A preliminary examination of short-term effects of an active class-based music program on young adolescents' self-esteem and anger expression

Holly Knox Anderson, Nikki Sue Rickard

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The impact of a short period of an active group-based music program on adolescents (N=44) self-esteem and anger expression, whilst controlling for academic ability, was explored in this pilot study. A new, class-based instrumental music training program was implemented into two Year 7 classes, whilst two other classes received more of their usual music elective. Self-esteem and anger expression were assessed by the Culture Free Self-esteem Inventories Third Edition (Battle, 2002) and the State Trait Anger Expression Inventory (Spielberg, 1991), respectively, and were measured at both prior to, and four weeks after, implementation of the new music program. Academic ability was assessed via standardised academic literacy and numeracy tests, and was found to be positively correlated to self-esteem. However, this short duration of an additional program of music had no significant effect on self-esteem or anger expression. While these findings suggest that music programs may need to be longer than four weeks to yield psychosocial benefits, unanticipated limitations in the study design are discussed as an alternative explanation. Preliminary data endorse the utility of a larger-scale research study to compare short-term and long-term psychosocial effects of implementing a high quality music education program into Australia schools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4 - 16
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Journal of Music Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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