Inspired by Music

Madeline Bame ’21 Studies the Impact of Music on Graduation Rates in Title I Schools

Inspired by Music

Because music has played a key role in her own life, Madeline Bame, a Gardner-Webb University student from Gastonia, N.C., wanted to find out if music impacts graduation rates in Title I Schools in North Carolina. She conducted her research in the 2018 summer term with a grant from the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program.

“I chose this topic because I believe that music education is essential for public education,” shared Bame, a junior music education major. “Currently, many music educators feel that their field is devalued, and many music classrooms are experiencing cuts. I have witnessed inspiration and academic motivation resulting from music education, and I want to produce concrete evidence that supports the concept that music education is important for the success of students.”

Collecting the data proved to be a challenge. Some of the information could be accessed through public records, but she also attempted to interview administrators and educators in Title I schools across the state. Her faculty mentor, Dr. Morgan Soja, assistant professor of music, offered guidance when she hit hurdles.

Bame discovered some profound stories from educators whose students’ successes could be directly linked to their participation in music programs. “This research is still ongoing; however, I have found incredibly interesting results thus far,” she affirmed. “While all of the responses that I have support my hypothesis, I have been met with a considerable non-response bias.”

She will present her findings at Gardner-Webb’s Life of the Scholar Multidisciplinary Conference and the 2019 North Carolina Music Educators Association Conference. She feels the research will benefit her as she seeks a job as a high school choir director and later, when she’s a graduate student. She asserted, “This study has fueled my love for music education, as I believe that it can significantly impact a student’s academic success.”

Learn more about the GWU Undergraduate Summer Scholars Program