Effect of School Band Participation on School Attachment, Measured by Attendance and Academic Achievement in an Urban School Setting



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Background: Absenteeism is a critical issue in urban school systems, with 15% of students in U.S. elementary and secondary schools considered chronically absent. The primary reason for absences is social anxiety, followed by being bullied and academic challenges. Chronic absenteeism contributes to school dropout rates and lower grade point averages. Researchers found that participation in band results in higher grade point averages and increased student engagement. Purpose: This study explored the correlations between participation in band and attendance rates in a middle school in an urban Texas school district and compared academic profiles of students who participated in band with profiles of those who did not. The question studied was, What, if any, is the relationship between band participation and attendance and grade point average of middle school students (grades sixth through eighth) as measured by school attendance and academic achievement? Methods: The quantitative study included a 307-student sample consisting of the 2018–2019 cohort of eighth-grade students divided into three groups: students with continued participation in band sixth through eighth grade, students who participated in band for one or two years but not all three, and those who never participated. Archival data for attendance and grade point average were used for comparison. Race, ethnicity, socioeconomic level, and gender were used to contribute to students' academic profiles and further data analysis. Results: Students who participated in band missed fewer days of school than those who did not, but the difference was not statistically significant. Grade point average between a student’s sixth and seventh-grade year was significantly higher for students in band than for those who weren't (p = .009). However, there was no statistical significance for students in eighth grade. Conclusion: Although band participation provides benefits to students, schools need to address absenteeism through methods other than solely band participation.



Band, GPA, school attachment