Today I will be looking at Elpus & Abril’s article on High School music ensemble students.
Elpus, Kenneth and Carlos R. Abril. “High School Music Ensemble Students in the United States: A Demographic Profile,” Journal of Research in Music Education, 59 (2), 2011: pp. 128 – 145.
The most significant factors within this study were associations between musical participation and:
Students who were most underrepresented included males, ESOL students, low SES, and children of non-college graduate parents. The most represented students included white students from high SES background and of parents holding advanced degrees. “Music students are not a representative subset of the population of U.S. high school students,” (128).
Elpus & Abril comment on the inquality of public education and the uneven distribution to access, outcomes, and experiences. E & A have also looked at Klinedinst who found that SES is the strongest predictor of student retention for MS school instrumental music. Interesting, isn’t it?
NOTE TO SELF: Check out Lauen & Tyson, 2009 who considers family composition, parental ed., academics, native lanuage, etc. to be “determinants of inequality.”
Also noted was the lack of representation from ELL students (ESOL). E & A mention that a longer retention within ESOL classes means reduced opportunities for advanced courses and electives. I have certainly seen this to be true. I have even seen where the ESOL teachers are protective over these students sometimes, to the point of discouraging them from expanding beyond the traditional ESOL classes. … This could be another interesting study…
NOTE TO SELF AGAIN: Check out 2002 NCES longitudinal study (Ingels et al, 200).
Findings include a suburban participation rate of 51.2% versus a rural rate of 21.3%. 61% of the students were female and 65.7% were white… Surprisingly to me, only 3.8% were Asian… English speakers comprised 90.4% of students. 32.2% of students were in the highest SES and 17% were in the lowest SES.
So, to recap, the variables measured by this study included:
gender, race/ethnicity, SES, family composition (dual parent vs. single parent), language, urbanicity of school, parent education achievement, Math standardized test score, reading standardized test scores, and final high school GPA.
As I prepare to do my own article on SES and instrument participation, I think I will also need to control for gender and race, SES (I need to find a measurement for SES), family composition, language, and parent achievement.
TOMORROW – I need to look into the variables for measuring SES. I must go into my meeting with Dr. Wuttke for my next article with a model ready to go…
Okay, so as I think about this article, I’m not surprised by anything at all… If anything, I am surprised that the disparity is not greater. Perhaps I need to read this a bit closer, but I am curious as to whether or not they controlled for the existence of certain programs. I know that the research shows that the vast majority of low ses schools will not even offer a strings program. I also would like to know which programs actually provide instruments for the students within the program.
Interesting stuff… Until tomorrow!