Effects of mnemonics (note-naming) on the scale fluency of high school band students

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Title:
Effects of mnemonics (note-naming) on the scale fluency of high school band students
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis
Creator:
Holsworth, Douglas M. ( Dissertant )
Brophy, Timothy ( Thesis advisor )
dos Santos, Silvio ( Reviewer )
Publisher:
College of Fine Arts, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
2010

Notes

Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to determine how using mnemonic techniques would affect the performance fluency of band students learning major scales. Twenty-seven band students in grades nine through twelve were instructed in the performance of three major scales in remote keys. Students in the control group worked on the scales in a traditional band ensemble setting. Students in the treatment group met in small groups based on instrument transposition on alternate days and were instructed to name the notes of the scale aloud as they studied the scales. All students were pretested and post tested using SmartMusic software as an assessment tool, which scored the percentage of correctly played notes of the three scales with a cumulative maximum of 300 points. Changes in student scores ranged from zero to 166 points. A t-test result of .103 indicated no statistically significant difference in scale fluency between the students in a traditional band setting and those using note-naming as a mnemonic device.
General Note:
Music education terminal project

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University of Florida Institutional Repository
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University of Florida
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Author retains all rights.
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AA00000313:00001


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EFFECTS OF MNEMONICS (NOTE-NAMING) ON THE SCALE FLUENCY OF HIGH
SCHOOL BAND STUDENTS


















By


DOUGLAS M. HOLSWORTH


A PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF
FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE
OF MASTER OF MUSIC

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2010
























2010 Douglas M. Holsworth





























To the memory of my father.









TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

A B S T R A C T ............................................. 5

CHAPTER

1. INTRO DUCTIO N ............. ......................................... ............ .. 6
Problem of the Study.............. .......... .. ............ ..................6
Significance of the Problem ........................... .. ........... ........ .....7...
Purpose of the Study ................... .................... ................7
D e lim stations .........................................................................................8
Definition of Term s ........... .... .............................. ...... ...... ..........8

2. R EV IEW O F LITERATU R E ......... ...................... .............................................10
Introduction .................... ......................... .... ...... ....... ................10
Philosophical R ationale................................................10
Theoretical Rationale ............. .... ....... .......... ........... .......... ...... 11
Research Studies................................................. 12

3. METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES......................................... ................ 14
Introduction .............. ........................... .... ...... ....... ................14
P a rtic ip a n ts ..................................................................................................... 1 4
Treatm ent Procedures.............. ............. ............ ................. 15
Data Collection ................... ......... ...... ......... 16
Reliability and Validity Procedures............... ........... ........................... 18

R E S U LT S ................ .............. ................ ..... . ......... .................. 2 0

D IS C U S S IO N ...........................................................................22

APPENDIX
A. LESSON PLANS................. .. ........................... ......24
B. TRA N SPO SED SCA LES ............................................ ........................... 26
C. PARENTAL CONSENT FORM .................................... ......................... 27
D. STUDENT ASSENT FO RM ........................................ ......................... 28

LIST OF REFERENCES........................... ........... .... ... ... ...... 29

B IO G RA PH IC A L S K ETC H ........................................ ................... ................ 31









ABSTRACT

Abstract of Project in Lieu of Thesis
Presented to the College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Master of Music

EFFECTS OF MNEMONICS (NOTE-NAMING) ON THE SCALE FLUENCY OF HIGH
SCHOOL BAND STUDENTS

By

Douglas M. Holsworth

December 2010

Chair: Russell Robinson
Major: Music Education

The purpose of this study was to determine how using mnemonic techniques

would affect the performance fluency of band students learning major scales. Twenty-

seven band students in grades nine through twelve were instructed in the performance

of three major scales in remote keys. Students in the control group worked on the

scales in a traditional band ensemble setting. Students in the treatment group met in

small groups based on instrument transposition on alternate days and were instructed

to name the notes of the scale aloud as they studied the scales.

All students were pretested and post tested using SmartMusic software as an

assessment tool, which scored the percentage of correctly played notes of the three

scales with a cumulative maximum of 300 points. Changes in student scores ranged

from zero to 166 points. A t-test result of .103 indicated no statistically significant

difference in scale fluency between the students in a traditional band setting and those

using note-naming as a mnemonic device.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

High school students who are required to play scales for individual assessments

often receive little individual instruction on how to practice the material. Their instruction

they get is limited to what can be covered in the short warm-up period of the ensemble

class, when they focus on technique. In the case of scales, many of the students resort

to learning the physical patterns of fingering in order to avoid playing a wrong note, with

little intellectual understanding of what they are playing. This is revealed during their

playing assessments; when students have a break in the phrase while performing a

scale learned in this fashion, they often cannot identify their error. The students exhibit

difficulty recovering, and usually must start over at the beginning of the scale pattern.

Problem of the Study

This action research project is designed to investigate a mnemonic pedagogical

technique called note-naming. The purpose of the note-naming technique is to focus a

student's attention on the letter names of the scale passage or technical challenge.

This would seem to relate directly to the problems some students have in scale

assessments when they have learned the scale pattern as a set of finger movements

divorced from any mental, theoretical construct. Many students simply run through the

finger or slide patterns of the scale, and when they make a mistake, they have a hard

time recovering within the exercise itself and have to start over. Short post-assessment

tutoring sessions using the note-naming technique often seem to result in a quick

improvement in the fluency of the students' scales. However, there is only anecdotal

evidence that it yields any improvement in scale fluency. Since the note-naming

technique is not applied in the usual ensemble setting, there is no evidence that using









the technique in a group setting will yield the same results as individual post-

assessment tutoring.

Significance of the Problem

The importance of developing technical accuracy while playing on instruments is

firmly established in Music Standard 2 of the National Standards for Arts Education

(U.S. Department of Education, 1994). While arguments have been made that learning

to play scales with speed and accuracy is not a necessary pedagogical technique

(Feldman, 1937), a quick look at the audition requirements of any post-secondary music

department reveals that mastery of this basic component of Western tonal music is

viewed as a necessity. Scales are included in All State auditions, Honor Band auditions,

university juries, and are regarded as an essential part of the proper playing technique

of any instrument. The Sunshine State Standards do not contain a reference to playing

scales, but standard MU.A.2.4 mandates that "students perform on instruments, alone

and in groups, with proper playing techniques" (Florida Department of Education, 2005).

A review of the major band methods and curricula written to teach proper playing

technique reveals that nearly every published curriculum, technique book or pedagogy

for high school band includes scales. To that end, a warm-up technique which improves

the scale fluency of high school band students would be a welcome addition to a music

teacher's toolkit.

Purpose of the Study

This action research study investigates the note-naming technique as a small

group warm-up activity to determine the effects on the ability of high school band

students to play scale patterns fluently. The research question for this study: does note-









naming practice during group warm-up improve the ability of high school band students

to play scales fluently?

Null Hypothesis: There will be no significant difference between the scale fluency

of high school band students who use note-naming as a scale practice technique during

warm-up and those who use traditional scale warm-up exercises.

Delimitations

In accordance with the action research focus of this project, this study will have

limited transferability to the larger population of high school band students because of

the convenience sampling used to select the participants. Other factors not directly

controlled for include condition of the student's instruments, history effects attributable

to private study, amount of personal practice time away from the school setting, student

musical aptitude and the differential effects of various instrument types.

Definition of Terms

Fluency: As used in this study, fluency in playing scales refers to playing the scale

pattern fairly effortlessly, grouping the notes into a flowing phrase with no breaks, at a

steady tempo. This is based on the idea and definition of oral reading fluency (Zutell &

Rasinski, 1991). It also draws on the fifth stage of Simpson's taxonomy of psychomotor

skills, complex overt response (Simpson, 1966).



Note-Naming: a teaching technique for instrumentalists in which the student calls out

the letter names of the notes of a technical passage while fingering the corresponding

pitches at a steady tempo. The tempo is set slow enough for students to name

accidental without a break in rhythm. After practicing in this manner through the









passage without a break, students are instructed to play the passage while continuing to

think the names of the notes. As the students gain competency, the tempo is increased

in increments to facilitate faster naming and playing.



SmartMusic: a commercially available software package designed primarily as an

individual practice and accompaniment tool. It also includes an assessment feature that

returns a score calculated as a percentage of correct notes played at the tempo set by

the onscreen metronome. Student performance is input via a clip-on microphone, and

feedback is in the form of the percentage score and a visual representation of the

performance on the screen. Notes highlighted in green are scored as correct. Incorrect

pitches are displayed in red along with the written note, and timing errors are indicated

by the distance the red note appears before or after the written pitch.









CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Introduction

Methods of improving psychomotor skills are of particular interest to music

educators, given the hands-on nature of many of the standards in music curriculum

(Florida Department of Education, 2005). A review of the literature indicates a strong

philosophical and theoretical rationale for pursuing an investigation of mnemonic

devices as a pedagogical technique. Note-naming and vocalization are mentioned

frequently in teaching journals as a way to improve playing technique. Although many

studies have been done regarding vocalization and mnemonic techniques to improve

sight-reading and pitch accuracy, there is little research regarding note-naming as a

method to improve scale technique, particularly in high school band students.

Philosophical Rationale

The importance of developing psychomotor skills as a separate domain of the

intellect constitutes the broad philosophical underpinning of this study. Bloom identified

the psychomotor domain as one of three broad categories of learning. While he

developed a complete taxonomy of the cognitive domain that has become a touchstone

for educators discussing the hierarchy of mental processes in learning, he offered no

similar taxonomy for the psychomotor domain. A low priority for psychomotor learning

and processing has been evident in schools, and that has resulted in a lack of focus on

the development of such skills. The authors of the original handbook outlining the

psychomotor domain stated "we find so little done about it in the secondary schools or

colleges, that we do not believe the development of a classification of these objectives

would be very useful at present" (Bloom, Krathwohl, & Masia, 1956).









Others have strongly rejected this notion, and outlined a real need for a

hierarchical description of the psychomotor domain, particularly as it relates to music

education: "Of course, for those involved in areas of instruction such as music,

psychomotor behaviors play an important, if not dominant, role" (Abeles, Hoffer, &

Klotman, 1995). A seven-stage hierarchical taxonomy for the psychomotor domain has

been posited by Simpson. The fifth highest category, complex overt response,

describes smooth and efficient performance of motor acts, confident knowledge of the

physical sequence, and the ability to perform a finely coordinated motor skill with ease

and muscle control (Simpson, 1966). The smooth and coordinated effort required to

play scales on an instrument fluently falls firmly in this category.

Theoretical Rationale

The importance of investigating specific techniques used to improve musical

performance is firmly established in the literature (Radocy &Boyle, 2003), and the use of

mnemonic devices and vocalization to improve reading and psychomotor responses

has been explored in depth by many educators and researchers. Meissner described a

counting system based on the hard consonant "T" for teaching rhythms, relating it to the

familiar numbers and syllables used for rhythm (Miessner, 1963). He also advocated

vocalization as a means to improve tonal thinking and pitch accuracy (Miessner, 1962).

Other mnemonic systems used to improve sight reading in an instrumental setting

borrow from Kodaly techniques (Howard, 1996), Orff methodology (Turpin, 1986),

Curwen hand signs, and Dalcroze movement strategies (Burnsed & Fiocca, 1990).

Singing to improve pitch accuracy in band classes has also been posited as sound

pedagogy (Bernhard, 2002; Domek, 1979; Robinson, 1996). The link between









vocalization and the interpretation of musical notation was a primary focus in Gordon's

concept of audiation and the role it plays in learned musical behavior (Gordon, 2000).

Therefore, the idea of using a vocal mnemonic technique to improve psychomotor skills

is well-established in the literature.

Research Studies

A survey of the literature regarding the use of musical mnemonics as a teaching

strategy revealed a great deal of work done in the areas of sight-reading, rhythm

perception and performance, and the use of musical devices to aid mastery of other

academic skills (Ward, 1999). Studies comparing various systems of counting to

improve rhythmic skills have yielded encouraging results. One study, investigated a

counting system that "differentiated between duple and triple subdivisions of the beat

improved recognition skills to a greater degree than one that did not. Furthermore, a

system in which specific words were assigned to intact rhythm patterns improved

performance and notation skills to a greater degree than did the two systems that used

monosyllables"(Colley, 1987). Brittin conducted a study comparing a traditional

counting method, a Kodaly based "ta-ti" system, and other rhythm counting methods to

rote learning. Her results suggest that there was "an effect associated with particular

counting systems in elementary general music, but it is unclear whether that effect

stems from the pedagogy itself or other factors associated with the teacher's choice of

counting system" (Brittin, 2001). A study with more direct application to this note-

naming project compared rote teaching to note reading in improving rhythmic memory

(Shehan, 1987). The closest model to this note-naming project compared the effect of

five practice conditions on the ability of collegiate instrumentalists to learn a musical









composition (Rosenthal, Wilson, Evans, & Greenwalt, 1988). Rosenthal and colleagues'

study concluded that modeling and free practice were the most effective techniques

used to master a composition, while singing and silent analysis yielded no improvement

over sight reading the piece. However, the participants in the study were advanced

instrumentalists with highly developed sight reading skills, who are not comparable to

high school students who have not yet mastered their scales.









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES

Introduction

This action research study was guided by a quasi-experimental approach with a

comparison-group pretest/post test design. The dependent variable was scale fluency,

and the independent variable was the warm-up method with two levels: note-naming

and traditional scale warm-ups. Convenience sampling followed by random assignment

was used and data analysis was quantitative. Participants in the study took a pretest to

evaluate their fluency in playing a scale in three concert keys: E, Gb and B. These three

keys were selected because they are the least familiar to students at the skill level of

this study. Three treatment groups, separated by the transposition of their instrument,

participated in a series of three group warm-up sessions using note-naming over the

course of two weeks. These treatment sessions took place in an ensemble room

adjacent to the main band room, while the control group worked the scales without

applying note-naming in the band room. To provide some control for teacher effect, the

director and assistant director alternated between leading the treatment groups and the

control group. A post test was administered to both groups to measure any change in

scale fluency.

Participants

Participants were recruited from the concert band (considered the intermediate

band) students at a large suburban high school in the Florida Panhandle. All sixty-eight

of the students in the ensemble were invited to participate in the project, and the sample

consisted of the twenty-seven students receiving parental consent who elected to

participate. These students were randomly assigned to either the treatment group or the









control group. The treatment group of fourteen students was stratified by the

transposition of their instrument: four Concert Key instruments, seven Bb instruments

and three Eb instruments. This separation was to avoid the confusion caused by calling

out different note-names for the same pitches of concert key scales during the treatment

sessions. These three groups all received the same amount of training on note-naming

in their separate sessions.

Treatment Procedures

Students in the treatment group first warmed up with the class using the standard

warm-up exercises. Students in the treatment groups then met in the next room. They

were instructed to call out the note-names of the scale degrees while fingering the note

as they read the scales from their scale sheets. Tempo was set at the speed most of the

group could maintain while clearly stating the note-names. Students then played the

scales at a tempo set by the instructor, based on how quickly they were able to name

the notes. While playing these scales, they were instructed to think the note-names

while they played. They also were instructed to use this technique as they practiced

their scales at home. They were reminded to avoid discussing the specific methods

they were using with other students in the control group. Over the course of the

treatment sessions, tempo was increased in accordance with the group's ability. After

working the scales, the small group rejoined the class.

The control group used the same warm-up exercises and played through the

same scales with the class, but did not use note-naming as a practice technique.









Data Collection Method

The same procedures were used to administer the pretest and post tests:

Students played the concert E, B and Gb scales in the rhythm pattern prescribed by the

FBA All State Audition standards at mm=90 while referring to the written form of the

scale using the SmartMusic software. During the pretest, all students were given time to

familiarize themselves with the computer scoring software while playing a familiar scale

in a key they selected. This was found necessary during the pilot test of the study

conducted with the advanced band members in a separate class. The SmartMusic

software scores each "take" of a scale as a percentage of correct notes played at the

correct time at the given tempo. The pretest/post test was administered in the band

office equipped with a PC computer and SmartMusic software, monitored by the test

administrator. To control for performance anxiety, students were allowed to play each

scale twice, and the higher of the two scores was recorded. Scores were recorded in an

Excel Spreadsheet to facilitate export to the SPSS Statistics Software for analysis.

Figure 3.1. Screen Shot of SmartMusic Assessment Program




:3" L-I rn a n La ag .S M



4S! >2 Bs .it F--. q U na. rS- J ^ .y -ti


S6 PO W- ;

P


i


I









Figure 3.2. Room Setup for Testing










Figure 3.3. Sample Data Collection Spreadsheet


Reliability and Validity Procedures

The director and assistant director conducted a pilot training session using the

advanced symphonic band students at the same school to standardize application of

the note-naming treatment method before starting the study. The use of SmartMusic to

score the scale assessments was intended to control for scoring bias and subjectivity of

the test administrator. The testing procedure with SmartMusic was pilot-tested using

volunteer students from the advanced symphonic band at the same school. As a result,

a SmartMusic orientation period was introduced for study participants to familiarize

them with the software. Treatment periods were adjusted to match the number of

participant groups based on transposition formed after the random assignment process

was complete, and before starting the study period.


Post-
Student Pretest test
Code # E B Gb Total E B Gb Total Change +/-


I I I I I I I+


I4 I I I I I +











A scatterplot histogram (Figure 3.4) constructed using SPSS software to


compare pretest and post test scores shows a fairly high correlation between the two


sets of scores. This indicates a high measure of reliability of the SmartMusic


assessment method used.


Figure 3.4. Scatterplot of Pretest and Posttest Scores


300.00-









200.00-


100.00-


50.00


100.00


150.00 200.00

PostTotal


250.00


300.00


0
00

0

0

0 0
0




0 0
0

0
CO O



000 0
o O
0 0
0
0 0 O
0
0









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Scoring results (Table 4.1 and Table 4.2) were input to the SPSS Statistics

Software package. Mean, median, mode and standard deviation were calculated for the

change in scores for both groups. These statistics are listed in Table 4.3.

A two-factor independent t-test was calculated, and the result was p=. 103.This

falls well above the level of statistical significance (p<.05). Given this lack of statistically

significant difference in the mean change in test scores between the control group and

the treatment group, the null hypothesis for this study was accepted. Data from this

study, therefore, do not support the use of mnemonics in a small group setting to

improve scale fluency over traditional band ensemble rehearsal techniques.

Table 4.1

Control Group Pre-/Post Test Results

Control Post
Pretest
Group test
Code # E B Gb Total E B Gb Total Change +/-
C8 100 100 100 300 100 100 100 300 0
C16 100 100 100 300 100 100 100 300 0
C20 19 10 38 67 33 19 19 71 4
C11 100 86 100 286 100 95 100 295 9
C25 10 10 19 39 33 24 14 71 32
C21 14 10 5 29 19 14 38 71 42
C7 33 14 38 85 29 48 52 129 44
C3 5 5 5 15 33 24 14 71 56
C14 14 24 19 57 52 48 32 132 75
C4 24 24 29 77 52 62 52 166 89
C12 100 76 29 205 95 100 100 295 90
C9 43 29 76 148 71 76 100 247 99
C22 14 52 52 118 71 81 95 247 129









Table 4.2


Treatment Group Pre-Post Test Results


Treatment
Group
Code #
T15
T23
T26
T17
T27
T13
T18
T24
T6
T19
T10
T2
T5
T1


Pretest


B
100
38
33
43
57
29
86
14
24
86
86
48
5
24


Gb
100
5
29
67
86
14
81
19
14
62
62
100
19
29


Total
286
81
81
139
148
48
262
43
57
238
215
219
38
67


Post
test
E B Gb Total
100 100 100 300
24 24 48 96
19 24 57 100
48 43 67 158
38 43 89 170
29 24 24 77
100 100 100 300
19 29 43 91
29 48 29 106
100 100 95 295
90 95 90 275
100 90 100 290
62 62 52 176
43 95 95 233


Change +/-
14
15
19
19
22
29
38
48
49
57
60
71
138
166


Table 4.3


Change in Pre-Post Test Scores


Statistic Control Group n=13 Treatment Group n=14

Mean 51.46 53.21

Median 44.00 43.00
Mode 0.00 19.00
Standard Deviation 42.44 45.96









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

While there was not a statistically significant difference in test scores between

the two groups, there was a small but measurable positive difference of 1.75 in the

mean test results of the treatment group as compared to the control group. This can be

interpreted as holding some practical significance to the music educator looking for

additional pedagogical tools and techniques. The small effect of treatment on improving

mean scores may be attributable to the very short period of time the treatment was

conducted. Many students in the treatment group spontaneously offered that the

mnemonics seemed to be helping them, and both students showing the largest gains

were in the treatment group. Further study of these techniques used over a longer time

period is warranted to discover if the gap in scores would rise to a statistically significant

level with more extended application of the technique.

The gap between mean improvement and the standard deviation of the scores

shows a wide variation in the effect of using the mnemonics to learn the scales for this

sample. This raises questions regarding which students would most benefit from using

note-naming as a practice technique. Some of the lines of inquiry for future research

could include the following:

Is there a correlation between verbal aptitude and the success of mnemonic
practice techniques?

Does the relative skill of a musician affect the usefulness of mnemonics?

An issue arose during the study pertaining to use of the SmartMusic software for

assessment purposes. Students focused on the software instead of the mnemonics

instruction as a way to improve their fluency. Many students expressed a desire to









obtain their own subscription and use it for practice purposes to improve their

performance. Students were enthusiastic and motivated when interacting with the

computer and this can be attributed to their level of comfort with technology. Further

research into the use of SmartMusic as an instructional tool to improve fluency of band

students is warranted.

Another issue was the apparent performance anxiety of many of the students

during post testing. While this qualitative approach is outside the scope of this project, it

was interesting to observe the difference in anxiety levels when students were

attempting to demonstrate progress over their pretest scores. They tended to associate

this anxiety with a desire to prove their progress, and reacted much more negatively to

the computer assessment tool on the post-test. Although data were not collected and

specifically analyzed, a trend was noted by the test administrators: on the pretest, the

second "take" was often the better score, while the opposite was true on the post test.

Future studies should examine this phenomenon.










APPENDIX A
LESSON PLANS

Lesson Plan: Note-naming
Teacher
Name: Holsworth
Name:


Grade: Grade 9-12

Subject: Band


Topic: Note-naming E, B and Gb scales

Students will warm-up using the chromatic warm-up exercise in their
regular band class. Students will then be instructed to call out the note-
names of the scale degrees while fingering the note as they read the
scales from their scale sheets in a breakout session. Tempo will be set
Content: at the speed which the majority of the group can maintain while clearly
stating the note-names. Students will then play the scales at a tempo
set by the director/assistant director, based on how quickly they were
able to name the notes. While playing these scales, they will be
instructed to think the note-names while they play.
Goals: Improve playing Ability on these scales

MU.A.2.4.1 Demonstrate basic technical skills, including production of
Objectives: characteristic tone, in individual and ensemble performance.


Materials: Instrument, metronome, chromatic and scale warm-up sheets

Introduction: Students will warm-up using the chromatic warm-up exercise from
their regular band class

Students will then be instructed to call out the note-names of the scale
Development: degrees while fingering the note as they read the scales from their scale
sheets.

Students will then play the scales at a tempo set by the
Practice: director/assistant director, based on how quickly they were able to
name the notes.
Accommodations: Tempo will be set based on student ability

Checking For
Un saningr Formative assessment by director as they play
Understanding:

Evaluation: Post study assessment with Smart Music
Evaluat__________________________ion









Lesson Plan: Scale Warmup
Teacher
Name: Holsworth
Name:

Grade: Grade 9-12

Subject: Band


Topic: E, B and Gb scales

Students will warm-up using the chromatic warm-up exercise
from their regular band class. Students will then play the scales
Co : at a tempo set by the director/assistant director. Where
Content:
difficulties are identified by the director, students will check
fingerings and play one note at a time. After rehearsing the
problem spot, students will play the scales at tempo.
Goals: Improve playing Ability on these scales

MU.A.2.4.1 Demonstrate basic technical skills, including
Obectives: production of characteristic tone, in individual and ensemble
performance.

Materials: Instrument, metronome, chromatic and scale warm-up sheets

Introduction: Students will warm-up using the chromatic warm-up exercise
from their regular band class
Students will then be instructed to call out the note-names of
Development: the scale degrees while fingering the note as they read the scales
from their scale sheets.
Students will then play the scales at a tempo set by the
Practice: director/assistant director, based on how quickly they were able
to name the notes.
Accommodations: Tempo will be set based on student ability
Checking For
Unheaing Fr Formative assessment by director as they play
Understanding:

Evaluation: _Post study assessment with Smart Music













APPENDIX B

TRANSPOSED SCALES


E, B and Gb Scales FBA All State Pattern


E Major Concert


C



Bb



Eb



C Bass



Tuba


C Tr











CFB



*1


C Tn












CE


T


SB Maior Concert


Bb











4uba w -




ShGb Major Concert





cbl i \, 6. i i O -












nba


-' b~ br j w'


w ;


. IL"I


A


,- W, iL b:; ; - -d












APPENDIX C
PARENTAL CONSENT FORM



School of Music, College of Fine Arts
PO Box 117900
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-7900

Parental Consent

Dear Parent/Guardian,

I am a graduate student in the School of Music at the University of Florida, conducting research on methods for
teaching band students to play major scales under the supervision of Dr. Timothy Brophy. The purpose of this study
is to compare the scale playing ability of students who name the notes out loud while they warm-up to those who
warm-up without naming the notes. The results of the study may help band directors better understand the way
students learn to play scales and allow them to design instructional practices accordingly. These results may not
directly help your child today, but may benefit future students. With your permission, I would like to ask your child
to volunteer for this research.

With your permission, before we begin the study all of the participants will be measured playing the scales using a
computer program. During the study, half of the participating children will name the notes of the scales during
warm-up, while the other children play the scales during warm-up without naming the notes aloud. The two groups
will warm-up with the band directors in separate rooms, then rejoin the main band class. The 10-minute warm-ups
will take place 4 times over a 2 week period. After the two weeks are over, all of the children will be measured again
by the computer. The computer generated information will be accessible only to the researcher for analysis
purposes. The children will be asked to identify themselves in the computer by name only for matching purposes,
and their identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. We will replace their names with code
numbers. Results will only be reported in the form of group data. Participation or non- participation in this study will
not affect the children's grades or placement in any band class or other programs.

You and your child have the right to withdraw consent for your child's participation at any time without
consequence. There are no known risks or immediate benefits to the participants. No compensation is offered for
participation. Group results of this study will be available in December upon request. If you have any questions
about this research protocol, please contact me at (850) 453-3221 ext. 264, via email at
dholsworthkirescambia.kl2.fl.us or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Brophy, at 352-273-3193. Questions or concerns
about your child's rights as research participant may be directed to the IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box
112250, Gainesville, FL 32611, (352) 392-0433.

Douglas Holsworth


I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily give my consent for my child,
to participate in Douglas Holsworth's study of scale teaching techniques and playing skills. I have received a copy
of this description.


Parent / Guardian Date


2n, Parent / Witness Date










APPENDIX D
STUDENT ASSENT FORM




Student Assent Form

I am Mr. Holsworth and I am a graduate student at the University of Florida. I am studying
different ways of teaching band students to play their scales. I will be working with several
students in the Concert Band at Escambia High School, and you are invited to participate. If you
decide to participate, you will warm-up on scales in uncommon concert band keys in one of two
ways: either by naming the notes while you finger them before you play them, or by playing
them without naming the notes. This will be done over two weeks in your regular band period.
You will be measured playing these scales by a computer program before and after that time.
The results of the computer measurements will not be shared with anyone except Mr. Holsworth,
and they will not be a part of your grades in band class. There are no known risks to participants.
You do not have to be in this study if you don't want to and you can quit the study at any time,
even after we have started. Whatever you decide, it will have no affect on your band class grade.
Your parent/guardian said it would be okay for you to participate. Would you like to participate
in this study?





F Yes, I am willing to participate in this study.

F No, I am not willing to participate in this study.


Student Signature: Date:









REFERENCES


Abeles, H. F., Hoffer, C. R., & Klotman, R. H. (1995). Foundations of music education
(2nd ed.). Boston: Schirmer.

Bernhard, H. C. (2002). Singing in instrumental music education: Research and
implications. Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, 22(1), 28-35.

Bloom, B. S., Krathwohl, D. R., & Masia, B. B. (1956-). Taxonomy of educational
objectives: The classification of educational goals, (1st ed.). New York: Longmans,
Green.

Brittin, R. V. (2001). Middle school instrumentalists' perceptions of counting systems.
Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, (148), 12.

Burnsed, & Fiocca, P. (1990). Bringing general music techniques to the instrumental
class. Music Educators Journal, 76(6), 45-49.

Colley, B. (1987). A comparison of syllabic methods for improving rhythm literacy.
Journal of Research in Music Education, 35(4), 221-235.

Domek, R. C. (1979). Teaching aural skills to high school students. Music Educators
Journal, 65(5), 54-57.

Feldman, H. A. (1937). You don't have to practice scales. Music Educators Journal,
24(3), 29-71.

Florida Department of Education. (2005). Sunshine state standards in the arts, music 9-
12. Retrieved from http://www.fldoe.org/bii/curriculum/sss/pdf/music9.pdf

Gordon, E. (2000). Rhythm: Contrasting the implications of audiation and notation.
Chicago: GIA Publications.

Howard, P. M. (1996). Kodaly strategies for instrumental teachers. Music Educators
Journal, 82(5), 27.

Miessner, W. 0. (1962). The art of tonal thinking. Music Educators Journal, 48(3), 42-
45.

Miessner, W. 0. (1963). How to think rhythms. Music Educators Journal, 49(6), 37-40.

Radocy, R., & Boyle, J.D. (2003). Psychological foundations of musical behavior (4th
ed.). Springfield: Thomas

Robinson, M. (1996). To sing or not to sing in instrumental class. Music Educators
Journal, 83(1), 17-47.









Rosenthal, R. K., Wilson, M., Evans, M., & Greenwalt, L. (1988). Effects of different
practice conditions on advanced instrumentalists' performance accuracy. Journal of
Research in Music Education, 36(4), 250-257.

Shehan, P. K. (1987). Effects of rote versus note presentations on rhythm learning and
retention. Journal of Research in Music Education, 35(2), 117-126.

Simpson, E. J. (1966). The classification of educational objectives, psychomotor domain
(Non-Journal Report No. OEC-5-85-104). Washington, D.C.: United States Office of
Education. (ERIC Document Service No. ED010368) Retrieved from ERIC
database.

Turpin, D. (1986). Kodaly, dalcroze, orff, and suzuki: Application in the secondary
schools. Music Educators Journal, 72(6), 56-59.

U.S. Department of Education. (1994). National standards in arts education, music 9-12.
Retrieved from http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/standards

Ward, M. (1999). Musical mnemonics and contemporary learning strategy aids : A
review of the literature (Master's thesis), University of Florida, Gainesville.

Zutell, J., & Rasinski, T. V. (1991). Training teachers to attend to their students' oral
reading fluency. Theory into Practice, 30(3), 211-217.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Douglas M. Holsworth is the Music Department Head and Director of Bands for

Escambia High School in Pensacola, Florida. He is a 1980 alumnus of the program and

served as Drum Major his senior year. He went on to the University of Alabama, and

was Drum Major for the "Million Dollar Band" 1984-85. He also served two years as

President of the University of Alabama chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

After graduating magna cum laude with a B.S. in music education, he joined the

Army as an electronic reconnaissance pilot, holding dual branch qualification in Military

Intelligence and Aviation and rising to the rank of Captain. In 1991, after Desert Storm,

Mr. Holsworth left the service to become Band Director at DeSoto County High School

in Arcadia, Florida.

As Escambia High's Director of Bands since 1995, Mr. Holsworth has led "The

Pride" to achieve superior ratings at all festivals and first place trophies at many

contests. He arranges all the music and writes the drill performed on the field by the

band. He is also the advisor for Chapter 5702 of Tri M Music Honor Society.

Mr. Holsworth is a member of the Florida Bandmaster's Association, the National

Music Educators Association, and the Florida School Music Association. He is an

award-winning music director, actor, and musician in Pensacola Little Theatre

productions. He has been nominated three times for Escambia High School Teacher of

the Year, and is listed in the "Who's Who Among American High School Teachers."

After completing his Master of Music degree, Doug intends to pursue a career at

the collegiate level as a band director and music educator. He is married to Kathy

Holsworth and has two adult children, Samantha and Ben.




Full Text

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1 EFFECTS OF MNEMONICS (NOTE NAMING) ON THE SCALE FLUENCY OF HIGH SCHOOL BAND STUDENTS By DOUGLAS M. HOLSWORTH A PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MA STER OF MUSIC UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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2 2010 Douglas M. Holsworth

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3 To the memory of my father

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4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page 5 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTIO N 6 Problem of the Study ....................................... ............................. ................... .. .. 6 Significance of the Problem ................... ..... ........................ ............................ ... ... 7 Purpose of the Study............. .............................. ............. .... ............................ .. ... 7 Delimitations.................. .............................. ............................................ ... ...... .. ..8 Definition of Terms...... ................... .. ........ ....................................................... ... .. 8 2. REVIEW OF LITERATURE ........... ................... ...... .. ................... .............................10 Introduc tion ........................................................................... ..............................10 Philosophical Rationale......................... .................................. ........... ..... .. ...........10 Theoretical Rationale ....... ...................................................................... .............11 Research Studies.................................................................. ..............................12 3. METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES.............. ....... .. .............. ..............................14 Introduction ........................................................................... ..............................14 Participants............................. ............................................. .. ..............................14 Data Collection .............................................................. .......... ..................... ......16 Reliability and Validity Procedures .................... ................................................... 18 RESULTS........................................................................................ ...............................20 DISCUSSION ............................................................ ...................... ..............................22 APPENDI X A LESSON PLANS............... ........... ................................ ..................................24 B TRANSPOSED SCALES ............................ ................ .. ... ...............................26 C PARENTAL CONSENT FORM......................................... ...... ...... .................27 D STUDENT ASSENT FORM ........................................ .............. .................. .. 28 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................. ..............................29 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................................ 3 1

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5 ABST RACT Abstract of Project in Lieu of Thesis Presented to the College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Music EFFECTS OF MNEMONICS (NOTE NAMING) ON THE SCALE FLUENCY OF HIGH SCH OOL BAND STUDENTS By Douglas M. Ho l sworth December 2010 Chair: Russell Robinson Major: Music Education The purpose of this study was to determine how using mnemonic tech niques would affect the performance fluency of band students learning major scales. Twenty seven band students in grades nine through twelve were instructed in the performance of three major scales in remote keys. Students in the control group worked on the scales in a traditional band ensemble setting. Students i n the treatment group met in small groups based on instrument transposition on alternate days an d were instructed to name the notes of the scale a loud as they studied the scales All students were pretested and post tested using SmartMusic software as an assessment tool which scored the percentage of correctly played notes of the three scales with a cumulative maximum of 300 points. C hange s in student scores ranged from zero to 166 points. A t test result of .10 3 indicated no statistically significant difference in scale flu ency between the students in a traditional band setting and those using note naming as a mnemonic device.

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6 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION High school students who are required to play scales for individual assessments often receive little individual instruction o n how to practice the material. The ir instruction they get is limited to what c an be covered in the short warm up period of the ensemble class, when they focus on technique. In the case of scales, many of the students resort to learning the physical patter ns of fingering in order to avoid playing a wrong note, with little intellectual under standing of what they are playing. This is revealed during t heir playing assessments; when student s ha ve a break in the phrase while p erforming a s cale lea rned in this fashion, they often c annot identify their error. The students exhibit difficulty recovering, and us ually must start over at the beginning of the scale pattern. Problem of the Study This action research project is designed to investigate a mnemoni c pedagogical technique called note naming. The purpose of the note naming technique is to focus a This would seem to relate directly to the problems some students have i n scale assessments when they have learned the scale pattern as a set of finger movements divorced from any mental, theoretical construct Many students simply run through the finger or slide patterns of the scale, and when they make a mistake, they have a hard time recovering within the exercise itself and have to start over. Short post assessment tu toring sessions using the note naming technique often seem to result in a quick However, there is only a necdotal eviden ce that it yields any improvement in scale fluency. Since the note naming technique is not applied in the usual ensemble setting, there is no evidence that using

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7 the technique in a group setting will yield the same results as individual pos t assessment tutoring. Significance of the Problem The importance of developing technical accuracy while playing on instruments is firmly established in Music Standard 2 of the National Standards for Arts Education (U.S. Department of Education, 1994). Wh ile arguments have been made that learning to play scales with speed and accuracy is not a necessary pedagogical technique (Feldman, 1937) a quick look at the audition requirements of any post secondary music departmen t reveals that mastery of this basic component of Western tonal music is viewed as a necessity. Scales are included in All State auditions, Honor Band auditions, university juries, and are regarded as an essential part of the proper playing techn ique of any instrument. The Sunshine State Standards do not contain a reference to playing (Florida Department of Education, 2005) A review of the major band methods and curricula written to teach proper playing technique reveals that nearly every published curriculum technique book or pedagogy for high school band inc ludes scales. To that end, a warm up technique which improves the scale fluency of high school band students would be a welcome addition to a music Purpose of the Study T his action research study investigate s the not e naming technique as a small group warm up activity to determine the effects on the ability of high school band students to play scale patterns fluently. The res earch question for this study : d oes note

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8 naming practice during group warm up improve the a bility of high school band students to play scales fluently? Null Hypothesis : There will be no significant difference between the scale fluency of high school band students who use note naming as a scale practice technique during warm up and those who use tr aditional scale warm up exercises. Delimitation s In accordance with the action research focus of this project, this study will have limited transferability to the larger population of high school band students because of the convenience sampling used to se lect the partici pant s. Other factors not directly controlled for include c h istory effects attributable to private study a mount of personal practice time away from the school setting s tudent musical ap titude and the d ifferential effects of various instrument type s. Definition of Terms Fluency : As used in this study fluency in playing scales refers to playing the scale pattern fairly effortless ly, grouping the notes into a flowing phrase with no breaks, at a steady tempo. This is based on the idea and definition of oral reading fluency (Zutell & Rasinski, 1991) skills complex overt resp onse (Simpson, 1966) Note Naming : a teaching technique for instrumentalists in which the student calls out the letter names of the notes of a technical passage while fingering the corresponding pitches at a steady tempo. The tempo is set slow enough for students to name accidentals without a break in rhythm. After practicing in this manner through the

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9 passage without a break, st udents are instructed to play the passage while continuing to think the names of the notes. As the students gain competency, the tempo is increased in increments to facilitate faster naming and playing. SmartMusic : a commercially available software package designed primarily as an individual practice and accompaniment tool. It also in cl udes an assessment feature that returns a score calculated as a percentage of correct notes played at the tempo set by the onscreen metronome. Student performance is input via a clip on microphone, and feedback is in the form of the percentage score and a visual representation of the performance on the screen. Notes highlighted in green are scored as correct. Incorrect pitches are displayed in red along with the written note, and timing errors are indicated by the distance the red note appears before or a fter the written pitch.

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10 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Introduction Methods of improving psychomotor skills are of particular interest to music educators, given the hands on nature of many of the standards in music curriculum (Florida Department of Education, 2005) A review of the literature indicates a strong philosophical and theoretical rationale for pursuing an investigation of mnemonic devices as a pedagogical technique. Note naming and vo calization are mentioned frequently in teaching journals as a way to improve playing technique. Although many studies have been done regarding vocalization and mnemonic techniques to improve sight reading and pitc h accuracy, there is little research regarding note naming as a method to improve scale technique, particularly in high school band students. Philosophical Rationale The importance of developing psychomotor skills as a separate domain of the intellect constitutes the broad p hilosophical underpinning of this study. Bloom identified the psychomotor domain as one of three broad categories of learning. While he developed a complete taxonomy of the cognitive domain that has become a touchstone for educators discussing the hierarc hy of mental processes in learning, he offered no similar taxonomy for the psychomotor domain. A low priority for psychomotor learning and processing has been evident in schools, and that has resulted in a lack of focus on the development of such skills. T he authors of the original handbook outlining the colleges, that we do not believe the development of a classification of these objectives would be very useful at presen (Bloom, Krathwohl, & Masia, 1956 )

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11 Others have strongly rejected this notion, and outline d a real need for a hierarchical description of the psychomotor domain, particularly as it relates to music educ (Abeles, Hoffer, & Klotman, 1995) A seven stage hierarchical taxonomy for the psychomotor domain has been posited by Simpson. The fifth highest category, complex overt response, describes smooth and efficient performance of motor acts, confident knowledge of the physical sequence, and the ability to perform a finely coordin ated motor skill with ease and muscle control (Simpson, 1966) The smooth and coordinated effort required to play scales on an instrument fluently falls firmly in this category. Theoretical Rationale The imp ortance of investigating specific techniques used to improve musical performance is firmly established in the literature (Radocy &Boyle, 2003), and t he use of mnemonic devices and vocalization to improve reading and psychomotor responses has been explored in depth by many educators and researchers Meissner described a counting system familiar numbers and syllables used for rhythm (Miessner, 1963) He also advocated vocalization as a means to improve tonal thinking and pitch accuracy (Miessner, 1962) Other mnemonic systems use d to improve sight reading in an instrumental setting bo rrow from Kodaly techniques (Howard, 1996) Orff methodology (Turpin, 1986) Curwen hand signs and Dalcroze movement strategies ( Burnsed & Fiocca, 1990) Singing to improve pitch accuracy in band classes has also been posited as sound pedagogy ( Bernhard, 2002; Domek, 1979 ; Robinson, 1996 ) The link between

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12 vocalization and the interpretation of musical notation was a prima r concept of audiation and the role it plays in learned musical behavior (Gordon, 2000) Therefore, the idea of using a vocal mnemonic technique to improve psychomotor skills is well established in the literature. Research Studies A survey of the literature regarding the use of musical mnemonics as a teaching strategy rev ealed a great deal of work done in the areas of sight reading, rhythm perception and performance, and the use of musical devices to aid mastery of other academic skills (Ward, 1999) Studies comparing various systems o f counting to improve rhythmic skills have yielded enco uraging results. O ne study, investigated a counting system that differentiated between duple and triple subdivisions of the beat improved recognition skills to a greater degree than one that d id not. Furthermore, a system in which specific words were assigned to intact rhythm patterns improved performance and notation skills to a greater degree than did the two systems that used (Colley 1987) Brittin conducted a study comparing a traditional counting method, a and other rhythm counting methods to rote learning. He r results suggest counting systems in e lementary general music, but it is unclear whether that effect stems from the pedagogy itself or other factors associated with the teacher's choice of (Brittin, 2001) A study w ith m ore direct application to this note naming project compared rote teaching to note reading in improving rhythmic memory (Shehan, 1987) The closest model to this note naming project compared the effect of five practice condit ions on the ability of colleg iate instrumentalists to learn a musical

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13 composition (Rosenthal, Wilson, Evans, & Greenwalt, 1988) Rosenthal and colleagues study concluded that modeling and free practice were the most effective techniques used to master a composition, while singing and silent analysis yielded no improve ment over sight reading the piece However, the participants in the study were advanced instrumentalists with highly developed sight reading skills, who a re not comparable to high school students who have not yet mastered their scales.

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14 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES Introduction Thi s action research study was guided by a quasi experimental approach with a comparison group pretest / post test design. The dependent variable was scale fluency, and the independent variable wa s the warm up method with two levels: note naming and traditional scale warm ups. Convenience sampling fo llowed by random assignment was used and d ata anal ysis was quantitative. P ar ticipants in the study took a pre test to evaluate their fluency in playing a scale in three concert keys: E, Gb and B. These three keys were selected because they are the least familiar to students at the skill level of this study. Three treatment groups, separated by the transposition of their instrum ent, participated in a series of three group warm up sessions using note naming over the course of two weeks. Th ese treatment sessions took place in an ensemble room adj acent to the main band roo m, while the control group worked the scales without applying note nam ing in the band room. T o provide some control for teacher effect, the director and a ssistant director alternated between leading the treatment groups a nd the co ntrol group. A post test was administered to both groups to measure any change in scale fluency. Participants Participants were recruited from the concert band (considered t he intermedi ate band) students at a large suburban high school in the Florida Panhandle. All sixty eight of t he students in the ensemble were invited to participate in the project, and t he sample c onsisted of the twenty seven students receiving parental consent who elect ed to participate. These students were randomly as signed to either the treatment group or the

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15 co ntrol group. The treatment group of fourteen students was stratified by the transposition of their in strument: four Concert Key instruments, seven Bb instruments and three Eb instruments. This separ ation was to avoid the confusion caused by calling out different note names for the same pitches of concert key scales during the treatment sessions These three groups all receive d the same amount of training on note naming in their separate sessions Tre atment Procedures Students in the treatment group first warm ed up with the class using the standard warm up exercise s Students in the treatment groups then met in the next room. They were instructed to call out the note names of the scale degrees while f ingering the note as they read the scales from t heir scale sheets. Tempo was set at the speed most of the group could maintain while clearly stati ng the note names. Students then play ed the scales at a tempo set by the instructor based on ho w quickly they were able to name the notes. While playing these scales, they were instructed to think the note names while they play ed They also were instructed to use this technique as they practiced their scales at home. They were reminded to avoid d iscussing the specific methods they were using with other students in the control group. Over the course of the treatment sessions, tempo was increased working the scales, the small group rejo ined the class. T he control group used the same warm up exercises and play ed through the same scales with the class, but did not use note naming as a practice technique.

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16 Data Collection Method The same procedures were used to administer the pre test and post test s : Studen ts play ed the concert E, B and Gb scales in the rhythm pattern prescribed by the FBA All Stat e Audition standards at mm=90 while referring to the written form of the scale using the SmartMusic software. During the pretest, all student s w ere given time to fa miliarize themselves with the computer scoring software while playing a familiar scale in a key they sele cted. This was found necessary during the pilot test of the study conducted with the advanced band members in a separate class. The SmartMu sic software score s each take of a scale as a percentage of correct notes played at the correct time at the given t empo. The pretest/post test was administered in the band office equipped with a PC computer and SmartMusic software, monitored by the test administrator. To control for perfo rmance anxiety, students were allowed to play each scale twice, and t he higher of the two scores was recorded Scores were recorded in an Excel Spreadsheet to facilitate export to the SPSS Statistics Software for analysis Figure 3. 1. Screen S hot of SmartMusic Assessment Program

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17 Figure 3. 2 Room Setup for Testing

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18 Figure 3. 3 Sample Data Collection Spreadsheet Student Pretest Post test Code # E B Gb Total E B Gb Total Change +/ Reliability and Validity Procedures The director and assistant director conducted a pilot training session using the ad vanced symphonic band students at the same school to standardize application of the note naming treatm ent method before starting the study. The use of SmartMusic t o score the scale assessments was intended to control for scoring bias and subjectivity of the test administrator. The testing pro cedure with SmartMusic was pilot tested using volunteer students from the advanced symphonic band at the same school. As a result, a SmartMusic orientatio n period was introduced for study participant s to familiari ze them with the s oftware. T reatment periods were adjusted to match the number of participant groups ba sed on transposition formed after the random assignment pro cess was com plete, and before starting the study period.

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19 A scatte rplot histogram ( Figure 3.4) constructed using SPSS software to compare pr etest and post test scores shows a fairly high correlation between the two sets of scores. This indicates a high measure of reliability of the SmartMusic assessment method used Figure 3. 4 Scatte rplot of P retest and Posttest Scores

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20 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Scoring results ( Table 4. 1 and Table 4. 2) were input to the SPSS Statistics Software package. M ean, median, mode and standard deviation were cal culate d for the change in scores for both groups These statistics are listed in Table 4. 3 A two factor independent t test was calculated, and the result was p =.103.This falls well above the level of statistical significance (p<. 05 ) Given this lack of statistically significant difference in the mean change in test scores bet ween the control group and the treatment group, the null hypothesis for this study was accepted D ata from this study, therefore, do not support the use of mnemonics in a small group setting to improve scale fluency over traditional band ensemble reh earsal techniques Table 4 1 Control Group Pre /Post Test R esults Control Group Pretest Post test Code # E B Gb Total E B Gb Total Change +/ C8 100 100 100 300 100 100 100 300 0 C16 100 100 100 300 100 100 100 300 0 C20 19 10 38 67 33 19 19 71 4 C11 100 86 100 286 100 95 100 295 9 C25 10 10 19 39 33 24 14 71 32 C21 14 10 5 29 19 14 38 71 42 C7 33 14 38 85 29 48 52 129 44 C3 5 5 5 15 33 24 14 71 56 C14 14 24 19 57 52 48 32 132 75 C4 24 24 29 77 52 62 52 166 89 C12 100 76 29 205 95 100 100 295 90 C9 43 29 76 148 71 76 100 247 99 C22 14 52 52 118 71 81 95 247 129

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21 Table 4 2 Treatment Group Pre Post Test Results Treatment Group Pretest Post test Code # E B Gb Total E B Gb Total Change +/ T15 86 100 100 286 100 100 100 300 14 T23 38 38 5 81 24 24 48 96 15 T26 19 33 29 81 19 24 57 100 19 T17 29 43 67 139 48 43 67 158 19 T27 5 57 86 148 38 43 89 170 22 T13 5 29 14 48 29 24 24 77 29 T18 95 86 81 262 100 100 100 300 38 T24 10 14 19 43 19 29 43 91 48 T6 19 24 14 57 29 48 29 106 49 T19 90 86 62 238 100 100 95 295 57 T10 67 86 62 215 90 95 90 275 60 T2 71 48 100 219 100 90 100 290 71 T5 14 5 19 38 62 62 52 176 138 T1 14 24 29 67 43 95 95 233 166 Table 4.3 Change in Pre Post Test Scores Statistic Control Group n=13 Treatment Group n=14 Mean 51.46 53.21 Median 44.00 43.00 Mode 0.00 19.00 Standard Deviat ion 42.44 45.96

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22 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION While there was not a statistically significant differen ce in test scores between the two groups, there was a small but measurable positive difference of 1.75 in the mean test results of the treatment group as compared to the control group This can be interpreted as holding some practical significance to the music educator looking for additional pedagogical tools and techniques. The small effect of treatment on improving mean score s may be attributable to the very short period of time the treatment was conducted. Many students in the treatment gro up spontaneously offered that the mnemo n ics seemed to be helping them an d both students show ing the largest gains were in the treatment group. F urther study of these techniques used over a longer time period is warranted to discover if the gap in scores would rise to a statistically significant level with more extended application of the technique. The gap between mean improvement and the standard deviation of the scores shows a wide variation in the effect of using the mnemonics to learn the scales for this sample. This raises questions regarding which students would most benefit from using note naming as a practice technique. Some of the lines of inquiry for future research could include the following : Is there a correlation between verbal aptitude an d the success of mnemonic practice techniques? Does the relative skill of a musi cian affect the usefulness of mnemonics? An issue arose during the study pertain ing to use of the SmartMusic software for assessment purpo se s. Students foc us ed on the software instead of the mnemonics instruction as a way to improve their fluency Many students expressed a desire to

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23 obtain their own subscription and use it for practice purposes to improve their performance. Student s were enthusiastic and motivated when interacting with the computer and this can be attributed to their level of comfort with technology. Further research into the use of SmartMusic as an instructional tool to improve fluency of band students is warrante d. Another issue was the apparent performance anxiety of many of the students during post testing. While this qualitative appro ach is outside the scope of th is project, it was interesting to observe the difference in anxiety levels when students were att empting to demonstrate progress over their pretest scores. They tended to associate this anxiety with a desire to prove their progress, and reacted much more negatively to the computer assessment tool on the post test. Although data w ere not collected and specifically analyzed, a trend was noted by the test administrato rs: on the pretest, the sec ond take was often the better score, while the opposite was true on the post test. Fu ture studie s should examine this phenomenon.

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24 APPENDIX A LESSON PLANS Lesson Plan: Note naming Teacher Name: Holsworth Grade: Grade 9 12 Subject: Band Topic: Note naming E, B and Gb scales Content: Students will warm up using the chromatic warm up exercise in their regular band cl ass. Students will then be instructed to call out the note names of the scale degrees while fingering the note as they read the scales from their scale sheets in a breakout session Tempo will be set at the speed which the majority of the group can maintai n while clearly stating the note names. Students will then play the scales at a tempo set by the director/assistant director, based on how quickly they were able to name the notes. While playing these scales, they will be instructed to think the note name s while they play. Goals: Improve playing Ability on these scales Objectives: MU.A.2.4.1 Demonstrate basic technical skills, including production of characteristic tone, in individual and ensemble performance. Materials: Instrument, metronome, chroma tic and scale warm up sheets Introduction: Students will warm up using the chromatic warm up exercise from their regular band class Development: Students will then be instructed to call out the note names of the scale degrees while fingering the note a s they read the scales from their scale sheets. Practice: Students will then play the scales at a tempo set by the director/assistant director, based on how quickly they were able to name the notes. Accommodations: Tempo will be set based on student ab ility Checking For Understanding: Formative assessment by director as they play Evaluation: Post study assessment with Smart Music

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25 Lesson Plan : Scale Warmup Teacher Name: Holsworth Grade: Grade 9 1 2 Subject: Band Topic: E, B and G b scales Content: S tudents wil l warm up using the chromatic warm up exercise from their regular band class. Students will then play the scales at a tempo set by the director/assistant director Where difficulties are identified by the director, student s will check fingerings and play one note at a time. After rehearsing the problem spot, students will play the scales at tempo. Goals: Improve playing Ability on these scales Objectives: MU.A.2.4.1 Demonstrate basic technical skills, including producti on of characteristic tone, in individual and ensemble performance. Materials: Instrument, metronome, chromatic and scale warm up sheets Introduction: S tudents wil l warm up using the chromatic warm up exercise from their regular band class Development : Students will then be instructed to call out the note names of the scale degrees while fingering the note as they read the scales from their scale sheets. Practice: Students will then play the scales at a tempo set by the director/assistant director, based on how quickly they were able to name the notes. Accommodations: Tempo will be set based on student ability Checking For Understanding: Formative assessment by director as they play Evaluation: Post study assessment with Smart Music

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26 AP PENDIX B TRANSPOSED SCALES

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27 APPENDIX C PAREN TAL CONSENT FORM S chool of Music, College of Fine Arts PO Box 117900 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611 7900 Parental Consent Dear Parent/Guardian, I am a graduate student in the School of Music at the University of Florida, conducting research on methods for teaching band students to play major scales under the supervision of Dr. Timothy Brophy. The purpose of this study is to compare the scale playing ability of students who name the notes out lou d while they warm up to those who warm up without naming the notes. The results of the study may help band directors better understand the way students learn to play scales and allow them to design instructional practices accordingly. These results may not directly help your child today, but may benefit future students. With your permission, I would like to ask your child to volunteer for this research. With your permission, before we begin the study all of the participants will be measured playing the sc ales using a computer program. During the study, half of the participating children will name the notes of the scales during warm up, while the other children play the scales during warm up without naming the notes aloud. The two groups will warm up with t he band directors in separate rooms, then rejoin the main band class. The 10 minute warm ups will take place 4 times over a 2 week period. After the two weeks are over, all of the children will be measured again by the computer. The computer generated info rmation will be accessible only to the researcher for analysis purposes. The children will be asked to identify themselves in the computer by name only for matching purposes, and their identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. We w ill replace their names with code numbers. Results will only be reported in the form of group data. Participation or non participation in this study will not affect the children's grades or placement in any band class or other programs. You and your chil d have the right to withdraw consent for your child's participation at any time without consequence. There are no known risks or immediate benefits to the participants. No compensation is offered for participation. Group results of this study will be avail able in December upon request. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me at (850) 453 3221 ext. 264, via email at dholsworth@rescambia.k12.fl.us or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Brophy, at 352 273 3193. Questions or concerns about your child's rights as research participant may be directed to the IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611, (352) 392 0433. Douglas Holsworth I have read the proced ure described above. I voluntarily give my consent for my child, _______________________, of this description. ____________________________ ___________ Parent / Guardian Date ____________________________ ___________ 2 nd Parent / Witness Date

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28 APPENDIX D STUDENT ASSENT FORM Student Assent Form I am Mr. Holsworth and I am a graduate student at the University of Florida. I am studying dif ferent ways of teaching band students to play their scales. I will be working with several students in the Concert Band at Escambia High School, and you are invited to participate. If you decide to participate, you will warm up on scales in uncommon conc ert band keys in one of two ways: either by naming the notes while you finger them before you play them, or by playing them without naming the notes. This will be done over two weeks in your regular band period. You will be measured playing these scales by a computer program before and after that time. The results of the computer measurements will not be shared with anyone except Mr. Holsworth, and they will not be a part of your grades in band class. There are no known risks to participants. You do not ha even after we have started. Whatever you decide, it will have no affect on your band class grade. Your parent/guardian said it would be okay for you to participate. Would you like to participate in this study? Yes, I am willing to participate in this study. No, I am not willing to participate in this study. Student Signature: ______________________________________Date: ______________________

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29 R EFERENCES Abeles, H. F., Hoffer, C. R., & Klotman, R. H. (1995). Foundations of music education (2nd ed.). Boston : Schirmer. Bernhard, H. C. (2002). Singing in instrumental music education: Research and implications. Update: Applications of Research in Mu sic Education, 22 (1), 28 35. Bloom, B. S., Krathwohl, D. R., & Masia, B. B. (1956 ). Taxo nomy of educational objectives : The classification of educational goals, (1st ed.). New York: Longmans, Green. Brittin, R. V. (2001). Middle school instrumental ists' perceptions of counting systems. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, (148), 12. Burnsed, & Fiocca, P. (1990). Bringing general music techniques to the instrumental class. Music Educators Journal, 76 (6), 45 49. Colley, B. (1987) A comparison of syllabic methods for improving rhythm literacy. Journal of Research in Music Education, 35 (4), 221 235. Domek, R. C. (1979). Teaching aural skills to high school students. Music Educators Journal, 65 (5), 54 57. Feldman, H. A. (1937). Yo u don't have to practice scales. Music Educators Journal, 24 (3), 29 71. Florida D epartment of Education. (2005). Sunshine state standards in the arts, music 9 12. R etrieved from h ttp ://www.fldoe.org/bii/curriculum/sss/pdf/music9.pdf Gordon, E. (2000). Rhythm: Contrasting the implications of audiation and notation Chicago: GIA Publications. Howard, P. M. (1996). Kodaly strategies for instrumental teachers. Music Educators Journal, 82 (5), 27. Miessner, W. O. (1962). The art of tonal thinkin g. Music Educators Journal, 48 (3), 42 45. Miessner, W. O. (1963). How to think rhythms. Music Educators Journal, 49 (6), 37 40. Radocy, R., & Boyle, J.D. (2003). Psyc hological foundations of musical behavior (4 th ed.). Springfield: Thomas Robinson, M. (1996). To sing or not to sing in instrumental class. Music Educators Journal, 83 (1), 17 47.

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30 Rosenthal, R. K., Wilson, M., Evans, M., & Greenwalt, L. (1988). Effects of different practice conditions on advanced instrumentalists' performance accuracy. Jou rnal of Research in Music Education, 36 (4), 250 257. Shehan, P. K. (1987). Effects of rote versus note presentations on rhythm learning and retention. Journal of Research in Music Education, 35 (2), 117 126. Simpson, E. J. (1966). The classification of ed ucational objectives, psychomotor domain (Non Journal Report No. OEC 5 85 104). Washington, D.C.: United States Office of Education. (ERIC Document Service No. ED010368) Retrieved from ERIC database. Turpin, D. (1986). Kodly, dalcroze, orff, and suzuki: Application in the secondary schools. Music Educators Journal, 72 (6 ), 56 59. U.S. Department of Education. (1994). National standards in arts education music 9 12. Retrieved from http://artsedge.kennedy center.org/educators/standards Ward, M. (1999). Musical mnemonics and contemporary learning strategy aids : A review of the literature (Master's thesis) University of Florida Gainesville Zutell, J., & Rasinski, T. V. (1991). Training teachers to attend to their students' oral reading fluency. Theory into Practice, 30 (3 ), 211 217.

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31 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Douglas M. Holsworth is t he Music Department Head and Director of Bands for Escambia High School in Pensacola, Florida He is a 1980 alumnus o f the program and served a s D rum Major his senior ye ar. He went on to t he Univers ity of Alabama, and was Drum Major for 1984 85. He also served two years as President of the University of Alabama c hapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. After graduating m agna c um l aude with a B.S. in m usic e ducat ion, he joined the Army as an electronic reconnaissance pilot, holding dual branch qualification in Military Intelligence and Aviation and rising to the rank of Captain. In 1991, after Desert Storm, Mr. H olsworth left the servi ce to become Band Director at DeSoto County High School in Arcadia, Florida. As Escambi a since 1995 Mr. Holsworth has led The to achieve superior ratings at all festivals and first place trophies at many contests H e arrang es all the music and writes the drill p erformed on the field by the band He is also the advisor for Chapter 5702 of Tri M Music Honor Society Mr. Holsworth is a member of the Music Educators Association, and the F lorida School Music Associatio n. H e is a n award winning music dire ctor, actor, and musician in Pensacola Little Theatre productions. H e has been nominated t hree times for Escambia High School Teacher of A mong American High School Teachers After completing his Master of Music degree, Doug intends to pursue a career at the collegiate level as a band director and music educator. He is married to Kathy Holsworth and has two adult children, Samantha and B en.