Background: The start of the 21st century has hosted decreased access to music education, particularly for children facing economic hardship and children who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) (McMurrer, 2007). This is problematic in terms of arts equity and social-emotional benefits children may gain via music participation. The present study examines the impact of an afterschool music education program on social-emotional functioning for elementary school children facing risks related to poverty and racism. Method: Participants were 503 students who attended public elementary schools: 345 students received the Music Education Program (MEP), whereas 158 students enrolled for comparison purposes, did not receive MEP. Of participants, 60.8% were female, and 70.1% Black/African American. Child age ranged from 7 to 14 years (M = 9 yrs, 7 mo). Nearly all children had family income-to-needs ratios falling below the federal threshold for poverty status. Ethical standards were followed, and all procedures were approved by the appropriate IRBs. At start-of-year and end-of-year time points, students completed The Brief™ Problem Monitor (Achenbach, McConaughy, Ivanova, et al., 2011). Results and Implications: Multivariate tests revealed a significant main effect of MEP, and a significant interaction of MEP and time, with MEP students showing greater improvement across the year. Univariate tests indicated a significant interaction of time and MEP for: internalizing, externalizing, and total problems. Although not designed as music therapy, this after school music education program seemed to have something of a therapeutic benefit for participating students.
Brown, E. D., Garnett, M., Velazquez-Martin, B., & Varnell, S. (2021). Afterschool Music Education Program Linked to Social-Emotional Advantages for Children Facing Economic Hardship. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.wcupa.edu/psych_stuwork/16