Music Experience and Achievement of Students in Thai Public, Private, and International Schools

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Music Experience and Achievement of Students in Thai Public, Private, and International Schools

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2020-08

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For decades, music education in Thailand has been neglected. Music is often perceived as a form of entertainment rather than an important subject for students to learn in school, because parents do not believe that music can provide their children with vast career opportunities or financial security. Therefore, schools in Thailand tend to prioritize core subjects, such as math, science, and languages over music. As a consequence of this belief, music education in Thailand is still underdeveloped in many areas. Disparities in quality and access are major problems in Thai music education. Students’ music opportunity varies greatly depending on individual backgrounds, schools, and family socioeconomic status causing great differences in student music achievement. The issue has been recognized by Thai music educators and music teachers. Nevertheless, minimal research attempts have been made in order to better understand this situation. The purpose of this study was to assess student music achievement, understand students’ music experience relative to the level of music achievement, and explore relationships between student music achievement and possible influential factors, such as teachers, schools, curricula, students’ background characteristics, and students’ life experience. An explanatory-sequential method was chosen in order to acquire both empirical and in-depth data. In the first phase, the quantitative phase, the Middle School Musical Achievement Test (MMAT) and High School Musical Achievement Test (HMAT) were administered to participants (N = 310) from seven schools in the Bangkok area. One-way between-group ANOVA and Welch ANOVA revealed significant differences in the mean total scores between public school, private school, and international school participants. Post hoc comparisons revealed that public middle school participants scored the highest and differed statistically from international school participants who scored the lowest in this level. International high school participants scored the highest and differed statistically from participants in private high schools who scored the lowest in this level. Aside from the mean total scores, MANOVA revealed significant differences in mean subset scores – music theory, general knowledge of music, and music in social context. Post hoc comparisons determined that, for music theory, public school participants scored the highest in both middle school and high school levels and differed statistically from the lowest groups – international middle school and private high schools. For general knowledge of music, public school participants also scored the highest in both levels and differed statistically from the lowest groups – international middle school and high school. For music in social context, international school participants scored the highest in both levels and differed statistically from the lowest groups, which were public middle and public high school The second phase, the qualitative phase of the study, was informed by a case study of multiple bounded systems. Interview participants (N = 11) included six students and five teachers representing five schools recruited during the quantitative phase. Three themes emerged from the integrated results. First, students begin their own musical pathways. Second, families bring assets and support. Finally, schools provide opportunities that can fill in the gap of what students lack. Recommendations for future research included expanding the research scope to rural schools and concentrating on one particular school music program for in-depth and thorough investigations.

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University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2020. Major: Music Education. Advisor: Keitha Hamann. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 311 pages.

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Yungyuen, Pimpa. (2020). Music Experience and Achievement of Students in Thai Public, Private, and International Schools. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/216859.

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