficult for him and his friends. It made him feel stressed which was reasonably reduced when hearing music. He believed that music hearing would make him strong enough to struggle with math.

Dan

Dan told me what he was worried about was math. Only math that made him stressed.  His stress might be slightly reduced by hearing this type of music. It was useful more than he thought. He felt more encouraged when hearing it.

Man

Man told me that he was worried about math. He felt less anxious when hearing music but he was not sure that music hearing could make him more concentrated. Any way, he felt more comfortable when hearing music.

Song

Song told me that he was rarely stressed. Even in the math class, he felt comfortable . He believed music hearing made him more concentrated.

Woody

Woody insisted that he was worried about nothing. He did not have any difficulty even in math class. He felt more encouraged when hearing music.

Tee

Tee told me what he was worried about was his math class.  He had to face voluminous homework assigned.  He was not worried about math teachers, who were very helpful and respectful.  He was worried only about the subject content of math.  He was reasonably encouraged by music hearing of to day.

Tua

As in the first day interview, Tua insisted that with regarding to math and other subjects, he was worried about nothing. He felt happy and more encouraged when hearing music.

After completion of the in-depth interview, I conducted a group discussion.

When I asked the whole group how did they feel for this intervention, all students said OK. Some said the room was comfortably cool and they wanted to join the event like this frequently. After informal chatting, I requested students to express their opinion freely. All seemed to to think that classical music can make them relaxed. Man was the only student who raised his hand and said that he was attending a math class as soon as the intervention ended. He told me to ask the school administrator to reduce math homework. He admitted that in sometime and to some extent, music hearing could reduce his math anxiety but he did think it could make him smart enough to get a good grade from his math teachers. Most participants were satisfied with his comment. Man’s enthusiastic participation could make the discussion more lively. They applauded for Man but no one further commented.

Before leaving, I talked with Miss Chanan and her assistant who told me that they both knew all students very well. I reminded them to observe symptoms of class anxiety of these students for the time span of two weeks and reported to me whether there were any changes after the intervention.

I spent more than two hours with students for the third day intervention

 

 

 

 

Analysis, Emphasis shift and Modified Question

What I learned from the intervention was more and more crystalized. The attention is one of the contributing factors of success in in school. To be successful, students have to have the ability to maintain attention for a specific task (Bringus, 2016, p.5).

As attention is a cognitive process, it can be impaired by anxiety symptoms (Perri, 2017). So, tools that can reduce students’ anxiety are directly helpful to their ability to maintain attention. Examples of behaviors indicating anxiety are “being impulsive, short-tempered, having difficulty starting classwork or planning ahead, and lacking ability to organize classwork” (Sherman, 2017, p 3).

Due to the critical importance of attention, many types of tools to reduce students’ anxiety and hence to help them maintain their attention are developed. An example of tools to reduce these behavior of American students is the Buddhist mindfulness practice which had been proved reasonable effective (Bringus, 2016; Perri, 2017; Sherman, 2017)

The idea to use classical music as a way to reduce students’ anxiety and hence to help them maintain attention seems relate to the concept of Mozart effect. This term first coined in 191 by Alfred A. Tomatis who used Mozart’s music as the listening stimulus to cure a variety of disorders. It was later interpreted that “listening to Mozart makes you smarter” (Mozart effect, n.d.). This interpretation is supported by researches that show an improvement in reading comprehension test performance when Mozart music was used (Chou, 2010, p.42). Also, it is suggested that listening to classical music, as well as other types of music, for a period of time can reduce depressing symptoms in adult population (Chan, Wong, and Thananya, 2011).

The research suggested me to look at classical music as a tool to help Thai secondary school students to maintain their attention in the class. Apart from that, I surveyed research on school pressure in general as hinted by the topic previously proposed. Found that the pressure most students were facing was attention in the class which was essential to school success. I also found that symptoms. Then I related the class anxiety to classical music which was interesting for me. Instead of studying student’s attention directly, I focused on student’s anxiety which indicated their attention and surveyed more research on school success and music for well-being.

As such, I had to narrow down my research topic earlier proposed: How can music support generationZ in managing pressure of school? My research as finalized emphasized the positive effects of classical music on attention of Thai secondary school students in the class.Therefore , my altered question is “How can classical music reinforce the attention of Thai secondary school students in the class?” 

Reference

Bringus, R. (2016) The effectiveness of mindfulness on students’ attention. Masters of Arts in Education Action Research Papers. St. Catherine University. Available at http://sophia.stkate.edu/maed/ 187 (Downloaded: 20 October 2018).

Chan, M.F., Wong, Z.Y., and Thayala, N.V. (2011) ‘The effectiveness of music listening in reducing depressive symptoms in adults: A systematic review’, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 19 (6), pp. 332 – 348. Available at https://doi-org/10.1016./j.ctim2011.08.003 (Downloaded: 31 August 2018).

Chou, P.T. (2010) ‘Attention drainage effect: how background music effects concentration in Taiwanese college students’, Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(1), pp. 36 – 46.

‘Mozart effect’ (n.d.) Wikipedia. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozart_effect (Downloaded: 6 November 2018)

Perri, S.(2017) ‘The impact of a mindfulness-based intervention on elementary school students anxiety level’ Counselor Education Capstone. 38. Available at http://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/ede_capstone138 (Downloaded: 17 November 2018).

Sherman, J. (2017) Mindfulness: action research examining the effectiveness of mindfulness in a Montessori Small-group intervention setting. A Master’s Paper. Available at http://minds.wisconsin.edu>handle>s (Downloaded: 20 October 2018).