Psychosocial Benefits to Marching Arts Programs

My research project, “Psychosocial Benefits to Marching Arts Programs,” explores participants’ psychological growth over time. The marching arts is interesting and unique because it combines the realms of music and sports. Usually music and sports are compared and contrasted to have unique benefits specific to them, but the marching arts has not been included in such research.  The goal of my project is the figure out where the marching arts fit into this hole of research.

I began by reaching out the director of the Madison Scouts, a world class drum corps. World class drum corps is the highest level marching arts one can achieve as a performer. The Madison Scouts were ranked in the Top 12 at wold class finals this past summer. After telling the director about my project idea, I had to ask him if he would be willing to let me conduct my project with the corps over the summer of 2017. He agreed.

Over the summer I conducted a longitudinal survey that spanned 5 time points throughout the approximate 3 month drum corps season. By using a longitudinal design, I was able to track those participating in the program for growth. Specifically I was looking at participants’ resilience, general self-efficacy, marching self-efficacy, goal orientation, and flow.  Each time point consisted of the same measures for each of these constructs. I will statistically analyze change between each time point as well as overall change from start to finish.

Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling, I will be able to answer my question as to if participants are psychologically growing over time. I will also be able to answer my questions about the interactions between my psychosocial variables.

The end goal of this project is to write up a publishable article and to present preliminary findings at a psychological conference. My hope is that this project and future ones in kind can inform the music education funding debate, as well as give more accreditation to school marching arts programs.

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