Title

An Assessment Of The Vertical Method And The Ensemble Approach For Teaching Sight Reading To Secondary Class Piano Students

Date of Award

1980

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which improvement of proficiency in sight reading was affected by either the vertical method or the ensemble approach of teaching sight reading to class piano students. The extent of the efficiency of each approach was also assessed. Further, the relationship between a number of concomitant variables and improvement in sight reading was investigated. These variables were: number of years of previous piano instruction, number of previous classes in music theory, class level, area of major, and major instrument.The study involved second year music majors attending the University of Miami. Two experimental groups and one control group (combined n = 40) were selected from students enrolled in second year, secondary class piano.The experimental groups which involved class drill using the vertical method and the ensemble approach to sight reading was limited to fifteen minutes a week for a period of ten weeks. The control group received equal time of sight reading instruction using a four part community song book.The measuring instruments used were the Gordon (1965) Musical Aptitude Profile; forms A and B of the Shake (1957) Piano Sight Reading Test which included the Pre-Performance Test; and an author developed questionnaire. Statistical procedures were an analysis of variance of mean gain scores as well as an alternate procedure using an analysis of covariance on the same design. A t-test was performed to compare scores between the groups. An analysis of concomitant variables was executed to determine their relationship to mean gain scores.The conclusions drawn from the study were: (1) Class drill in sight reading using either the vertical method or the ensemble approach were not significantly more effective than more traditional material. (2) The observed improvement in sight reading was significantly related to the number of previous college theory classes. (3) The observed improvement in sight reading was not significantly related to the number of years of previous piano instruction. (4) The observed improvement in sight reading was not significantly related to either class level or area of major. (5) The observed improvement in sight reading was significantly related in the area of duration with the instrumentalists having the highest mean gain.It was recommended that further research might emphasize the analytical approach to the improvement of sight reading skills. It was also suggested that research might stress "how to teach" rather than "what to teach."

Keywords

Education, Music

Link to Full Text

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