2006 Research Poster Session II Abstracts – Part 2

2006 MENC National Conference Research Poster Session Abstracts

 

Research Poster Session IResearch Poster Session IIResearch Poster Session III
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Research Poster Session II, Part 2

Lum, Chee Hoo chlum@u.washington.edu
Campbell, Patricia Shehan
University of Washington

The Sonic Surrounds of an Elementary School

Far beyond the four walls of a music classroom, the sonic surrounds of an elementary school include the musical expressions of children and the adults who work with them. A thorough-going knowledge of the nature and extent of children’s natural musical behaviors, including their melodic and rhythmic- motor experiences, is useful in the design of relevant and meaningful curriculum in elementary schools. This ethnographic study sought to examine the musicking behaviors as they are evident within the context of primary school children at one elementary school. The aim was to gain an understanding of the nature and context of rhythmic and melodic expressions made by children, heard by children, too, as emanating from other children as well as adults within the school environment. Time, place, and function figured as contextual considerations within the investigation of the sonic surrounds of the school, such that knowing when, where, and why the music occurred added meaningful dimensions to the description of children’s soundscapes. The open-ended sociability of music was at times startling, and its pervasiveness at play and in learning was a reminder of music as it serves human functions and finds its way into private spaces and social interactions. Startling also was the variety of forms of children’s expressions, ranging from rhythmic play and melodic utterances to familiar songs and their parodies, and the way in which teachers used music for social signaling and the facilitation of learning.


MacLeod, Rebecca B. bowm3@yahoo.com
Florida State University

A Comparison of Aural and Visual Instrument Preferences of Third and Fifth Grade Students

Ninety third and fifth grade students’ instrument preference for eight instruments commonly found in orchestra and band: flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, cello, trumpet, French horn, and trombone, were investigated. Participants were divided into two groups and asked to identify their favorite and least favorite instrument from a list of the eight instruments. Group A listened to aural examples of the instruments and rated their preference for each instrument. Group B rated visual pictures of each of the instruments. Significant differences were found in the students’ ratings. Overall ratings placed the eight instruments in the following order of preference: violin, flute, cello, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and French horn. No significant difference was found between the two methods of testing. A significant interaction between grade, gender, and instruments indicated little difference between genders in instrument preference at the third grade level, but in fifth grade, females preferred flute, violin, and cello more than males. Previous research and implications for music education are discussed.


Madsen, Clifford K.
Napoles, Jessica JessicaNapoles@comcast.net
Florida State University

A Simple Measurement of the Emotional Response to Music

Investigating the emotional impact of music listening has a long history. Indeed, reactions to subtle as well as obvious changes in music whether inadvertent of purposeful occupies a good deal of interest for the music researcher as well as the music educator. Every recording’s specific impact depends on various musical parameters regarding pitch, rhythmic nuance and expressivity. Yet regardless of the extremely subtle acoustic changes that are perceptible within almost all studies from an electronic perspective, it is the total overall effect that most occupies the attention of the individual listener/student. Furthermore, a long line of research indicates that many subtle “music changes” that can be analyzed via advanced techniques are not perceived accurately and are actually mistakenly identified by almost all listeners. While newer listening devices do offer a plethora of music selections that can be presented, often the educator does not have access to the advanced equipment used by researchers and has very limited resources other than the teacher’s own performance and/or using various recording/playback units. The study investigated a simple “paper and pencil” drawing compared with the much more advanced Continuous Response Digital Interface using high school students. Results indicated that subjects approximate the same emotional responses with a simple drawing when compared to the sophisticated graphic analysis of the CRDI. These findings indicate that a teacher using only a simple paper and pencil representation might be able to elicit and document an “overall emotional effect” that provides as much musical information as using more sophisticated measuring devices.


Madsen, Clifford K.
Plack, David S. dplack@fsu.edu Dunnigan, Patrick
Florida State University

The Marching Band as a Recruiting Organization for the University: A Case Study

The purpose of this study was to examine if the reputation of a particular marching band aided in the recruitment of students for the entire university. 273 marching band members at a large four-year comprehensive university were surveyed in an attempt to answer this question. The survey was designed to investigate this specific question in comparison to other reasons that students might give for having chosen to attend this particular institution. Results of the volunteer survey asking the question, “Why did you choose to attend this specific university?” yielded these results: The top three reasons listed as number one were: “Reputation of a specific department” (34%), “To be a Marching _____” (20%), and “Reputation of the University” (15%). The top reason listed as number two in importance was: “To be a Marching _____” (25%). The top choices listed as number three in importance were: “To be a Marching _______” (22%), “Reputation of the University” (16%), and “Cost effectiveness” (13%). Finally, “To be a Marching _______” was the highest percentage response from across all three categories, #1, #2, and #3, at 67%. The most important finding of this report is that many students actually choose to come to a certain institution because of its marching band as was evident in this case study. Implications for music education are discussed in regard to student leadership opportunities within the organization. Further, from 5 – 8 students actually change their major to instrumental music education at the conclusion of their first year.


Matthews, Wendy K. wmatthew@gmu.edu
Kitsantas, Anastasia
George Mason University

Group Cohesion, Collective Efficacy, and Motivational Climate as Predictors of Conductor Support in Musical Ensembles

The present study examined (a) whether collective efficacy, group cohesion (task and social) and perceived motivational climates (task and ego) in a musical ensemble predict instrumentalists’ perceived conductor support and (b) whether perceived conductor support correlates with ensemble performance. Ninety-one (N=91) elite high school instrumentalists participated in the study. Participants were asked to complete 3 surveys during rehearsal. The results showed that the above variables significantly predicted conductor support in an ensemble setting. It was also shown that conductor support correlated with instrumentalist’s performance. Findings of this study may provide some guidance on how conductors can create learning environments that instill a strong sense of support in their students.


McClung, Alan C. amcclung@music.unt.edu
University of North Texas

The Effect of Curwen Hand Signs on the Sight-Singing Scores of High School Choristers

A simple random sample of high school choristers, experienced in sight-singing with movable solfège syllables coupled with Curwen hand signs, was chosen from three, advanced, mixed, high school choral ensembles from Texas (N = 38). Participants were asked to sight-sing two melodies, one with Curwen hand signs and the other without. Out of a possible 16, the mean accuracy score with hand signs was 10.37, SD = 4.23 and without hand signs, 10.84, SD = 3.96. No statistically significant differences were indicated, F(1, 37) = 0.573, p = 0.454. These findings support the findings in five similar studies. Mean accuracy scores of demographic characteristics, including gender, grade, voice classification, years of sight-singing experience, and years of hand sign experience, revealed no pronounced tendencies. Recommendations for future studies include how modes of learning (kinesthetic, aural, and visual) correspond to the perceived benefits of hand signs and sight-singing.


McWhirter, Jamila L. jmcwhirt@mtsu.edu
Middle Tennessee State University

A Survey of Secondary Choral Educators Regarding Piano Skills Utilized in the Classroom and Piano Skills Expectations of Student Teaching Interns

The purposes of this study were to determine which functional piano skills secondary choral educators used in the classroom and piano skills expectations that these secondary choral educators had of student teaching interns. This study focused on how frequently educators used the skills and how important they believed the skills were for the interns. A review of related literature was used to formulate the online survey instrument. A cover letter was sent via e-mail to members of the Southwest Division of the American Choral Directors Association. Twenty-one percent (N = 219) of those receiving the cover letter responded by taking the survey. Data collected were reported as frequencies and percentages. The results indicated that the majority of secondary choral music educators (a) use many functional piano skills daily or frequently (b) believe that functional skills are important to extremely important for student teaching interns. Several secondary choral music educators reported they would use functional piano skills more frequently if they were more proficient, particularly accompanying skills. Recommendations that are provided can help guide collegiate music departments in examination of proficiency requirements with regard specifically to choral music education majors. From these data, choral student teaching interns may learn what skills they will be expected to use on a daily basis in the public school arena.


Misenhelter, Dale dmisenh@uark.edu
University of Arkansas

Comparative Listening Tasks: Differentiated Responses to Musical Tension and Dynamics Within a Single Musical Example

In this investigation of musical response, participants were asked to listen and respond to a single musical selection while focusing on two sequential, differentiated listening tasks. Participants (N=32) listened and responded in real-time to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Movement 2. At a predetermined point approximately halfway through the selection, each participant (re)focused on a different variable ­ either tension or dynamics. Visual and temporal analyses of graphic data suggests differences in the response patterns of participants between the sections where focus of attention was designated as either tension or dynamics. Listener responses to the elements tension and dynamics seemed to find participants tracking each element individually and consecutively. Mean response data demonstrate similarities to previous research in continuous response. Differences in listening task orientation seem to suggest a “compared to what” response among participants missing from related earlier studies. Results also suggest similar tendencies among participants, with variability and discrimination in the response task(s) evident through patterns as demonstrated through manipulation of the digital response medium. Future research in this area could explore comparative listening variables further with additional elements in sequence over time, with larger groups of respondents.


O’Connell, Debbie deboc@yahoo.com
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The Effect of Prenatal Music Experiences on One-Week-Old Infants’ Timbre Discrimination of Selected Auditory Stimuli

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of prenatal music experiences, specifically a single music timbre, on one-week old infants’ discrimination of a timbre heard prenatally and timbres not heard prenatally. Music timbres included in this study were alto voice, clarinet, trumpet, and violin. The researcher used fundamental frequencies between 261.63 Hz and 523.25 Hz and the aforementioned music timbres during prenatal and postnatal experiences to determine infant timbre discrimination. The primary research question was as follows. Can one-week-old infants discriminate between a music timbre heard prenatally and music timbres not heard prenatally? Discrimination was measured by changes in infant heart rate. Based on previous prenatal research, the assumption was that infant heart rate would decrease when infants recognized the timbre that was heard prenatally. There were five groups of infants in this study. Four groups of infants were exposed prenatally to one of the aforementioned music timbre stimuli and served as the experimental group (n = 14). One group of infants with no prenatal exposure to the music timbre stimuli served as the control group (n = 12). Additionally, effects of other variables on infant timbre discrimination were examined, including the number of hours of exposure to the music timbre stimulus, other music exposure during the third trimester, Apgar scores at 1 and 5 minutes, gestational age at the week of delivery, birth weight, gender, age of infant when tested, and presentation order of the music timbres.


Oliver, Timothy W. twoliver@temple.edu
Temple University

The NAEP 1978 Music Assessment: Implications for Future National Assessments

Since its inception in 1969, NAEP has assessed many subject areas including music on three different occasions: the NAEP 1971 Music Assessment, the NAEP 1978 Music Assessment, and the NAEP 1997 Arts Education Assessment. The next NAEP Arts Education Assessment, which includes music, is scheduled for 2008, which is also the 30th anniversary of the 1978 Music Assessment. The purpose of this study is to examine the methodology of the 1978 Music Assessment. By studying the second assessment and comparing selected aspects of it to the first assessment, hopefully the continuity and usefulness of the 1997 and 2008 NAEP can be preserved and utilized by music educators. This study considers the following aspects of the methodology the 1978 assessment: purpose, objectives, exercises, administration, and limitations. The actual results from this assessment are not within the purview of this study. While each of the three NAEP assessments involving music has limitations, there are many positive aspects of the NAEP assessments. Perhaps the most important aspect is that NAEP assessments provide a potential model for music educators to follow in conducting their own assessments at state and local levels.


Ozeke, Sezen sezenozeke@uludag.edu.tr
Uludag University, Republic of Turkey
Humphreys, Jere
Arizona State University

The Origins of Music Teacher Education in the Republic of Turkey

The need for teacher education in Turkey was noted before the establishment of the Republic, but official policies toward teacher education began during the Republic period. Modernization (Westernization) became a constant theme in teacher education programs during the Republic period and it continued up to date. Music teacher education was no exception. Turkish music teacher education began officially with the institution called Musiki Muallim Mektebi (Music Teacher Training School) in 1924, one year after the establishment of the Republic. By the 1981-82 academic year, there were four universities with music education programs in Turkey, all of which had passed through similar stages in their development. From 1982-98, twelve more universities added music teacher education programs. Currently, classroom and subject teachers at all levels of schools train under the education faculties at these universities. This study traces the historical developments of Turkish music teacher education beginning from Otoman Era to 1998. It contains a review of important events in early Turkish history that formed the basis for the music education movement.


Paney, Andrew S. andrew.s.paney@ttu.edu
Texas Tech University

Educator Access, Awareness, and Application of Music Research

Texas music teachers (N=105) were surveyed to examine their involvement with and perception of music research. Respondents rated the usefulness of research to their teaching and indicated factors that prevented them from reading research. Teachers indicated mediums that they believe improve their teaching and suggested ways research could be made more accessible. Results were collected regarding which items teachers believed improved the quality of their teaching. Workshops (n=98), magazines (n=56), Internet (n=48), books (n=48), competitions (n=45) and graduate courses (n=26) were all mentioned (listed in descending order of frequency). Although more than 10% read research journals, not one respondent selected them as a medium that improved the quality of his or her teaching. Time was, by far, the factor that most prevented respondents from reading or participating in music research (n=74), followed by relevancy (n=26) and cost (n=15). Most of those surveyed (n=73) believed a searchable web resource would be the most helpful in making research more accessible.


Petersen, Gerry gappage2001@yahoo.com
Creighton Schools, Phoenix, Arizona

Factors Contributing to Arizona Elementary General Music Teachers’ Attitudes and Practices Regarding Multicultural Music Education

The purpose of this study was to provide specific data regarding the level of multiculturalism of Arizona elementary general music teachers and their utilization of multicultural music education in curriculum and activities. Data gathered was used to investigate the relationship between a teacher’s life experience, personal attitudes, personal behavior, and professional behavior with their developing and employing multicultural music education. Subjects included Arizona elementary general music teachers (N=280) during the 2004-05 school year. The Personal Multicultural Assessment and the Music Specialist’s Multicultural Music Education Survey were sent to the teachers along with a demographic report sheet. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, correlational analysis (Pearson-Product Moment Correlation), analysis of variance (ANOVA), and a multiple regression. The results of the survey indicated that Arizona elementary general music teachers are functioning at varying levels of multiculturalism. Life Experience was a significant factor in determining music teachers’ utilization of multicultural music education, while Personal Behavior, Professional Behavior, and Personal Attitude regarding multiculturalism may not have affected their utilization of multicultural music education. Statistically significant relationships were found between the population of the teachers’ hometown and the Life Experience subscale score and the Composite score. The undergraduate institution from which the teacher graduated was positively related to the Personal Behavior subscale score and the Composite score. Though the majority of Arizona elementary general music teachers felt inadequately prepared for teaching multicultural music education or have ethnic instruments, they reported utilizing the majority of regional-specific world music.


Pinar, Colleen colleenpinar@yahoo.com
Independent Scholar

The Natural Music Course

The Natural Music Course (1895) was utilized in an era where advancements in developmental and philosophical approaches in education provided a strong interaction between industries, institutions of higher education, the Natural Music Course, and the authors. Outcomes included more effective teacher preparation, improved methodology, and integration of music in the curriculums. This fervent interaction resulted in more effective teacher preparation, improved methodology, and integration of music into the curricula. The Natural Music Course was revised two times reflecting evolving trends in education. It was used in schools all across the nation for at least twenty-six years. Further advancement in the field of education can be attributed to the influence of this series, their authors, and the “New School of Methods.”


Reynolds, Geoffrey geoff70nts@netscape.net
Hartt School of Music

A Report on Pre-service Classroom Teachers’ Perspectives on Music Activities

The main purpose of this exploratory study was to determine pre-service classroom teachers’ feelings toward the music activities taught in elementary music methods. Participants were (N = 32) pre-service elementary education majors enrolled in two music methods courses. The semester’s instructional content was divided into two units. The first unit focused on developing music skills and an understanding of music theory. The second unit focused on music activities and assignments related to integrating music with other subjects. A researcher-created survey, Music Activity Value Survey (MAVS), was used to measure their attitudes. A Mann-Whitney U test was used to analyze the data. Results showed that pre-service classroom teachers had positive feelings toward the music activities. The most valued activity reported was mock lessons. Significant differences in how groups rated the value of folk dances, integration related articles, mock lessons, and micro-teaching assignments were observed.


Riley, Patricia rileype@potsdam.edu
Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam

Comparison of Mexican Children’s Music Compositions and Contextual Songs

The purpose of this research was to make observations and comparisons between original music composed by Mexican children, and music that is representative of their cultural context. Data were obtained through notated music compositions created by the children, and through videotaped interviews during which the children performed their compositions, talked about their compositions, talked about songs representative of their cultural context, and performed those songs. Subjects were ten randomly selected fourth-grade children enrolled at the Julian Hinojosa School in Puebla, Mexico, a residential elementary school for economically disadvantaged children. A unique aspect of this research is that the children had not had any formal music education previous to the research. Prior to composing, the children were instructed on the use of the instruments, and on the musical elements of pitch, duration, tempo, dynamics, and timbre. Instruments included glockenspiels, xylophones, maracas, tambourines, and drums. The musical compositions were recorded on paper using non-traditional notation. Students were instructed to use pictures, symbols, letters, words, numbers, and/or colors to document their musical ideas. Data was gathered in June of 2004 during three 90 minute sessions. Findings indicate that the original music compositions of Mexican children are influenced the music that is representative of their cultural context.


Schmidt, Patrick K. pschmidt@rider.edu
Abrahams, Frank
Westminster Choir College of Rider University

Assessing a Sixth Grade General Music Program: A Study of Conformity and Resistance

The ways in which teachers develop and apply different methodologies and pedagogies as well as the ways in which they behave while doing so, create and restrict environments and possibilities inside their classrooms. At the same time, the ways in which students perceive and understand such environments, along with factors such as previous experiences and social background, shape the determining characteristics of what and how educational practices occur. The purpose of this study was to assess a curriculum for sixth grade general music delivered at Westminster Academy, the laboratory school of the music education department at Westminster Choir College in residence at a local middle school. Four essential questions offered a rationale for the development of the curriculum that was framed in Critical Pedagogy for Music Education (CPME). They were: “Who am I? Who are my students? What might they become? What might we become together?” To situate that curriculum into context of schooling inside the building, the researchers also investigated teacher and student behaviors as they impact each other in the course of schooling. The findings were consistent with and confirmed by the literature. The values of learning routed in the social context of students¹ lives are well documented and confirmed in this study. The teaching strategies as identified by Colwell (2004) including interdisciplinary learning and questioning techniques proved successful. The positive effects of reflection (Colwell, 2004) were also noted in classroom observations and reports from the teacher. Asking children to create (Marzano, 2003) proved to be positive experiences as well.


Siebenaler, Dennis dsiebenaler@fullerton.edu
California State University, Fullerton

Factors that Influence Participation in School Music for High School Students

Why do some students continue to participate in school music when it is no longer mandatory, while others opt to discontinue participation in school music? How do home influences, peers, prior music experiences and teachers, self-perceptions of ability, and musical experiences outside of school contribute to decisions concerning participation in school music? This study attempted to identify some of the factors and influences that may contribute to continued participation in school music for high school students. The survey was conducted in Southern California at a large suburban high school in the spring of 2005. Of the 288 subjects who completed the survey, 176 were enrolled in music courses and 112 were not enrolled in a school music course. Results indicated that the factors that contributed to continued participation in music for these high school students were positive support and parental involvement at home, positive music experiences in elementary school and middle school, a positive self-concept in regard to music skills, and the support of peers.


Sinsabaugh, Katherine Sinkny@aol.com
CW Post Long Island University and The Brearley School

Understanding Students Who Cross Over Gender Stereotypes in Musical Instrument Selection

This qualitative case study examined the personal characteristics of students who crossed over gender stereotypes in musical instrument selection. This research focused on the factors that influenced students’ decisions to play an instrument and then the factors that helped them continue to participate in music. This study examined students’ background for factors and influences, including family, peers, and school environment. In total, 12 students ages 11 to 16, were selected from diverse ethnic and social-economic backgrounds in the New York metropolitan area. Factors used in selecting students were: age, instrument, and length of playing instrument, ethnicity, different schools, and school locations. Students were interviewed using a pre-planned interview guide in addition to being observed. To secure triangulation, students’ parents and a school official were also interviewed. This study found that gender issues still existed in instrument selection and many factors contributed to students’ choices of instrument. In many cases, students did not pick their instruments. Instrument sound, a supportive musically – aware family environment, positive teacher interaction and ensemble playing were factors that influenced students’ participation. Further, these factors helped students feel better able to cross over gender barriers in instrument section. Findings seemed to suggest that students felt girls had more choices than boys in musical instrument selection. Boys were found to struggle more when crossing over gender stereotypes in instrument selection than girls. In particular, students perceived the flute as a female instrument.


Smith, Janice P. jpsmith@qc.edu
Queens College, City University of New York

Structured and Unstructured Compositions of Elementary Recorder Students

The main purpose of this study was to examine the effects of researcher-imposed structure on the compositional products and processes of elementary school children. Twelve fourth-grade recorder students each completed six composition tasks. Audio tapes of their compositions were given to four musicians who followed a Q sorting procedure to place the compositions in a rank order of recorder musicality. The total length of time spent on each task and the percentage of process stage time spent by the child for each task was compared with the type of task. The results suggest there is a relationship between the type of task and the quality of the resulting compositional products. Pieces with the least amount of structure often were lowest ranked. The poem task led to compositions of better quality. The amount of time children spent on each of the tasks was not significantly different and was not a factor in creating works of higher quality. Data from post-compositional interviews indicated that different children preferred different task structures.


St. John, Patricia A. pas163@columbia.edu
Teachers College, Columbia University

Polyphonic Pretend-Play: A Qualitative Study of Pre-Schoolers’ Instrument Exploration and Flow Experience

The power of a good idea nurtured in an environment that thrives on the energy ignited among participants in collaborative efforts results in a dynamic learning experience that calls forth each individual’s best efforts and celebrates them. Building on previous research (Author, 2004) investigating the relationship between flow experience and scaffolding among twelve 4- and 5-year-olds, this study focused on instrument exploration of preschoolers. In the author’s original study, using the revised Flow Indicators in Musical Activities Form (R-FIMA), revised and developed by Custodero (1998, 2002) to code videotaped sessions, instrument play was the most flow-producing activity among five categories. Additionally, factor analysis resulted in the Social Indicators (Peer Awareness and Adult Awareness) loading together, but inversely related. Instrument play was the only category in which the Social Indicators were both positive. Eight pre-schoolers enrolled in a private music center in the Northeastern United States were videotaped across five weekly sessions involved in instrument exploration. The length of each episode ranged between 8.5 to 12.5 minutes. Permeating the five sessions was a dramatic play event. This was viewed as the main subject of a complex contrapuntal experience; the children’s engagement with the material became counter themes. The polyphony of song fragments, rhythmic motifs, and interchanging timbres against the backdrop of a “restaurant leitmotif” demonstrated independent parts moving in and out of play as children discovered the joy of making music together. As they engaged in instrument play, the children’s behaviors (musical skills) revealed the development of musical understanding (concepts).


Strand, Katherine kstrand@indiana.edu
Indiana University

Discovering Current Trends in Classroom Composing

The purpose of this study was to examine the use of composition in public schools across the state of Indiana. Three hundred and thirty-nine teachers participated in a survey in which they indicated whether they used composing tasks in their classrooms, the reasons for their choices, and the goals and procedures for typical composing tasks if they had students compose. Quantitative and qualitative data analyses revealed information about the percentage of general music teachers and ensemble directors who are incorporating this National Standard, along with information concerning teachers’ perspectives on the value and usefulness of composing tasks. Examples of composing tasks revealed more information about how practicing teachers define “composition,” and the types of composing tasks given to students. Implications for practice and future research are considered.


Thornton, Linda P. lct12@psu.edu
Pennsylvania State University
Bergee, Martin J.
University of Missouri–Columbia

Career Choice Influences of Music Education Students at Major Schools of Music: A Preliminary Study

The number of students choosing to become music teachers may be insufficient to fill vacant music teacher positions currently and well into the future. To examine how to encourage strong students to become music teachers, an expansion of a previous study by Gillespie & Hamann (1999) surveyed music education majors at researcher-designated major schools of music. Overall, the results were mostly consistent with previous research regarding influences for choosing the profession and suggestions for encouraging future teachers. The majority of respondents indicated love of music and/or children as the most important influence in their decision to become a teacher; also significant adults, such as music teachers and other musical role models were cited. The most popular responses for suggestions to encourage future teachers involved present music teachers being supportive and encouraging mentors to promising students. In some cases, however, influences of the participants were not consistent with suggestions to encourage future teachers. For example, subjects did not frequently mention teaching opportunities or honor ensemble participation as influential, yet these were prominently mentioned as suggestions to persuade current high school students to choose the field of music education. Future research is suggested with more participants, but also with current high school teachers who have significant numbers of alumni in the music education profession to provide further clarity on the recruitment issue.


Votolato, Raymond rvotolato@yahoo.com
Williams Elementary School, Austin, Texas

The Effect of Harmonic Accompaniment on the Pitch Accuracy of Young String Players

The purpose of this study was to find out whether young string players demonstrated better pitch performance accuracy with or without harmonic accompaniment. String students from the University of Texas at Austin’s String Project, ranging in age from 6 to 14, each performed a prepared solo under two conditions: (a) without harmonic accompaniment and (b) with harmonic accompaniment via compact disc. Judges (N = 3) independently listened to and evaluated each subject’s (N = 23) pair of performances based on three aspects of performance: overall pitch accuracy, overall rhythmic accuracy, and overall musical performance. Final results were tallied for each aspect based on which performance (1 or 2), out of each pair, was chosen by two or more judges. Overall, results showed that subjects performed better without harmonic accompaniment. In addition, no substantial correlations could be made between the questionnaire responses and personal characteristics of subjects who performed better with harmonic accompaniment and those without. Also, based on answers recorded from both pre and post-test questionnaires, six out of the eight subjects who reported preferring to play without the CD accompaniment either “never” or “rarely” practiced with the Suzuki accompaniment CD’s.


Walls, Kimberly C. kim.walls@auburn.edu
Auburn University
Mills, Jennifer
U.S. Marine Corps Band, Washington, DC

Women School Band Directors in Alabama: A Demographic Profile

The impetus for this study was questions music education majors asked. Fifty-one percent of the 150 women band directors in Alabama responded to a mailed questionnaire based upon Greaves-Spurgeon’s (1998). Research questions included: What is their status? What are their job responsibilities and career paths? Do they network with each other? What information can they provide to help other women band conductors? How do they compare to other studies’ participants? Participants’ demographic profile, age decided on a music education career, and educational preparation was similar to that in studies of instrumental music teachers. Over their careers, 68% had taught elementary, 80% middle school, 81% high school, 42% choir, and 78% general music. They reported that in their then current positions 30% taught multiple age levels, 32% taught marching band, and 24% taught marching band as well as middle school. Most (89%) took at least one band to a festival. Over half (55%) of respondents had extra work duties and 15% taught non-music courses. All belonged to the state band director’s association and the national music educators association; 91% communicate regularly with other women band directors. Results show the importance and possibility of balance between work and family; the need to be prepared and appear confident; and the value of multi-level and multi-specialization teacher preparation. Suggestions for future research include: how many directors teach general music and how many women band directors may have shifted to general music, vocal music, or elementary music.


Washington, Kara E. karaewashington@bellsouth.net
University of Southern Mississippi

A Study in the Relationship between Selected Characteristics of Private Music Students and Success in Private Music Lessons: Implications for Private Music Teachers

The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship of selected characteristics of private music students and their success in private music lessons as determined by their private music teacher. Specifically, the study sought to determine which combination of the selected characteristics of private music students was the most significant predictor of student success in private music lessons. Initially, the study consisted of fifty-two characteristics or predictor variables. However, after using the Pearson product-moment correlation to determine which characteristics were significant predictors of the dependent variable “student success in private music lessons,” the characteristics were reduced to eight characteristics. The remaining eight characteristics were entered into a multiple regression analysis to answer the question posed in the study: Which combination of the selected characteristics of private music students is the most significant predictor of student success in private music lessons? Based on the selected characteristics, the multiple regression analysis produced five models. As a predictor of student success in private music lessons, each model was significant beyond the .05 level. However, model five was significant far beyond the .01 level and was the most significant predictor of the dependent variable “student success in private music lessons”. It consisted of the following four characteristics: (1) Child’s Continued Interest in Music after Private Lessons Are Begun, (2) Spouse’s Current Participation in Music Organization(s), (3) Parent Formal Private Music Instruction, and (4) Motivations for Private Music Lessons for Child.


Webster, Peter R. pwebster@northwestern.edu
Northwestern University

Refining a Model of Creative Thinking in Music: A Basis for Encouraging Students to Make Aesthetic Decisions

This paper argues for a change in music teaching culture that stresses creative thinking and links this change to the research literature. I provide a basis from educational philosophy by outlining a constructionist position that places emphasis on creative work. This will lead to a brief review of the research base in creativity within the general psychology literature, focusing on the last five decades. Next, I will review some of the most important music research in the last five years, including a revised model of creative thinking in music. This revised model adds a more detailed description of the core aspects of creative thinking, including a more refined approach to reflective thought in music. Music listening and improvisation are better described in this model, as are the enabling conditions that support creative thought. I will end by summarizing why this work is so important for a change in how we conceptualize music teaching and learning.


Wehr-Flowers, Erin erin-wehr-flowers@uiowa.edu
University of Iowa

Differences Between Males and Females in Confidence, Anxiety, and Attitude Toward Learning Jazz Improvisation

The purpose of this study was to explore possible factors contributing to an imbalance of gender participation in jazz programs. A version of the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Survey (1976) was modified by substituting the term “jazz improvisation” for the term “mathematics.” Responses between males and females on the variables confidence, anxiety, and attitude toward success in jazz improvisation were compared. Surveys (n=332) were given to students involved in middle school, junior high school, high school, college, and community jazz programs. Returned surveys (N=138, 42% return rate, 82 males, 54 females, 2 no gender reported) were analyzed. A t-test found females to have a lower level of confidence, a higher level of anxiety, and a lower attitude towards success in jazz improvisation at the significance level of p<.05 for all three variables (confidence, anxiety, and attitude.) Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficients were .97 for confidence, .94 for anxiety, and .86 for attitude. Results show possible areas that may be addressed in teaching jazz improvisation to encourage a more equal participation by females in jazz studies.


Zdzinski, Stephen F. szdzinski@miami.edu
University of Miami

Joseph A. Labuta and His Life in Music Education: An Oral History

The purpose of this study was to create a biography about one of the major figures in music education during the second half of the 20th Century, Dr. Joseph A. Labuta. Using oral history techniques, Dr. Labuta’s recalled memories were used to explore his contributions to music education including public school and college teaching, publications, presentations, and his books on accountability, comprehensive musicianship, and conducting.