Introduction Teaching has become an increasingly challenging task for teachers who have students from various backgrounds. Occasionally, students are taught with methods which do not accommodate their learning styles, which results in poor performance.
Also, teachers feel increased stress and pressure because of emphasis on standardized testing. Furthermore, they are under pressure from the parents who just want to see a significant improvement in the student’s results. Many educators spend time doing a research on a best and suitable method to teach the students to find out the best way to intrigue the interest of students. Research has proven that incorporating the artsis an effective means to improve learning across the academic spectrum (Americans for the Arts, (2007). Studies show that music education is being used as a tool for learning, enjoying and retaining information (Hetland, 2000, Vaughn, 2000, Graziano, Peterson, & Shaw, 1999). Music can be integrated with reading, math, science, and social studies curriculum to enhance their abilities in each of these academic areas. A recent study suggests that when music is played in the background during a lesson, there is a slight increase in learning, but when students have an opportunity to connect more than one subject; it becomes more meaningful (Giles & Frego, 2004). The integration of music is being used in some classrooms today to help students achieve success.
In 1995, Liora Bresler found four styles of arts integration: The Subservient Approach, The Affective Style, The Social Integration Style, and The Co-equal CognitiveStyle, which were used in regular classrooms (Irwin, Gouzouassis, Grauer, Leggo & 1 Springgay, 2006). Each of the styles describes how classroom teachers can use music to enhance their lessons (Giles, & Frego, 2004). There are many reasons why music plays an integral part in learning. Since the publishing of The Mozart Effect (a study on classical music on the mind) by Don Campbell, music is becoming a more powerful tool.
More recent studies have been conducted to show the importance of music in the classroom (Giles & Frego, 2004, Hetland, 2000, Vaughn, 2000, Graziano, Peterson, & Shaw, 1999). These studies have found the benefits of including music concepts inregular curriculum. Music can be applied to learning the skills needed in mathematics. Earlychildhood teachers use songs and nursery rhymes to teach reading in their classrooms.
Some students are able to remember songs better than spoken words. Using songs and different music components can also help teach mathematics because of the high correlation between music and spatial-temporal reasoning skills (Hetland, 2000). The main objective of this research is to studying students’ mathematical performance based upon cognitive dimension of Revised Bloom Taxonomy (RBT) when music is applied. Bloom’s taxonomy was first described as a hierarchical model for the cognitive domain in 1956 (Bloom et al, 1956).
It consists of six skill levels of learning which increase in complexity starting with knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. In other words, Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain, from simple recall or recognition of facts, as the lowest level, through increasing more complex and abstract mental levels, to the highest order which is classified as evaluation. Therefore, the Bloom’s Taxonomy can be a tool to measure the students’ mathematical performance. The significant of this study is to identify the best music genre that helps students to enjoy and apply certain mathematical concepts and whether it is applicable to integrate the music into the educational system.
Using concrete music instruction might be a way for students to enjoy lessons and also apply the skills that are taught.Statement of problem This thesis examined whether the first year students in MARA College Seremban solve mathematical problems better with the aid of music by comparing the results of several students, who solve the questions without listening to music and the results of students who solve the problems while listening to music. The differences in scores will be taken to find out the most suitable genre for students to listen while solving the mathematical questions. As a first year student, I found it difficult for me to concentrate doing my mathematics homework for a long period of time without being distracted. I noticed when the music is played, it is much easier for me to completed the task given by the teacher.
In addition, a number of the students in my classroom have a difficult time learning math facts and meeting the standards when they are taught in the traditional way. I noticed when music is used collectively with the other subjects, the students were more engaged. The significant of this study is to identify the best music genre that aids students to enjoy and apply certain mathematical concepts and whether it is applicable to integrate the music into the educational system. Methodology For this study, a test had been conducted to identify the best music genre which helps students to improve their grades. 10 students had been chosen randomly to solve mathematical problems which suits the Bloom’s Taxonomy. After short period of time, the students will retake the test that testing the same concepts but in the presence of music.
The differences of scores between taking the test in a complete silence with taking the test while listening to music were observed. Analysis of the marks difference when different genre of music was being played is taken. To assist this research, an online survey is conducted for 100 first year students in MARA College Seremban on their opinions towards the aid of music in their math learning using SurveyMonkey as a tool to aid in this study.