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Music and Sports


Alignments to Content Standards: 8.SP.A.4

Task

Is there an association between whether a student plays a sport and whether he or she plays a musical instrument? To investigate these questions, each student in your class should answer the following two questions:

  1. Do you play a sport? (yes or no)
  2. Do you play a musical instrument? (yes or no)

Record the answers in the table below.

Student Sport? Musical Instrument?
1    
2    
3    
4    
5    
6    
7    
8    
9    
10    
11    
12    
13    
14    
15    
16    
17    
18    
19    
20    
21    
22    
23    
24    
  1. Summarize the data into a clearly labeled table.
  2. Of those students who play a sport, what proportion play a musical instrument?
  3. Of those students who do not play a sport, what proportion play a musical instrument?
  4. Based on the class data, do you think there is an association between playing a sport and playing an instrument?
  5. Create a graph that would help visualize the association, if any, between playing a sport and playing a musical instrument.

IM Commentary

  • Vocal training may be considered “playing a musical instrument.”
  • The most commonly used graph to display the relationship between two categorical variables is a segmented bar graph. For segmented bar graphs, we have the categories of the explanatory variable along the $x$-axis (i.e. horizontal axis), with a bar worth 100% at each category. Each bar is split into segments representing the categories of the response variable. The size of each segment is proportional to the conditional proportions of the categories of the response variable, within each category of the explanatory variable.

Solution

Solutions will vary depending on the actual data values collected by the class. Below is a solution based on the following hypothetical data set:

StudentSport?Musical Instrument?
1YesNo
2YesNo
3YesNo
4NoNo
5NoYes
6YesYes
7NoYes
8YesNo
9NoYes
10YesYes
11YesNo
12YesYes
13YesNo
14NoNo
15NoYes
16YesYes
17YesNo
18YesNo
19NoYes
20YesYes
21YesYes
22NoYes
23NoNo
24NoYes
  1. The data can be summarized into a two-way table:

    Sports?
    YesNoTotal
    Musical Instrument?Yes6713
    No8311
    Total141024
  2. Of those students who play a sport, the proportion who play a musical instrument = $\frac{6}{14} = 0.43$
  3. Of those students who do not play a sport, the proportion who play a musical instrument = $\frac{7}{10} = 0.70$
  4. Based on the above data, it appears that students who don’t play a sport, are more likely to play a musical instrument compared to students who do play a sport, as can be seen from the answers to (b) and (c). 
  5. Here is a segmented bar chart for the above data:

    Sol_1_f40c2939c2a0aaa0354ce0dbb07f3c34

    As can be seen from the above graph, of all those students who reported not playing a sport, 70% reported playing a musical instrument, whereas 30% reported not playing a musical instrument. On the other hand, of all those students who reported playing a sport, about 43% reported playing a musical instrument, compared to 57% reported not playing a musical instrument.

Martin says:

11 months

Here is my blog post where I implemented this task and expanded it for students to create their own hypothesis, 2 questions, and report out their survey results and whether they could conclude if their hypothesis was correct or not.

http://www.nctm.org/Publications/Mathematics-Teaching-in-Middle-School/Blog/Replacing-the-Textbook-Lesson/