The effect of aural and improvisatory instruction on fifth-grade band students' sight reading ability
The purpose of this study was to determine if the development of aural and improvisatory skills or previous music instruction has an effect on fifth grade students' ability to sight-read traditional music notation. The teachers used two different instructional strategies. At one school, the teacher used Accent on Achievement (1997), a traditional skill-based approach. At the other school, the teacher added aural and improvisational activities. After being given an aural music aptitude test and a brief questionnaire regarding previous private music instruction, the students were engaged in 16 weeks of traditional skills-based instruction or the traditional instruction enhanced with an aural/improvisational supplement. Accuracy of rhythm and pitch was measured by Smart Music Studio (2002). Because the planned analysis of covariance could not proceed due to a violation of the assumption of linearity, it was decided to convert the students' tonal and rhythm aptitudes into categorical data for use as an independent variable in a factorial analysis of variance. The revised analyses for examining the hypotheses were three separate 3 x 2 x 2 ANOVAs, with music aptitude (high, medium, and low), group instrumental instruction (aural/improvisatory supplement and traditional) and previous private instrumental instruction (more or less than one year) as the independent variables and students' tonal, rhythmic, and composite sight-reading ability as measured by Smart Music as the dependent variables. All main effects and interactions were found to be non-significant, except for a first order interaction between aptitude and treatment when pitch sight-reading scores were used as the dependent variable. Here it was found that while there was little difference in the traditional and supplemental groups' mean scores in the medium aptitude group, high aptitude students who received the supplemental group instruction scored higher than students who received the traditional instruction. On the other hand, low aptitude students who received traditional instruction scored higher than students who received the supplemental instruction. The interaction perhaps resulted from the fact that pitch sight-reading accuracy is more dependent on technical skill development and less dependent on audiation.
0524: Elementary education