This dataset is one output of the ARC Linkage Project, Implementation and evaluation of an intensive music education program for schoolchildren (Music 4 All), where Monash University Researchers, Nikki Rickard and Fintan Murphy investigated the value of music in the Australian school curriculum and looked at the effects that music training had on academic skills (such as literacy and numeracy) and self confidence. This dataset collected by Fintan Murphy contains the results of baseline testing and testing at yearly intervals following the introduction of a classroom-based string program. It also contains the results of testing which looked in particular at the influence juggling has on coordination in violin playing. 142 participants, who were Primary School Children aged 7-12, from five schools were assessed for musical skills. Each participant completed a personal details form to record age, gender, favourite leisure activities and informal and formal music training. There was a control group of 68 children (who had no violin or juggling tuition), a group of 82 children who received only violin tuition through the Intensive Strings program and a group that received juggling plus violin tuition. Each participant completed a baseline music skills assessment test before violin tuition started and 3 follow up assessment tests over a three year period.
Excel spreadsheets (.xls); questionnaires (print); videos
The dataset demonstrates that music training may have significant benefits for children in terms of enhancing non-musical cognitive functions, such as verbal memory. It would be interesting to researchers interested in the actual process of assessing music as well as those wishing to repeat a similar project.