CORRELATIONS BETWEEN READING MUSIC AND READING LANGUAGE, WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR MUSIC INSTRUCTION (NOTATION).
AuthorHAHN, LOIS BLACKBURN.
Committee ChairO'Brien, James P.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThere is evidence that the strategies used by fluent readers of written language and by fluent "sight-readers" of musical notation are much the same. Both require a background in the modality represented by the written symbols. Both require context for construction of meaning through sampling and prediction. In this study, a method of elementary music-reading instruction was developed in which musical notation is introduced in the context of musical patterns familiar to the students through earlier musical experiences. The focus is on melodic contour and rhythmic units, initially with no emphasis on exact pitch. An experimental study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of this method with a more traditional one in which the elements of notation are first introduced in isolation. Subjects for the study were two beginning string classes (fourth- through sixth-grade students) in geographically contiguous schools in a large school district in a southwestern city. There were two 30-minute classes per week. During the first two months, both groups were given identical pre-reading experiences, including rote playing, by the regular music teachers. Instruction in music reading, begun in the third month, consisted of eleven lessons administered to each group by the investigator. The testing instrument, designed by the investigator and used as pretest and posttest, consisted of initial measures of five children's songs, four of which were familiar to the children through rote experiences. While all of the subjects received zero on the pretest, posttest scores for both groups indicated growth in music reading. A t-test on the data permitted rejection of the null hypothesis and acceptance of the alternate hypothesis that the investigator-designed method was more effective than the traditional one in both the music-reading task and the sight-reading task.