Date of Award

Summer 2017


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM) in Music Education




The aim of this study was to examine the association of before-school music clubs with school attendance in third- to fifth-grade at one public elementary school in the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America. At the time of the study, this school had a total student population of 516, an approximately 65% free and reduced lunch rate, and one of the lowest reported attendance rates in the district. The before-school music clubs included one 28-member world music Drumming Club that would meet two days a week (Mondays and Tuesdays), as well as one Thursday Choir and one Friday Choir, each of which would meet once a week. Thursday Choir had approximately 30 enrolled students while Friday Choir had approximately 40 enrollments. This action research involved an empirical descriptive design with two components. The first was an analysis of numerical attendance data and the second was a survey with open-ended questions aimed at deriving a deeper understanding of student perceptions of attendance practices. After comparing attendance data of club participants with that of the entire school population, third- to fifth-grade students’ further relationships were investigated. Existing numerical attendance data of third- to fifth-grade students were then compared with club participants’ attendance data. Furthermore, the researcher compared club participants’ school attendance on their club day(s) versus other days of the week. This attendance per day-of-the-week was also compared against the dayof- the-week attendance of non-club participants within third- to fifth-grade students. Results of data analysis indicate that music club participation is linked to school attendance. The anonymous survey administered to club participants explored student perceptions of their school attendance reflecting on (1) their mode of travel to school, (2) what makes it easy or difficult for them to attend school and (3) what they like, dislike and feel about attending school and attending before-school music clubs. While the results of this study are not generalizable, they may be of interest to principals and teachers considering implementing similar clubs at schools with attendance challenges.