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					Center for Music and Young Children                                                             April 1, 2009


   Research Findings on the Music Together
                                                                                                    ®




   Preschool Program Model
Lili M. Levinowitz, Ph.D.
Professor of Music Education, Rowan University; Director of Research, Music Together LLC



                   The Center for Music and                   • Cognitive developmental gains. Pre-
                   Young Children, developer                  schoolers participating in Total Learning’s
                   of the Music Together® early               Music Together program made significantly
                   childhood music curriculum,                greater gains in cognitive skills (problem-solv-
                   has been deeply committed to               ing) than did preschoolers who did not partici-
                   bringing the excitement and                pate in the program, t (471) = -2.453, p = .01.
                   developmental benefits of
                                                              • Language development gains. Children
                   music and movement to those
                                                              assigned to receive Music Together made
                   preschool children who may
                                                              significantly greater gains in language ac-
be considered academically challenged based
                                                              quisition and verbal fluency than did chil-
on their family’s socio-economic situation.
                                                              dren who did not participate in the program,
In the past five years, two large-scale stud-                 t (471) = 2.811, p < .001.
ies have been undertaken to understand how
                                                              • Physical development domain. Four-
the Music Together Preschool model supports
                                                              year- olds in classrooms assigned to receive Mu-
overall learning in the preschool curriculum.
                                                              sic Together made significantly greater gains in
                                                              physical development (coordination) than did
Action for Bridgeport Community                               children in classrooms that did not participate
Development                                                   in the program, t (471) = -2.310, p < .05.
Most recently, a project was designed to evalu-
                                                          In the area of social development, children in
ate the efficacy of the Music Together curricu-
                                                          the Music Together experimental group also
lum for preschool children in the Bridgeport,
                                                          scored better, approaching but not meeting
Connecticut, public schools (using Creative
                                                          statistical significance.
Curriculum Assessments). This study was
funded by the Connecticut Assembly and                        • Four-year-olds in preschool classrooms as-
the U.S. Department of Education, in part-                    signed to receive Total Learning’s Music To-
nership with Action for Bridgeport Commu-                     gether program also made greater gains in the
nity Development (Charles Tisdale, director).                 Social-Emotional developmental domain
Children in the Music Together experimental                   (self-esteem, self-confidence) than did pre-
group scored better to a statistically signifi-               schoolers in classrooms that did not partici-
cant degree on both the cognitive change and                  pate in the program, p < .1.
language development Creative Curriculum
Assessments. The following was concluded                  Trenton, New Jersey: Music for
(Michael Cohen Group, LLC, external evalu-                the Very Young
ators, 2008):
                                                          In 2003, the Trenton Community Music
    Over the course of the ’07–’08 academic year,         School and Music Together LLC partnered
    four-year-olds in preschool classrooms as-            with the Education Resources Group to de-
    signed to receive Total Learning’s Music To-          sign and implement a study in the Trenton
    gether program made significantly greater             Public Schools to understand the impact of
    progress in the Cognitive, Language, and              the Music Together Preschool model both on
    Physical developmental domains than did               preschool children’s school readiness (using
    four-year-olds in classrooms that did not par-        Brigance Preschool Screen) and on their long-
    ticipate in the program.                              term literacy (using the Terra Nova Test).
This three-year project was funded through             said their children asked them to play the
the U.S. Department of Education: Arts in Ed-          Music Together CDs sometimes or all of
ucation Innovation Grant (U.S. Department              the time.
of Education, OMB No. 1890-0004). In the               Typical teacher reports include comments such
Music Together experimental group, some                as, “I don’t know how I taught before the Mu-
scores were higher than those in the control           sic Together Curriculm Model was introduced
group. Notably, the scores did not go down,            into my classroom. I use music for everything
even though the experimental group spent               now.” According to the recent survey of class-
less time on literacy and numeracy tasks due           room teachers who had participated in this
to their music-making activities. Therefore, it        project, a large majority report the continued
seems that both the content of the Arts Edu-           use of Music Together teaching strategies and
cation Program, which includes weekly con-             use of the materials one to two years after the
tact through music classes taught by an early          conclusion of the project. Eighty-five percent
childhood music specialist, and the process            of those teachers reported a desire for Music
for inclusion of home and classroom materials          Together to return to their classrooms. They
that engage parents and caregivers in music-           clearly found that Music Together enhanced
making, do support the attributes that young           their learning environments sufficiently to off-
children need for school success.                      set any “loss” of academic time, affirming the
                                                       fundamental value of music and movement in
In addition to the school readiness and
                                                       the early childhood curriculum.
long-term literacy results, the Executive
Summary reported the following: the Mu-                Considering the data from both the Bridgeport
sic Together Curriculum Model helps bring              and Trenton projects, it seems reasonable to sug-
families together. In surveys, parents re-             gest that a music curriculum model such as the
ported that, since participating in the Music          one found in Music Together should be included
Together program, they sing more at home.              as an essential part of the core preschool curricu-
This is particularly important as many par-            lum. The conclusions from these studies counter
ents note how difficult it can be for parents          the current trend in schools to reduce or eliminate
to make time to play with their children.              music and other arts programs from school curri-
In a survey, 96% of parent respondents                 cula to make time for extra reading and math.




                             © 2009 Music Together LLC • www.musictogether.com

				
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