A Statistical Analysis On The Opinions of Pottsgrove Music Students

May 24, 2021

A Statistical Analysis On The Opinions of Pottsgrove Music Students

The pandemic is an interesting time to live through for everyone across the globe, but a query was pondered that asks about the impact the pandemic had on activities in our musical community at Pottsgrove High School. A survey was conducted amongst the music students at Pottsgrove High School regarding the quality of the music education that the students were receiving during the pandemic.

Pottsgrove High School is well-known for having an amazing music department. Throughout the study conducted, it is shown that 77.27% of the 22 respondents reported to have been in Pottsgrove’s music department for more than four years. It is assumed that these students keep returning every year in the fall to this program because they thoroughly enjoy the experience they receive in Pottsgrove’s music curriculum. This school year has been a whirlwind for everyone and music students are not exempted from that assertion. To gage the opinions on music students’ contentment they feel from their involvement in the music department amid the Coronavirus pandemic, a survey was issued to all three music teachers of each musical ensemble to distribute to their students.

From the get go, there was heavy implicit bias within the demographics of this study that strongly shows one musical point of view more than any other. An overwhelming majority of 95.45% of all respondents of this survey claimed they are choir students. The second largest group of respondents were the orchestra kids at 18.18% of the sample population, and only 4.54% of people in the sample population are solely in orchestra and not in any other ensemble. The smallest demographic of music students reported in the survey was the 4.54% of band kids, and every respondent that said they were in band also declared they were in choir as well. This study shows a perspective from predominantly choir students rather than all three of the musical ensembles, choir, orchestra and band, equally. There is another demographic in which there is a lot of inclination towards one particular group of people within this sample, grade level. Exactly half of the people in this sample reported that they are in ninth grade. The runner-up in number of people is a tie between tenth and eleventh grade where they both separately make up 18.18% of the sample population. The grade level that had the least responses were the twelfth graders with 13.63% of the sample population. The factors of musical ensemble and grade level really weighed on the results and analysis of the study.

The most logical way to divvy up the results of the survey is to look at how each grade level answered the opinion based questions and assume the results of this survey are from the perspective of choir students. The first opinion based question that was asked to each of the respondents was, “How well do you feel that Pottsgrove’s music department has been persevering in the COVID-19 pandemic?” The possible options the respondents could choose from were “Extremely Well”, “Well”, “Decent/Neutral Opinion”, “Inadequate”, or “Extremely Inadequate”. Across the board, none of the respondents answered with the two most drastic options, “Extremely Well” or “Extremely Inadequate”. The demographics for the response of “Well” were as follows: 45.45% of the ninth graders, 50% of the tenth graders, 0% of the eleventh graders, and 66.6% of the twelfth graders chose this response. In this small census, the results for the response of “Decent/Neutral Opinion” were as follows: 36.36% of the ninth graders, 50% of the tenth graders, 50% of the eleventh graders, and 0% of the twelfth graders voted for this response. The statistics for the response of “Inadequate” were as follows: 0% of the ninth graders, 0% of the tenth graders, 50% of the eleventh graders, and 33.3% of the twelfth graders answered with this response. These varying levels of satisfaction among the grade levels are extremely fascinating to view. It seems as though amidst the younger grade levels, they seem to portray a more positive outlook on the music department’s perseverance throughout the pandemic, since neither ninth or tenth graders marked the answer “Inadequate” in their responses. The upperclassmen, the juniors and seniors, remained more critical of the department’s performance, most likely due to potent expectations based upon phenomenal experiences that were set by years prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, yet still overall a positive outlook is maintained about the music program. 

There was a second opinion based question asked on this survey that could spark inspiration for future endeavors that the Pottsgrove music department could indulge in. The question in the survey was, “What is one thing that you would like to see the more of in your music classes in the future?” with the following responses as possible answer choices: “Live Performances/Open Mics”, “More Challenging Repertoire”, “Games/Fun Activities”, or “Music Theory Instruction”. The analytics from this specific question seems more appropriate to approach from a group standpoint rather than stratifying the data results into the four grade levels. The activities on the survey that did not attain the first place position, from least to most requested, were “More Challenging Repertoire”, “Music Theory Instruction”, and “Games/Fun Activities”. Astoundingly, gleaning 59.09% of all votes, there was a clear winner of which option was preferred, and that was the answer of “Live Performances/Open Mics”. 

The students of Pottsgrove music department showed their love and devotion towards being in the limelight through the statistics of this survey. Normalcy is craved by the music community at Pottsgrove High School and that message evidently is displayed throughout the results of this survey. The sunrise of a new dawn is almost upon us that will bring back a semblance of a pre-COVID way of life, and will allow the live performances and open mics that the music department adores to make a comeback. Patience and grace has been displayed by music students and teachers alike and the music department will be completely back to the live events and activities that are cherished within music students’ hearts in the very near future. 

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