Any researcher aiming to collect student self-report data must make careful choices about the words and terminology used to discuss musical participation and PSWB.
However, to produce evidence that is convincing at the policy and academic level, support for a causal link between musical participation and PSWB is desirable, something correlational studies cannot provide (Shadish, Cook, & Campbell, 2002; Winner & Hetland, 2000).
Targeting at-risk populations reduces the risk of recruiting participants who will report high levels of PSWB at baseline, thus minimising the chance of ceiling and floor effects.
The second CRA reflected on how the PSWB benefits reported in each study were impacted by the attributes of their respective music programs.
Using these results, recommendations for necessary attributes to be included and avoided in programs specifically aimed at achieving PSWB benefits in mainstream schools are presented below.
This is not to assume mainstream students will not experience PSWB benefits, only that they are less likely to report a significant (statistical or otherwise) increase in these benefits.
This would give students more time to engage with a program, and may increase any effect of the program on PSWB.
When aiming to achieve reportable PSWB benefits, programs designed and delivered specifically to target wellbeing are essential.
Programs targeting the PSWB needs of a specific group are also recommended.
While music therapists would be an obvious choice for this role, considering the resources this would require, a facilitator skilled in engaging participants, and using music to address PSWB goals should be sufficient: an approach reported successful in previous programs (Rusinek, 2008; Vaughan et al.
Using a combination of the above recommendations, programs should also aim to promote the appropriation of music as a PSWB resource.
The first relates to research methods, and include assumptions that; experimental designs, which have not been specifically adapted to specific mainstream school contexts, are suitable for capturing change on subjective constructs of wellbeing; students will understand the language and concepts used in research tools, and that through such tools, they will report responses that present legitimate reflections of their own experiences; and, one source of reporting is sufficient to gain a realistic picture of the presence and range of PSWB benefits in student populations.