The effect of active and passive music instruction on the spatial ability of kindergarten children
AuthorTaetle, Laurie Daniels
AdvisorCutietta, Robert A.
MetadataShow full item record
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.
AbstractThis study expands prior research demonstrating a relationship between electronic piano keyboard instruction and increased spatial ability in preschoolers (Rauscher, F. et al., 1993, 1994, 1997). Spatial ability was assessed after active music instruction using Orff xylophones, active singing instruction, or a passive listener-oriented approach. Kindergartners (N = 68) from 3 intact classrooms, stratified for gender, were randomly assigned to 3 groups: (1) xylophone (n = 28), (2) singing (n = 26), and (3) passive music (n = 14). The lessons for active groups 1 and 2 were identical except for the variable of xylophone instruction. Children learned the same songs, movements, unpitched instrument accompaniments, and read the same simple iconic musical notation. However, during part of the lesson group 1 used xylophones as accompaniments and to sight-read iconic notation, while group 2 (singing) continued to use unpitched instruments as accompaniments and Kodaly hand-signals to sight-read the same iconic notation. Passive group 3 did no singing, playing, moving, or music reading but listened to and talked about music. The instructor taught bi-weekly 30-minute music classes for 4 months; IQ's were measured using 5 subtests (Performance Scale) of the Weschler Primary and Preschool Intelligence Scale - Revised (WPPSI - R) (1989) by a school psychometrist. To control for WPPSI - R practice effects, half of group 1 (n = 14) and group 2 (n = 14) were pre-tested while half of group 1 ( n = 14) and group 2 (n = 12), and all of group 3 (n = 14) were not pre-tested. All were post-tested six months later. There were no practice effects. To compare groups raw scores were used as there were no significant age differences among groups. No significant differences were found. However, consistent with other studies a trend (p < .06) towards enhanced performance on the xylophone group's Object Assembly (OA) subtest was found when compared with the passive music group. A similar trend (p < .06) was found on Block Design, the subtest that most highly correlates with OA. A ceiling effect may have constrained growth due to music instruction as 21% of the xylophone group's OA scores were perfect or near perfect.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Music and Dance