2004 MENC National Conference Research Poster Session Abstracts
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Title: A Comparison of Three Instructional Approaches for Teaching Expressive Performance
Subject: Musical Expression
Author: Robert H. Woody, University of Nebraska
The present study compared the effectiveness of three instructional approaches used to elicit expressivity in music students’ performances: (a) verbal instruction using imagery and metaphors, (b) verbal instruction directed at concrete musical properties, and (c) nonverbal aural modeling (and imitation). Subjects were 36 college musicians with proficient piano performance skills. In the experiment, subjects performed on an electronic piano that was interfaced with a computer and MIDI sequencer. Subjects worked with three melodies, one in each instructional condition. With each, subjects first gave baseline performances of the melody, then received instruction for making their performance more expressive, and then gave a final performance of the melody. Subjects also verbally reported their thoughts while receiving the instruction and practicing the melodies in light of it. Data analysis revealed that no one mode of instruction was more successful in affecting change from baseline performance. In some specific contexts, however, the instructional approach directed at concrete musical properties seemed to be more suitable than the metaphor/imagery approach. Additionally, analysis of the verbal reports suggested that musicians may employ a “modal translation” cognitive process whereby they convert metaphor/imagery information into more explicit plans for changing the expressive musical properties of their performance (e.g., loudness and tempo).
Title: Contributing Factors to the Music Attitudes of Middle-school Students
Subject: Attitudes Toward School Music
Author: Scott L. Phillips, The University of Iowa
The present study sought to better understand the relationship between factors related to seventh-grade students’ music attitudes. Specifically, it sought to investigate the perception of gender roles in music, self-concept in music, and home musical environment, and to determine whether these were impacted by students’ gender, and/or participation in a school sponsored music ensemble. The subjects were 102 seventh-grade students enrolled in five sections of a required general music course in a middle school located in a medium-sized midwestern city. Subjects completed the Survey of Music Attitudes (SMA), a battery of four individual surveys, which included the Music Attitude Scale, the Male and Female Connotations of Music scale, the Music Background measure, and the Self-concept in Music scale. Data analyses indicated significant correlations (p < .01) among music attitudes, home music environment and self-concept in music for all subjects. Further analyses indicated that girls and participants in school-sponsored music ensembles reported significantly more positive music attitudes, richer home music environments, and higher self-concept in music (p < .05), than boys and non-participants, respectively. Implications were drawn regarding approaches for improving music attitudes among middle school students including an emphasis on home music environment for boys, self-concept in music for girls, and increased participation in school sponsored music ensembles.
Title: Multicultural Song Repertoire of Teachers Trained in Orff and Kodaly
Subject: Multicultural Songs
Author: Jen Kelsey, University of Oklahoma
The purpose of this study was to explore the current song repertoire of teachers trained in the Orff approach and the Kodály method, specifically investigating multicultural folk songs. Subjects included elementary music specialists from Texas and Oklahoma who work for school districts that require a commitment to Orff or Kodály. A survey was created that included three sections. The first portion included items about past training, the second section asked attitude questions, and the final part was a list of songs. The song list was generated from songs in current music series-books and included 41 titles from seven different cultures. Surveys were distributed to school administrators who dispersed and collected them from the district’s teachers. Twenty-seven surveys were returned, with one incomplete survey excluded. The teachers rated the songs according to familiarity and use in the classroom. Frequency ratings for each song revealed all teachers were low in song materials from Asian, Russian, and Native American cultures. Teachers trained in the Orff approach and the Kodály method knew several songs in common and several that are exclusive to each group. Teachers with training in both methods know 10% more song repertoire than those who were trained in only one method. Twelve songs, of the 41, were well known by most participants. Teachers with 5 to 9 years experience scored as high as some teachers with more than 15 years experience. This study implies we have much to learn from the teachers of each method.
Title: Psychological Dimensions of Instrumental Style Perception in the Untrained Listener
Subject: Music Perception
Author: Mervyn R. Joseph, Central State University, Dept. of Fine & Performing Arts, Wilberforce, OH 45384
Title: “Psychological Dimensions of Instrumental Style Perception in the Untrained Listener” Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the psychological dimensions underlying music style perception in the untrained listener. Subjects were 93 undergraduate students who had no formal training in music, nor any participation in choral or band ensembles in high school or college. Subjects rated 15 musical stimuli each on 16 descriptive-affective scales, and they also rated all combination pairs of these stimuli for similarity/ dissimilarity. Since previous studies showed tempo as one of the most salient characteristic in the perceptual judgments of untrained listeners, an attempt was made to control for this element. A panel of graduate music students (N = 22) served as judges to determine the musical characteristics of the excerpts. Inter-judge reliability of judges’ ratings ranged from .81 to .92. Data were analyzed through the applications of factor analysis, multidimensional scaling (MDS), and regression analyses. Factor analysis of the descriptive-affective scales resulted in a three-factor solution of Preference, or how much they liked the music, Activity/Potency, that is, how active and dynamic the stimuli were, and Clarity, or how clear and orderly the excerpts were perceived to be. Further, MDS analysis indicated that underlying subjects’ similarity/dissimilarity ratings, were the additional dimensions of dynamics, pleasingness, and complexity of the excerpts. Tempo did not emerge as a significant underlying dimension. According to experts’ music characteristic ratings, variations in subjects’ style perception were primarily determined by stimuli perceived as having clear/indefinite melodies that were consonant/dissonant, tonally centered/non-tonally centered, with simple/complex rhythms and simple/complex textures. Mervyn R. Joseph, Ph.D. Central State University, Dept. of Fine and Performing Arts, 1400 Brush Row Road, P. O. Box 1004, Wilberforce, OH 45384 Email: email@example.com
Title: The H.A. VanderCook – H.E. Nutt Collaboration: Seventy Five Years of Parnership in Music Teacher Education
Subject: history of instrumental music education
Author: Roseanne K. Rosenthal, VanderCook College of Music
The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of two early music educators, Hale A. VanderCook (1867 – 1949) and Hubert E. Nutt (1896 – 1981), who influenced the early directions of the history of music education through their work together at VanderCook College of Music, the Chicago institution they established. Involved in the training and preparation of high school and college band directors from roughly 1910 to 1980, they played a particularly important role in preparing professional musicians for careers as school band directors as a result of the “pit to podium” movement that occurred in the early part of this century when sound was introduced to the movie screen. Their pedagogical contributions include a precise training process for teaching conducting, musical expression, cornet performance, and directing the high school band. The Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic was largely their invention.
Title: Mothers’ beliefs and uses of music in the nursery
Subject: Music in the everyday life – babies
Author: Beatriz Ilari – McGill University
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was a twofold. The first purpose was to describe mothers and caretakers’ uses of music in natural settings, including a full report of singing and listening activities, selected repertoire and best time to sing and play music within the infant’s routine. The second purpose was to investigate whether parents/caretakers’ held firm beliefs about musical appropriateness in the case of infants. The study found that the tradition of singing to infants still persists, even with modernization and changes in lifestyles. The overall musical behaviors of 68 mothers were quite similar despite cultural differences, age, occupation and maternal experience. Styles of music and best time for musical activities varied across families. In addition, mothers whose native language was not English or French reported singing in their own language more often than in one or both of the aforementioned languages. A negative correlation was found between time spent daily with the infant and average music listening, which suggests that mothers in the sample were not taking as much advantage of musical activities with their infants as they could. In addition, no consensus was found for the issue of musical appropriateness. Participants were divided and gave answers that ranged from infants’ information processing abilities to cultural values. Suggestions for music educators, therapists and practitioners in early childhood environments were proposed.
Title: Gender Differences and the Computer Self-Efficacy of Pre-service Music Teachers
Subject: Music Technology
Author: William I. Bauer, Case Western Reserve University
Technology is becoming an increasingly prominent tool for music teaching and learning. Rigorous standards in technology are being required for new teachers. Therefore, it becomes an important consideration of music teacher education programs to utilize effective strategies for developing undergraduate music education students’ knowledge, skill, and comfort with technology. Since, self-efficacy perceptions can affect an individual’s feelings, motivation, and behavior, the computer self-efficacy of students may be an important consideration when helping pre-service music teachers become adept at utilizing technological tools. Knowing someone’s self-efficacy as it relates to computers can help one to develop strategies for helping that person develop computer skills (Olivier and Shapiro, 1993). Three research questions were formulated for this study. (1) What is the computer self-efficacy of pre-service music teachers? (2) Are there any relationships between the computer self-efficacy of pre-service music teachers and their prior experiences with computers? (3) Are there gender differences in the computer self-efficacy of pre-service music teachers? Subjects, 114 music education majors at a large Midwestern university, completed the Computer Self-Efficacy (CSE) Scale (Cassidy and Eachus, 2001). Following data analysis, it was determined that subjects had “good” computer self-efficacy. Significant positive correlations were found between self-efficacy scores on the CSE Scale and subjects’ overall experience with computers (r = .652, p < .01), hours per week of computer use (r = .537, p < .01), and number of software packages previously used (r = 502, p , < .01). Finally, a significant difference (p < .017) was found between the computer self-efficacy scores of male (M = 139.91) and female (M = 126.64) subjects. Undoubtedly, computer related technologies will continue to become more prominent in music education contexts, just as they are growing in importance in society in general. As music teacher educators work to help pre-service teachers acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to meet challenging new technology standards and become fluent in the use of computer technologies for their teaching practice, they need to be aware of the role of self-efficacy in this process. In addition, female students may require special considerations. A properly sequenced curriculum, positive technology models, reassurance and encouragement, and a relaxed, non stressful approach to this process may help most students develop and maintain a strong computer self-efficacy. In turn, this should provide these individuals with the wherewithal to confidently and effectively use technology as a tool for helping their future students learn about music.
Title: The Impact of Training on Music Teachers’ Knowledge Of, Comfort With, and Use of Technology: A Pilot Study
Subject: Music Technology
Author: William I. Bauer, Case Western Reserve University
Co-authors: Sam Reese (University of Illinois) and Peter A. McAllister (Ball State University)
A primary purpose of this pilot study was to refine the questionnaire and research methodology for a larger-scale study. Beyond that, three research questions were formulated. (1) Does music technology training change teachers’ knowledge of music technology? (2) Does music technology training change teachers’ degree of comfort with using technology for music learning? (3) Does music technology training change the frequency with which teachers’ use technology for music learning? Subjects (N=23) were music teachers enrolled in summer music technology workshops at a university in Ohio and a university in Pennsylvania. At the beginning of the workshops, subjects completed a questionnaire designed to provide demographic information and assess their knowledge of music technology, degree of comfort with music technology, and the frequency with which they used music technology in their teaching. Following an intensive one-week workshop dealing with strategies for teaching music to K-12 students using music technology, subjects completed a second questionnaire that was parallel to the first. Significant (p < .05) differences were found between the pre and post workshop questionnaires in all three areas. Knowledge of, comfort with, and frequency of use of technology all significantly improved following the workshop training.
Title: An Examination of Comfort Levels of Nonmusic Elementary Majors and Expectations of Elementary Administrators Regarding Music Education Duties in the Schools: A Pilot Study
Subject: Nonmusic majors music methods and expectations
Author: Dr. Sara L. Hagen, Valley City State University, Valley City, ND
The purpose of this study was to investigate the comfort levels of college elementary education majors for teaching various subject lessons in the general elementary classroom following instruction in a required arts class combining art, music, and physical education. In addition, their previous music experiences and attitudes were examined for relationships to those comfort levels. Elementary administrators in districts surrounding the university were surveyed seeking their expectations of elementary general classroom teachers and music specialists under their supervision. They were also asked about their previous music experiences and attitudes regarding music. Results of this study clearly confirm music’s important role in the school and administrators’ awareness of the importance of the music specialist. Administrators were generally satisfied with the music programs led by music specialists. Few administrators expected classroom teachers to “teach music”; however, many encouraged them to use music where appropriate and to work with the music specialist to integrate music across the curriculum. Pre-service elementary teachers were not as comfortable teaching music lessons as they were “basics,” a significant finding beyond the .01 level. Those who were more comfortable with one musical activity tended to be comfortable with all of them to a greater degree. Years of experience in performing groups in high school and private lessons were predictors of higher comfort levels with singing and multicultural activities. Finally, if subjects were comfortable with singing and enjoyed making music and valued its importance in their lives, they were more likely to feel more comfortable teaching music lessons in the general classroom.
Title: The Statistics of Student Participation in Music Activities in Grades 1-12
Subject: Music Education and Participation
Author: Pamela Ivezic,The College of New Jersey
This study describes a survey of 232 college students designed to address the following questions: 1) what proportion of the sampled students were involved in music performance activities during their grades 1-12 experience, 2) when were they most likely to withdraw from active music participation, and 3) what were the main reasons for such a decision. The survey shows that two out of three students played at least one instrument prior to entering college, but only ten percent are still active. Results suggest that there is no critical age for students losing interest in music and that withdrawal rates are similar at all grade levels and do not appear correlated with the type of activity. The reasons for discontinuing musical activity are numerous and varied with no dominant cause emerging. The main conclusions of this study are a) that only a small percentage of students in the sample are still active in music ensembles, and b) that this is a consequence of the low retention rate of students in music programs, rather than low recruitment rates.
Title: Music and teaching in the performance ensemble: Have the ends justified the means?
Subject: conceptual teaching in performance ensembles
Author: William E. Fredrickson, Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Abstract While so called general music classes have long been viewed as the context in which we expose students to the concepts, or process, of music, performing ensembles have been concerned with the product. For most students general music is encountered in elementary school while performance ensembles are the primary focus of the secondary school music program. In the United States today we have some of the finest school-aged performance ensembles in the world, yet there are still questions about the importance of the arts in our society. It is possible that the secondary school performance ensemble is not doing the job many of us have thought it could do to inculcate the general public and produce a society that values the performing arts at a high level. Today the emphasis in arts education is changing to measurable outcomes and critical thinking skills for individuals, but the research shows that secondary school performance ensembles are still primarily focused on an outstanding group performance. Selected research in this area, and issues related to future changes in the profession, are discussed.
Title: A Comparison of Two Approaches for Teaching Rhythm Reading to First Grade Students
Subject: Reading Rhythms
Author: Delores Gauthier, Western Michigan University
Co-authors: Robert E. Dunn, Case Western Reserve University, firstname.lastname@example.org
The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two approaches for teaching rhythm reading skills to first grade children. The “Traditional Approach” involved (a) two sizes of identical picture icons (large and small elephants) and (b) the words “walk” and “running” to represent quarter and eighth notes. The Generative Approach used (a) two sizes of rhythm bars (at a ratio of 1:1 and 2:1) and (b) the words “long” and “short” to represent quarter and eighth notes. Two intact first grade classes were randomly assigned to the approaches. Pre- and posttests were administered using the respective icons and syllables. Six lessons were taught to each class using the same musical materials, varying only the icons and syllables used. Based on t-tests, between-group pretest mean scores showed no significant difference, but the Generative Approach class posttest scores were significantly higher than the Traditional Approach class scores (p<.001). Gender was not a factor. Suggestions for further research are given.
Title: The Effect of Music Preference and Attractiveness on Teacher Expectations of African-American Boys in Third Grade
Subject: Music Preference
Author: Donald M. Taylor; The University of Texas at Austin
This study examined the effects of music preference and attractiveness on teacher expectations of 9-year-old African-American boys. Photographs of 2 children, rated as highly attractive and highly unattractive in a preliminary study, were presented to 46 elementary classroom teachers during a regular faculty meeting. A fictional biography was placed underneath each picture providing similar information for each child. The only obvious difference between biographies was music preference, with each child identified as favoring either pop music or rap music. After viewing the pictures and biographies, participants completed a questionnaire predicting each child’s success in school and adult life. A dependent-samples t-test was performed for each question to analyze the effects of music preference and attractiveness. Results indicated that expectations for future success were lower for children perceived to prefer rap music than for those perceived to prefer pop music, irrespective of attractiveness. Significant differences were indicated for predictions of parental support, finishing high school, finishing college, professional success in adulthood, personal success in adulthood, and an overall analysis of all eight survey questions combined together.
Title: A Comparison of Non-Musicians and Non-Jazz Musicians Aesthetic Response to Jazz Music with Varying Levels of Conceptual Advancement
Subject: Aesthetic Response
Author: John C. Coggiola, Syracuse University
Co-authors: John A. Lychner, Western Michigan University
The purpose of this study was to examine aesthetic response to jazz music with varying levels of conceptual advancement. In addition, there was an attempt to determine if there is a difference in response between non-jazz musicians (students majoring in music who have less than 3 years of instrumental jazz experience) and non-musicians (students not majoring in music). The participants (N=64) were undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at two comprehensive universities (n=32 from each university). Data were collected in two ways–via questionnaire and via the Continuous Response Digital Interface (CRDI). Participants were asked to manipulate the CRDI dial corresponding to their aesthetic response to the stimuli. Results indicated no significant difference between non-jazz musicians and non-musicians. However, there was a significant difference from both groups in their response to the two different stimuli.
Title: The Use of Cooperative Action Learning to Increase Music Appreciation Students’ Listening Skills
Subject: Cooperative Learning to Increase Listening Skills
Author: Martha Snead Holloway, Ph.D. Western Wyoming College
This investigation compared the effectiveness of cooperative action learning and the traditional lecture method in a college music appreciation course. Effects of the two methods on the acquisition of listening skills that included melody, form, meter, timbre, and modality were compared. Similarity of musical background and student response to cooperative action learning were also examined. In cooperative action learning, a student-centered method, small teams of students constructed knowledge through discovery learning, problem-solving, and decision making. The analyzing-synthesizing process integrated critical thinking and social skills with academic content. The experimental method, cooperative action learning, was used with 44 students for a full 15-week semester. The control group consisted of 44 students who were taught for a 15-week semester with the traditional lecture method. The experimental design was pre-posttest control group. A single Repeated Measures Multivariate Analysis of Variance (RMANOVA) with the listening achievement scores as dependent variables, pre-posttest scores as the repeated measure, and teaching method as the independent measure was performed. Measurement instruments included the Hevner Test for Musical Concepts, a Musical Background Questionnaire, and a Cooperative Action Learning Questionnaire. A significant difference (p<.001) was found favoring cooperative action learning. Three of the five dependent variables produced significant effects for cooperative action learning. Cooperative action learning increased the listening achievement of melody (p<.009), meter (p<.001), and timbre (p<.001) significantly more than the lecture method.
Title: Instrumentalists’ Assessment of Solo Prformances with Compact Disc, Piano, or No Accompaniment
Subject: performance assessment and preference
Author: Ruth V. Brittin, University of the Pacific
Middle school and high school instrumentalists listened to 12 instrumental performances: four with no accompaniment, four with piano accompaniment, and four with compact disc accompaniment. Listeners (N = 188) judged the soloist’s performance quality and indicated the performance’s best feature and aspect needing most improvement. Listeners also rated their preference for each accompaniment. Materials were taken from popular beginning band method books. Results showed that accompaniment condition significantly affected performance quality ratings, with CD accompaniments rated highest and iano accompaniments lowest. Significant interactions revealed that younger students were swayed most by the accompaniment condition; certain popular music styles appeared most influential. There was a significant, but modest, relationship between greater preference for the accompaniment style and higher performance quality ratings. For preference, girls and boys responded significantly differently to the accompaniment styles. Overall, students consistently assigned the best feature and aspect needing most practice across accompaniment conditions.
Title: Information Feedback in Rehearsal Frames Targeting Intonation Performance
Subject: Instrumental Music Education
Author: Mary Ellen Cavitt, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Department of Music
In this study I examined the communication of information feedback by teachers in band rehearsals when addressing intonation errors. Ten band directors were observed conducting four consecutive rehearsals with the most advanced ensembles in their respective schools. The focus of the analysis was the correction of intonation within each of the 40 videotaped rehearsals. Time spent rehearsing concert repertoire was divided into 332 rehearsal frames?segments of rehearsal time devoted to the correction of performance errors. Seventy-one rehearsal frames that included two or more performance trials and targeted intonation errors, were isolated for detailed analysis. Information feedback was analyzed in terms of the following differentiated types of feedback: (1) knowledge of results, (2) knowledge of performance, (3) augmented feedback, (4) modeling, and (5) non-verbal feedback. Results indicated that each of the verbal information feedback categories occurred at a rate of just a little over once per minute. Of the three verbal feedback categories, augmented feedback, in which the teacher directed the student to make a behavioral change, occurred at the highest mean rate, 1.37 per minute. The mean rate for teacher modeling during rehearsal frames was .67 per minute. Non-verbal behaviors occurred at a rate of .82 per minute. The feedback necessary to respond to an intonation error often required only a very brief verbalization. Intonation errors were remediated most often by having individuals perform out of context.
Title: An Exploratory Study of the Influence a Prenatal Music Class has on Parents’ Beliefs about the Value of Continued Musical Stimulation Following Childbirth
Subject: Prenatal Music Class
Author: Joy Galliford – University of Miami
The purpose of this study was to determine if a prenatal music class would influence participating parents to continue to provide musical experiences for babies after they were born. Subjects were five males and five females with a due date between October 1 and November 15, 2000. A 10-week prenatal music class was taught in which the participants received a music class once a week for thirty minutes by a music specialist. Following the birth of the child, fathers and mothers were asked to complete a questionnaire. Results indicated that the majority of respondents agreed that music had a positive effect on the baby’s behavior after birth. The respondents’ opinions and attitudes regarding the prenatal music class revealed that all respondents (100%) agreed that participation in the class enhanced their knowledge of the subject matter, music is a contributor to the development of the child, and that continued exposure and participation in music is important for their child’s development. Nine respondents (90%) agreed that they had increased the amount of time music was played in their home environment dur to participation in the prenatal music class. Subsequent to the study, three of five families enrolled their children in an early childhood music class for babies.