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Jan. 2, 2012

DWU grad presents in Spain

MITCHELL – Lacey Musick, Mitchell, was chosen to present her graduate thesis at the International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation in Madrid, Spain, in November.

Musick, a recent graduate of the DWU Master of Art in education program, presented “Music and a Child’s Cognitive and Literacy Development: A Study Focusing on Six Month Olds to Three Year Olds.”

“My thesis focuses on how music affects a child’s cognitive and literacy development from the early stages of life and how music, when implemented in the home, can have positive effects on not only the child's development, but also the parent-child relationship,” she said.

Musick’s research started through the master’s program at DWU. Through her literature review of the topic, she found that there were no similar published studies. To get the statistical information she needed, Musick developed and conducted a 13-week music study.  She had two main groups in the study: a music group – those who actively participated in scheduled music classes; and a control group – those who took the pretest and the post-test, but did not participate in the weekly music activities. Within those two main groups were four subgroups: 6-to-12-month olds, 1-year olds, 2-year olds and 3-year olds.  Each participant took a developmental pretest and post test to compare the developmental change over the 13 weeks. The numbers used in the statistical analysis of the study were from the developmental pretest and post test.

Though her research showed no statistically significant difference between the music group’s and the control group’s developmental progress over the 13-week period, in the raw, or actual, test scores, the music group’s scores were greater.   

“I also conducted a survey through the process and found that the music group participants had a greater increase in musical knowledge, a greater understanding of how to implement music into the home and gained a better understanding of how to build healthy parent-child relationships,” Musick said. “The study brought about how music helps develop healthy parent-child relationships, and when music is incorporated in the home as a teaching tool, a child can thrive.”

Musick’s experience in music education includes teaching for Mitchell High School and Dakota Wesleyan University.  She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and currently has a small business, Musick ’n’ Motion, a program for children from birth to 5 years old that incorporates parents in a young child’s music experience.

“Children and their parents explore the world of music through movement, singing songs, playing instruments and singing stories,” she said.

Musick hopes to continue her research when she pursues her doctoral degree in the future.
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