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What Is The Effect Of Music vs. Silence On Sleeping Childcare Children?

 

 
Researched by Monique C. 
1998-99

PURPOSE

The purpose of this experiment was to determine to what degree music affects the nap time behavior (restfulness) of preschool children in childcare.

I became interested in this idea when my mother began working at a childcare three years ago. The children had trouble settling down at naptime. I wondered if music might put them to sleep.

The information gained from this experiment will assist parents and daycareís in getting their children to have a more restful sleep.

 


 

HYPOTHESIS

My hypothesis is that a higher percentage of children will go to sleep or be restful during their naptime when soft classical music is being played.

I base my hypothesis on my own experiences. Ever since I was an infant my mother put me to bed with classical music playing. So now when I do not have music to go to sleep with, I do not rest as well.

 


 

EXPERIMENT DESIGN

The constants in this study were recording the same individuals every time; I had the same naptime procedures. They were procedures 1-19. The 30-minute delay before taping is another constant. One more is, the same music was played every ìmusicî day.

The manipulated variable was playing music (vs. not playing music) during naptime for childcare children.

The responding variable was restful naptime behavior. How I am defining non-restful behavior is if the child makes large, noticeable body movements. Restful behavior would be if the child makes no large, noticeable body movements.

To measure the responding variable I reviewed the 10 minutes of video footage of each student during naptime. I then tallied the restful behavior by viewing the footage and recording a tally every minute if they moved and writing a zero if the child didnít move. If they show no sign of large body movement then tally it as restful behavior.

 


 

MATERIALS

QUANTITY   ITEM DESCRIPTION
1  video camera
1 tripod 
1 V.C.R
T.V
1 Rocerding tape 
1 timer
1 audio tape
6  Childcare children


 

PROCEDURES

1. The night before the taping set up the video camera in the ìnaproomî and leave it there until naptime. 
2. Pick 6 children that come regularly every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 
3.Label each child 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 
4.Use those children as your ìsubjectsî for taping. 
5. Layout the cots in the room. 
6. Have the children take their shoes off. 
7. Give each child its necessities to go to sleep. 
8. Instruct them to lie down on their cot. 
9. Dim the lights. 
10. Turn on the ìBrhams Symphony No. 1 in C minor " by The William Stienberg Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra or the tape you are using. 
11. Wait 30 minutes into naptime to turn on the camera. 
12. Slowly turn on the camera. 
13. Set the timer for 10 minutes. 
14. Turn off the camera. 
15. Slowly move the camera to the next child and repeat steps 12 through 14. 
16. Carefully remove the camera and store. 
17. Review the footage to be sure the image is clear. 
18. View the video and record the data by tallying if they moved or not during that 19. minutes. 
20. Repeat steps 1-20 until ten days are up. 


 

RESULTS

The original purpose of this experiment was to determine to what degree music affects the nap time behavior (restfulness) of preschool children in childcare.

The results of the experiment show that when music was played there was about one half as much restless behavior. When comparing subjects there were individual differences, but four out of six were more restful with music and only one child was less restful (but only by a little). The study consisted of five trials with music and five without. Four out of five trials showed that the children were more restful listing to music, usually by a lot.

See the table and graph.

 


 

CONCLUSION

My hypothesis was that a higher percentage of children will go to sleep or be restful during their naptime when soft classical music is being played.

The results indicate that this hypothesis should be accepted, because a higher percentage of children went to sleep or were restful during their naptime when soft classical music was being played.

Because of the results of this experiment, I wonder if different kinds of music such as rock or country music would affect the naptime behavior in a different way than classical music does.

If I were to conduct this project again I would start earlier, so I could include more subjects, perhaps 25 instead of six. I would try different types of music against each other in addition to music against silence. Another change that would improve this experiment would be to start the videotape at a specified number of minutes after each child begins naptime. 


 

RESEARCH REPORT

All people need sleep. Children need more sleep than adults do, that is why they take a rest usually in the afternoon. Most families these days have both parents working. This results in the parents placing their kids in some type of childcare. This experiment is to comprehend in which atmosphere children will have a more restful sleep, classical music or silence. The results will help parents and childcares get their children to have a more restful sleep.

MUSIC

According to the American Heritage School Dictionary, music is ìThe art of organizing sound into combinations and sequences that will have meaning of some sort for a listener."  It is also "vocal or instrumental sounds that are characterized by rhythm, melody, harmony, or some combination of these.î

VELOCITY OF SOUND 
Sound cannot travel through empty space. It must move through some form of matter. Sound moves faster through warm air than through cold air. Most of the time sound travels faster in solids than liquids or gases.

VOLUME AND PITCH 
Pitch is the volume of a sound whether high or low. A sound that has a rapid vibration makes the sound go high in pitch. If the sound has non-rapid vibration the pitch gets lower. The amplitude of the sound waves decides the volume of a sound. A higher amplitude means matter is compressed more as the sound wave runs through. When the amplitude increases the loudness of the sound increases. The intensity of sounds is often stated using the decibel (dB) scale. Sounds that have enough volume to cause pain to your ear has a (dB) of 120.

MUSICAL SOUNDS 
Musical sounds have regular wave patterns unlike the sounds we classify as noise. Noise shows irregular wave patterns. The pitch rely's on the frequency of its vibrations. If there is no regular frequency to the sound waves, there is no clearly defined pitch. This would conclude the sound is not musical.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 
Making vibrations are how musical instruments produce their tones. For example, in wind instruments, vibrations in columns produce tones. Examples of these are the trumpet, pipe organ, and clarinet. When these instruments are played, a column of air vibrates. The pitch or frequency of the sound depends on the length of the air column.

GETTING CHILDREN TO SLEEP 
Children often need something to distract them when they go to sleep. One distraction that works well is music. Jenny W. the preschool teacher from Busy Bear in Selah says music works for her children. She states, îIt takes longer for the children to get to sleep if there is no music. The music relaxes them and bloks out the other sounds. The music should definitley be slow and not busy, like asking them to wave their hands around, or asking them to do an activity.î Jenny uses various kids lullabies to put hre children to sleep.

JOANNES BRAHMS 
Brahms was born into a middle class family. He quickly showed his abilities for the piano. But nonetheless he still had to sustain himself by playing in ìsailors divesî. Brahms completed four symphonies (the first taking him twenty years to achieve because Beethoven intimated him and was so great that he procrastinated for a long time). Brahms influenced all kinds of music (with the exception of opera and oratorio) his influence was great.

SLEEP

According to the American Heritage School Dictionary, sleep is ìA natural condition of rest, occurring periodically in many animals, that is characterized by lessened nervous and physical activity, unconsciousness, and lessened responsiveness to external stimuli."  It is also "any similar condition of inactivity, such as hibernation or unconsciousness.î

In order to understand the following paragraph you need to know what EEG stands for. EEG stands for ìelectroencephalogram- (a graphic record of the electrical activity of the brain as recorded by an electroencephalograph.)î and ìelectroencephalograph (an instrument that measures electrical potentials on the scalp and generates a record of the electrical activity of the brain.)î

THE CYCLES OF SLEEP 
Peopleís brain waves go through a certain pattern when they go to sleep. These stages are classified as stages one, two,three, and four. The EEG when a person is awake is distinguished by alpha waves eight to ten cycles per second when you see the alpha waves lessen.

Stage one is thought the lightest stage of sleep. Its distinguished by low voltage alpha activity that is desynchronized. Some of the time it is low voltage, with regular alpha waves at 4 to 6 cycles per second.

After a couple of seconds/minutes, stage two begins. Stage two is a pattern revealing constant spindle shaped tracings on the EEG, known as sleep spindles at 13 to 15 cycles/second. There is also some high voltage spikes known as k-complexes.

Soon after stage three starts with the exposure of delta waves. This is a high voltage activity .5 to 2.5 cycles/second. Later in stage four the delta waves take the major part of the record.

REM SLEEP 
It was discovered in the 1950ís that there were two different kinds of sleep. The two different kinds of sleep are REM and NREM sleep. Tests show that the cerebral cortex a region of the higher brain functions is very active during the form of sleep called REM (rapid eye movement). By observing the electrical activity of the brain an EEG can identify REM sleep. Muscle and eye movements e the only kind of movements that can be observed. The eyes seem to move about under the closed eyelids when sleeping. The eye movements are roughly related to the dream that the person is having. People awakened from REM sleep are most likely to report a dream.

The most important information sought by sleep researches is that there is a regular pattern of alpha waves that occurs every time you sleep. In adults the first period of REM sleep lasts only 10 minutes. As it gets later into the night more time is spent in REM. Towards early morning REM lasts approximately one hour. Infants go through a very different pattern than adults do. It appears that they find dreams, or REM. Approximately one half of their sleep infants spend in REM. Some researches think that REM has a different affect on infants then it does on adults. They think it might be a ìelectrophysiological prool for brain growth and development.î (Restak, 320)

NREM SLEEP 
The other type of sleep is NREM sleep (this stands for non-rapid eye movement). In NREM the sleep the higher brain center is not as active. The eye movements are either very slow or not there. Body movements are rare and when they are they are oblivious to people. The people who wake from NREM sleep rarely report dreams they had that night.

EYE CONTROL 
A large cortical (an area of the brain) is involved in eye movement. The precision that is needed for a definite control of the eye movement includes many nerves connecting to the muscle that controls the eye movements. ìThe cranial nerves responsible for eye movements are located amid fibers of the rectangular formation that slipstreams around them on the way to the thalamus.î (Restalk, 319)

PEOPLEíS SLEEP 
People vary according to their bodyís need of sleep. Babies require the most sleep about 16 hours on average. By age three the amount of sleep needed has dropped to 12 hours, and by age five to six the child and mother are arguing over the nap. Beginning in the teen years, your adult pattern of sleep develops. Some people require seven to eight hours of sleep while others can make do with four to five and a half. Still others can not function with less than 12 hours of sleep. 
 

SUMMARY 
Sound can move through some form of matter, while it can not move through empty space. Musical sounds have regular wave patterns unlike the sounds we classify as noise. Noise shows irregular wave patterns. The pitch of both music and sound relies on the frequency of its vibrations. The amplitude of the sound wave decides the volume of a sound. Making vibrations are how musical instruments produce their tones. For example, in wind instruments, vibrations in columns produce tones. Peopleís brain waves go through a certain pattern when they go to sleep. These stages are classified as stages 1, 2, 3, and 4. It was discovered in the 1950ís that there were two different kinds of sleep. The two different kinds of sleep are REM and NREM sleep. Studies have shown that music or some variation of noise that a person hears while going to sleep can affect a persons sleep.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Editors of The American Heritage School Dictionary, The American Heritage School Dictionary, 1792.

Cartwright, Rosalind D., Sleep, The Social Science Encyclopedia 2nd edition, 1996.

Price, Jack, Heimler, Charles, Focus on Physical Science, Columbus, Ohio, Merrill Publishing company, 1987.

Hartman, Earnest Louis, Sleep, Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1998.

Hobson, Allen J., The Chemistry of Conscious States: How The Brain Changes Itís Mind, Canada, Little, Brown & Company Limited, 1994.

Hoffer, Charels R., The Understanding of Music 4th edition, Belmont, California, Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1967.

Jovet, Michel, Biogenic Amines and the States of Sleep [online] available  http://sommeil.univ-lyon1.fr/index_search_e.html, 1969.

Pollak, Charles M.D., Sleep, Academic American Encyclopedia, 1995.

Restak, Richard M. D., The Brain, New York, N.Y., Bantam Books, 1984.

Webb, W. B., Sleep, Concise Encyclopedia of Psychology 2nd edition, 1966.

Wood, Jenny, Preschool Teacher, Busy Bear Preschool and Daycare, 2-17-99.

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