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Music and how it Effects Academic Performance

My study focuses on students at university level and why they choose listening or not listening to music while they are studying. My research is about music and performance. This fact is needed to be considered especially by the students a lot because it would help them increase concentration in their study materials and would improve their academic grades. It has been found that people who study with music have better GPAs and are higher achievers than those who aren't involved in music. Music not only provides entertainment and beautiful sounds, but it has a remarkable effect on memory and learning.

BACKGROUND

Few years back there was a concept that music distracts the academic performance of students. Even my parents used to agree to this fact that music distracts the academic performance. But now researches show that music increases the concentration level while studying, solving problems. Now days most of the students have their own iPods and they study along with it.Advanced technology has made music accessible to everyone through internet. These people can just go on internet and through one click can download several songs of their choice in no time. That’s the reason I choosed this topic as my research. I wanted to know that does music really increases the academic performance of students.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Academic performance

Pitch

Tone

Volume of music

Music

INTERVENING VARIABLES

DEPENDENT VARIABLE

My dependent variable was academic performance of students LSE.

INDEPENDENT VARIABLE

My independent variable in this research was music.

INTERVENING VARIABLE

Pitch

Tone

Volume of music

NULL HYPOTHESIS

There is no relationship between any type of music and students’ academic performance.

ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS

There is a relationship between pop music and students’ academic performance at LSE.

ALTERNATIVE DIRECTIONAL HYPOTHESIS

There is a positive relationship between academic performance of the students and music.

METHODOLOGY

PARTICIPANTS

My research was a group based study. In order to test my hypothesis a laboratory experiment with maximum interference in the work environment hence controlling certain variables in order to study the effect of those variables. Participants were students were chosen through random sampling from LSE. These group of students belonged to the BBA honors program.

APPARATUS AND PROCEDURE

I-PODs

Test paper having 10 multiple choice arithmetic questions and 10 multiple choice questions on comprehension passage on presentation skills

SAMPLE SIZE

My total sample size was 60. Which were further sub-divided into control group and an experimental group of 30students each. These groups of students were then asked to solve the arithmetic questions, read the comprehensions in the presence of music. Students answered 10 arithmetic problems, and read comprehension passages and then answer the questions given at the end, without discussing it with their peers. Later, same test was given to the control group and they solved it in the absence of music.

The sample was selected using table 11.3 from the book Research Methods for Business by Uma Sekaran.

The experiment which I carried out was a lab experiment consisting of experimental group and a control group. In LSE it was carried out in J1 and H2 auditoriums simultaneously under normal room temperature. In J1 I had the control group who solved the given test without music and in H2 I had experimental group which solved the similar group with the music played in I-pods which consist of music in the background.

In order to measure the reliability of my testing instruments, test-retest reliability technique was used in which a group of 7 students having GPA above 3 were handed assessment worksheet. After 5 days the same students were tested by making them solve the same worksheet and both the test scored were then compared. Results were positive. Hence this proved that the instruments were highly reliable.

The test papers used to measure the academic performance of students had high content validity as it consisted only of basic mathematical questions and comprehension passage.

RESULTS

My study showed that students who solved the test in isolation performed lesser than the ones who solved the same test while listening to music on an I-Pod. In fact the students who solved the test listening to music did so much quicker than the latter. Percentage calculated in order to determine the performance level of the groups through the marks obtained.

i) Experimental Group

86.70%(520/600*100)

ii) Control Group

56.50%(339/600*100)

DISCUSSION

Mental performance can be enhanced by exposure to music. As this research and also similar types of researches conducted worldwide showed positive results so it would be a better suggestion for the students to listen to music while reading any type of material and solving any kind of mathematical problems so as to increase their concentration level. Also music is believed to provide soothing effect to the brain cells so it is in the great advantage of the students to listen to music while reading and solving math problems as it would make them more focused on the material being studied and also would make their minds relax.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I am grateful for the cooperation and interest of my professor, Mr. Humair Hashmi, who guided me in every step of this research. It would have been impossible to finish this report without his supervision.

I would also like to thank students of LSE for participating for taking the time out and participating and making this research possible.

REFERENCES

Textbooks

Uma Sekaran (2000) Business Research Methods; a skill building approach. Fourth Edition

Assessment Worksheet was taken from net and he questions were made with the help of Mrs. Asma Sattar and Prof. Shakeel Bhukari

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