Effects of finger placement markers on intonation for beginning string players

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Title:
Effects of finger placement markers on intonation for beginning string players
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Miles, Brigid
Publisher:
School of Music
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Music
Intonation (Musical pitch)
Stringed instruments--Instruction and study
Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of finger tape on intonation for beginning violin players. Students in the first group received finger tape and a thumb placement marker applied to their instrument. The tape identified placement for fingers on the D and A strings for the pitches used in a one-octave D major scale. The thumb marker located correct placement for the player's left thumb. The second group had no visual markers applied to their instruments. Each group consisted of three students: one each from first, fourth and fifth grade. The study was conducted during eight, 45-minute lessons, held once a week. All students were tested during the first lesson for their ability to hear changes in pitch. The next three lessons provided introductive violin instruction with emphasis on intonation. A pre-test occurred during the fourth lesson measuring correct intonation for the D major scale. A post- test was conducted during the eighth lesson, testing in random order, pitches used for the D major scale. All lessons and tests were video and audio recorded. Intonation was measured by documenting each pitch in hertz. The frequency range of the pitch was used to create an achievement score. Each pitch was also documented with a graphic representation. Hertz testing and graphs were completed utilizing the computer program "Perfect Intonation". Results indicated there was a statistically significant effect on intonation for those students using the finger and thumb placement markers.
General Note:
Advisor(s): Charles Hoffer, S. Alexander Reed.
General Note:
Music Education terminal project.
General Note:
Project in lieu of thesis.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographic references (leaves 42-43).
General Note:
Vita.

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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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AA00000349:00001


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EFFECTS OF FINGER PLACEMENT MARKERS ON INTONATION
FOR BEGINNING STRING PLAYERS








By


BRIGID MILES


SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE:
CHARLES OFFER, CHAIR
S. ALEXANDER REED, MEMBER










A 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

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2010





























2010 Brigid Miles






























To Kevin and my family









TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

LIST OF FIGURES............................................ ... ... ............. .. ..................6

LIST OF TABLES ............................................... ....... 7

ABSTRACT ............................................................ ...................................................... ...8

CHAPTER

1 Introduction .......................................................................................................... ...................10

Problem of the Study ............................... ........................................... ........................... .....10
Significance of the Problem ............................. ....................................................................... 11
P purpose of the S tudy ............... ........... .. ..... .............................................................................11
D elim stations .................................... .............. .................................. . .......................... 11
D efin itio n of T e rm s.................................................................. ........................................................12


2 R EV IEW O F LIT E RA TU R E ..............................................................................................................13

In tro d u ctio n ............ .......... ........ .... ..... ...................................................................................13
P philosophical R rationale .................................................................................................................13
Theoretical Rationale..........................................................................................................14
R research Studies ......................................................................................... .................... .14


3 METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES...................................................................................... ...17

Introduction n ................................. ......... ...... ........................................................ ........................... .17
P ro ce d u re s ..................................................................................................................................... 17
D ata C collection and A analysis ...................................... ...................................... .........................19

4 R E S U LT S ................................... ................................. ... .........................28

5 D IS C U S S IO N ...................................................................................................................................29

APPENDIX

A MUSIC LESSON PLANS....................... ................... ............ ...............................................31

B PARENTAL CONSENT FORM................................... .................................... ................39









C STUDENT ASSENT FO RM ............................................................................................................ 41

LIST O F REFERENCES.......................................................................................................................42

BIO G RAPHICAL SKETCH ............................... ..... ........................ ... .. ...............................44









LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

3-1 Violin with finger placement markers...... ...................................................................... 20

3-2 Violin without finger placement markers. .................................. ....................................... 20

3-3 Perfect Intonation ...................... ...................................... ....................................... 21









LIST OF TABLES

Table e

3-1 D ata C hart 1 .................................... ...... ... ..... ...................................................... . ... 22

3-2 Data Chart 2.. .. ...................................................................................................... 23

3-3 Data Chart 3. ...................... ............................................................ 24

3-4 Data Chart 4.................................................................................................................... 25

3-5 Data Chart 5.................................................................................................................. 26

3-6 D ata C hart 6 ............. ......... .............................. .......................................... ... 27

4-1 Summary Chart .............................. ..... ........ ... ...... .... ..... ..........28

4-2 Comparison Chart........................... ................................................... .. ............28









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 FINGER PLACEMENT MARKERS ON INTONATION FOR BEGINNING
STRING PLAYERS

By

Brigid Miles

December 2010

Chair: Charles Hoffer
Major: Music Education

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of finger tape on intonation for

beginning violin players. Students in the first group received finger tape and a thumb

placement marker applied to their instrument. The tape identified placement for fingers on the

D and A strings for the pitches used in a one-octave D major scale. The thumb marker located

correct placement for the player's left thumb. The second group had no visual markers applied

to their instruments. Each group consisted of three students: one each from first, fourth and

fifth grade.

The study was conducted during eight, 45-minute lessons, held once a week. All

students were tested during the first lesson for their ability to hear changes in pitch. The next

three lessons provided introductive violin instruction with emphasis on intonation. A pre-test

occurred during the fourth lesson measuring correct intonation for the D major scale. A post-

test was conducted during the eighth lesson, testing in random order, pitches used for the D

major scale. All lessons and tests were video and audio recorded.








Intonation was measured by documenting each pitch in hertz. The frequency range of

the pitch was used to create an achievement score. Each pitch was also documented with a

graphic representation. Hertz testing and graphs were completed utilizing the computer

program "Perfect Intonation". Results indicated there was a statistically significant effect on

intonation for those students using the finger and thumb placement markers.








CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Instructing intonation with beginning string players poses a challenge for most music

teachers (Bencriscutto, 1965). This challenge manifests itself in the violin because "playing in

tune on a stringed instrument can be thought of as a process requiring an aural conception of

correct intonation prior to playing, and the use of complex physical motions to produce the

desired sound" (Bergonzi, 1991). By association, these two components form the basis of a

challenge for the instructor and also for the new string student. Of the physical motions;

"feeling" (the right amount of stretch to return the fingers to the right spot repeatedly) and

"sight" (the confirmation that the finger is in the proper position) are fundamental. "Sound" (the

ear monitoring pitch) establishes confirmation that the fingers are in the correct position. "In

order to assure complete learning" there is a necessity to understand these factors (Villasurda,

2006).

Problem of the Study

So how best can a violin teacher instruct for proper intonation? The beginning player's

challenge becomes the teacher's instructional problem, as many beginning students have had

little training in aurally identifying a true pitched note. Consequently, the student lacks reliable

confirmation that their finger placement is correct. What helpful methods or techniques can the

teacher provide?

Harmony can be used as an aural reference to which the "in-tuneness" of a performance

can be judged by the performer (Gordon, 1988). Unfortunately, this may not be a practical

solution for the beginning student. Over time, the use of sight aids became more established.

As far back as Leopold Mozart, finger markers have been used as a method to assist in proper

finger placement. This approach has gained more acceptance by educators, as research








documented its value. Mursell wrote: "musical hearing and musical seeing are essentially and

reciprocally related. The eye and the ear can and should support one another" (Mursell, 1953).

Nunez states "that visual instructional strategies enhance the learning of musical concepts,

especially the acquisition of intonation skills when paired with the sound stimulus (Nunez,

2002).

Significance of the Problem

The significance of this problem rests with the practical application of instructional

methods available to beginning string teachers. By determining which pedagogical methods

assist the students in effectively creating proper intonation, the teacher minimizes the

obstacles new students' experience. "Knowing the proper order of developing technical and

musical skills and knowing how to teach these essentials is necessary to bring excellent

results" (Pernecky & Fink, 1998). Smith (1985) says the development of performed pitch

accuracy of string students is a topic of great concern to string educators. Experimental

research sheds little on this crucial aspect of string instruction.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of finger markers on beginning violin

students' intonation. The application of finger markers as an independent variable provided a

data base from which to analyze the effects on intonation. The following research question

guided the study:

To what extent do finger markers affect a students' intonation accuracy?

Delimitations

This study measured the effects of finger markings on intonation with the violin. The study

did not include viola, cello or bass because of the small number of beginning players and the








lack of availability of the instruments themselves in the sample frame. The study did not

include the use of vibrato as a technique to make adjustments to pitch. The technique is an

advanced method utilized by string players, who would not be generally classified as

beginners. The selection of the D major scale for the study was limited to one octave and

excluded any shift out of first position. The following were not accounted for in this study:

previous music experience or lessons, music aptitude, general classroom experience, gender,

or ethnicity.

Definition of Terms

Pitch: the perceived fundamental frequency of a sound. In this study, pitch is the

"psychoacoustical equivalent of the physical property of frequency" (Nunez, 2002).

Intonation: accurately reproducing the correct pitch. Intonation was considered correctly

obtained when measured against a tuning standard.

Finger placement marker: visual reference installed on a fretless finger board providing

locations for finger and thumb placement.








CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Introduction

The review of literature is categorized into three sections. First is a philosophical

foundation for the study. Second is the theoretical foundation for the study. What has the body

of early child developmental study provided the string teacher for developing instruction? Third

is a sampling of varied research. This includes literature written by methodology specialists,

text books written by string teachers, academic dissertations, academic journal articles, and

professional trade magazine articles.

Philosophical Rationale

Different people learn and experience music differently. "A student brings their own

experiences, strengths, and weakness to the music learning situation" (Radocy & Boyle, 2003).

It follows that "To make good decisions, teachers must be aware of the many ways in which

student learning can unfold in the context of development, language and cultural differences,

individual temperance, interests, and approaches to learning" ( Bransford, Darling-Hammond &

LePage, 2005). Charles Hoffer in his book Teaching Music in Secondary Schools says "For

these reasons there is no one right way to teach music" (Hoffer, 2001)

David Elliott wrote in Music matters: A new philosophy of music education that a strong

music curriculum is just not for a few "high end" musical students. He said, "The best music

curriculum for the best music students is the best curriculum for all music students (Elliott,

1995).

Not all students share the same experiences, learn in the same manner, nor show the

same musical aptitude. It is, therefore, important for music educators to understand that

teaching the "right way" is not to merely teach from a single and unchanging standard, but to








use the methods that best fit the student's style of learning. Appropriate instruction must, by

definition, include all possible methods and techniques shown to be effective.

Theoretical Rationale

"The early stages of musical training are optimal to impress upon a youngster's mind

the concept of performed pitch accuracy and the formation of a tonal memory needed to carry

out intonation endeavors" (Barrett, 1976). Research also shows that playing in tune is a skill,

that with training, can be improved upon (Ludin, 1963). Cuddy (1970) concluded that

systematic training improved pitch discrimination. Cohen (1984) found that continually allowing

students to play out of tune could permanently hamper their potential to discriminate pitch.

For these reasons, examining the effects of a specific intonation treatment is important. If

instructing beginning students at a younger age can help form tonal memory, and if this skill

can be improved upon, then understanding how best to instruct intonation is a requirement of

the responsible teacher.

Research Studies

A number of music educators have conducted studies investigating the aural aspects

involved in intonation. Other researchers have studied the effects of visual aids. This section

reviews a sampling of both works and their related pedagogies.

Concerning aural methodology creators, after the end of World War II, Shinichi Suzuki

created a "Talent Education" movement in Japan. The teaching techniques relied almost

entirely on learning through aural recognition. Learning, it was suggested, was foremost a

listening experience (Suzuki, 1968). With the violin, Galamian (1985) concluded that listening

was first required to produce any adjustments of the left hand and thereby obtain proper

position. Nunez (2002) included in his dissertation that the "kinesthetic action of learning and








placing the fingers on the string, must be guided by the ear of the player." Research studies

such as these highlight the primacy of the aural component in learning, and the importance of

the ear in guiding finger placement.

Other studies addressed the visual component of learning. In an effort to reach students

in rural areas, Joseph E. Maddy taught a class over FM radio in 1948 titled "Symphonic String

Course." He described, "the experiment was carried out with the county schools and receivers

were furnished by the University. .. the weakness of radio. .. is that the teacher cannot show

the pupils how to hold their instruments so I do it with pictures. .. strangely enough this works

better than showing them" (Deverich, 2006). Recent research speaks to the use of finger-

marking tape as a visual aid for violin players. Several beginning instructional books include

directions for applying finger tape, and provide photographs and diagrams of the correct hand

position and finger placement (Anderson & Frost, 1986).

According to Dillon and Kriechbaum (1978) the use of finger-marking tape is acceptable

and desirable in the beginning stages of learning. Shelia Johnson (1985) in her book Young

Strings in Action recommends and instructs on the application and use of finger-marking tape.

A research paper, written as part of its author's doctoral dissertation, looked at the effects

of finger placement markers (FPM) and the impact on left-hand technique and intonation skills

(Bergonzi 1991). Mario Nunez's doctoral dissertation compared visual and aural instructional

methodologies looking to improve intonation accuracy, not of beginning students, but of

seventh-grade string players in orchestra (Nunez 2002). Nunez concluded that finger tape as a

visual aid was not significantly more effective than an aural training program alone. Bergonzi

found that "Indeed, results from this study suggest that the use of FPMs (finger position








markers) assists in the development of string-intonation skills." He continued, "Thus, string

educators should refine their rationale for the use of FPMs in beginning string instruction."

Acknowledging the contrast in results of similar studies, Bergonzi recommends further

investigation and research, especially for studies using "highly accurate pitch-measurement

technology." I accept Bergonzi's recommendations and seek to continue this line of research.








CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES

Introduction

The research for this study was conducted in a quasi experimental research design. Non-

random sampling was used as participants were assigned by their grade level. A total of six

students (two from each of three grade levels) were selected.

The study includes a quantitative analysis of the data collected during testing. Data are

quantified by using a matrix to generate a score based on the student's performance. All

performances were recorded using digital equipment for both the video and sound

components. The prime data collection instrument used the computer program "Perfect

Intonation." Parents or grandparents signed consent forms and the students signed assent

forms before the research study.

Procedures

Participants for this experiment were limited to beginning violin students only. Students

were recruited by an invitation to participate. I made this in person, to the congregation of my

church. Students chosen expressed an interest in learning violin, while having neither any prior

playing experience nor any string players in their immediate household. These selections were

made as part of an extraneous variable control.

Subjects comprised students from the first, fourth and fifth grades. Students attend public

elementary schools within the area of the parish. Before the study, each student and

parent/guardian of the student received an informed consent form. The form explained the

purpose of the experiment. This included, in non-technical language, the nature of their

participation. Special attention was made advising participants and parents that the study








would not have any effect on the student's regular school work or music instruction. The

assent specifically advised of the ability to remove oneself from the study at any time.

Instruction was scheduled once a week for 45 minutes for eight weeks, at the parish

center, in a group format. Actual instruction time was 30 minutes. The extra time allowed for

setting up, tuning, and dismissal. The control and experimental groups were taught separately.

Each group was taught, by the researcher, using the same instruction lesson plans. (Appendix

A).

The experimental group had finger placement markers applied on their instruments'

fingerboards. The markers located proper placement of the first, second and third fingers and

thumb. The finger markers were one-eighth-inch wide, stick-on strips of tape. The thumb

placement markers were Velcro self-adhesive circle (Figure 3-1). The control group's

instruments received no visual markers of any kind (Figure 3-2).

Students in both groups were given a folder that contained handouts picturing the proper

holding position for the violin and bow. The folder also included diagrams labeling the

individual parts of a violin and bow. Each week, the lesson instructions were added to the

folder. All materials were chosen or written by the instructor. No established method book was

used. Because the focus of this study stressed intonation, students received limited instruction

in reading music or rhythms. Tablature was used in place of standard notation. All pieces used

were traditional songs already familiar to the students.

Week 1, both groups were given an interval and melodic listening test. This test was

conducted to evaluate the student's aural discrimination. Also covered in the first lesson were

proper holding position for the violin, and the letter names of each string. Pizzicato was taught,

as bowing was not yet introduced. Week 2, long notes, short notes, and rests were reviewed.








Instruction also included first, second, and third finger placement, on all four strings. Three

songs were introduced including "The Monkey Song," "Mary Had a Little Lamb," and "Twinkle

Twinkle Little Star." Week 3, the bow and correct bow techniques were introduced. A one-

octave, D major scale was explained, demonstrated and taught. A pre-test was administered in

Week 4, using the D major scale in step-wise assent. Weeks 5 through 7 were spent working

on the D major scale, in step-wise order as well as random selection. In addition to the D major

scale, three more simple songs were introduced. The post test was administered in Week 8,

playing the eight notes of the one octave, D major scale in random order.



Data Collection and Analysis

I made a digital audio and visual recording of each student during their pre and post tests.

In addition, each pitch played was captured and represented visually on a graph generated by

the computer program "Perfect Intonation." (Figure 3-3) Using this program allowed me to

accurately measure the frequency of each pitch played.

During the pretest, the one-octave, D major scale was played in step-wise, ascending

order. During the post test, the pitches for this scale were played by each student, in the same

random order sequence.

Scores were determined by calculating the difference between the standard frequency of

each pitch and the lowest (flat) and highest (sharp) frequency created by the student. The sum

of the two variances became the student's score for that pitch. The lower the score, the more

closely the student was able to play to the pitch's standard frequency. Student's final test

scores were the total accumulative scores, for all pitches. The collection of the student' scores

provided a data base to make a comparison of the individual student's performance, and a








comparison of the two violin groups. Students were identified by assignment of a number to

ensure anonymity. Identification in the data charts includes a reference to whether the violin

had finger-placement markers. Each data chart shows the student pre and post test

performance, note sequence, and standard frequency for each pitch played. Mean, median,

and standard deviation were calculated to determine the statistical significance of the results.


Figure 3-1. Violin with finger placement markers


Figure 3-2. Violin without finger placement markers





Figure 3-3. Perfect Intonation


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O W W
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Table 3-1. Data Chart 1
Student Sequence Note
Pretest

Child 1
FPM


D4

E4

F#4

G4

A4

B4

C#5

D5


STD
Frequency


293.66

329.63

369.99

391.99

440.00

493.88

554.36

587.33


Low High Difference
between
Low and
STD


293.66

324.26

370.59

390.27

440.00

490.00

551.25

595.95


293.66

334.09

380.17

397.30

440.00

580.26

558.23

604.11


0.00

5.37

0.60

1.72

0.00

3.88

3.11

8.62


Student Sequence Note
Posttest

Child 1
FPM


A4

D4

B4

F#4

D5

E4

C#5

G4


STD
Frequency



440.00

293.66

493.88

369.99

587.33

329.63

554.36

391.99


Low High Difference
between
Low and
STD


440.00

293.66

490.00

355.65

580.26

326.67

551.25

390.27


440.00

293.66

495.51

373.73

595.95

331.58

558.23

397.30


0.00

0.00

3.88

14.34

7.07

2.96

3.11

1.72


Difference
between
High and
STD

0.00

0.00

1.63

3.74

8.62

1.95

3.87

5.31


Total
Difference
= Score


0.00

0.00

5.51

18.08

15.69

4.91

6.98

7.03

58.20


Difference
between
High and
STD

0.00

4.46

10.18

5.31

0.00

86.38

3.87

16.78


Total
Difference
= Score


0.00

9.83

10.78

7.03

0.00

90.26

6.98

25.40

150.28








Table 3-2. Data Chart 2
Student Sequence Note
Pretest

Child 2
FPM


D4

E4

F#4

G4

A4

B4

C#5

D5


Student Sequence Note
Posttest

Child 2
FPM


A4

D4

B4

F#4

D5

E4

C#5

G4


STD
Frequency


Low High Difference


Difference


between between Difference


Low and
STD


293.66

329.63

369.99

391.99

440.00

493.88

554.36

587.33


STD
Frequency



440.00

293.66

493.88

369.99

587.33

329.63

554.36

391.99


293.66

326.67

380.17

400.91

440.00

506.90

544.44

588.00


293.66

331.58

386.84

420.00

440.00

506.90

558.23

612.50


0.00

2.96

10.18

8.92

0.00

13.02

9.92

0.67


Low High Difference
between
Low and
STD


440.00

293.66

512.79

364.46

604.11

339.23

572.73

386.84


440.00

293.66

525.00

376.92

621.13

350.00

588.00

400.91


0.00

0.00

18.91

5.53

16.78

9.60

18.37

5.15


Total


High and
STD

0.00

1.95

16.85

28.01

0.00

13.02

3.87

25.17


Difference
between
High and
STD

0.00

0.00

31.12

6.93

33.80

20.37

33.64

8.92


= Score


0.00

4.91

27.03

36.93

0.00

26.04

13.79

25.84

134.54


Total
Difference
= Score


0.00

0.00

50.03

12.46

50.58

29.97

52.01

14.07

209.12








Table 3-3. Data Chart 3
Student Sequence Note
Pretest

Child 3
FPM


D4

E4

F#4

G4

A4

B4

C#5

D5


Low High Difference
between
Low and
STD


STD
Frequency



293.66

329.63

369.99

391.99

440.00

493.88

554.36

587.33


0.00

2.96

8.51

1.72

0.00

9.26

9.92

0.67


Difference
between
High and
STD

0.00

2.96

2.49

5.31

0.00

7.26

11.02

25.17


Student Sequence Note
Posttest

Child 3
FPM


A4

D4

B4

F#4

D5

E4

C#5

G4


STD
Frequency


440.00

293.66

493.88

369.99

587.33

329.63

554.36

391.99


Low High Difference
between
Low and
STD


440.00

293.66

495.51

364.46

588.00

339.23

558.23

393.75


440.00

293.66

506.90

373.73

604.11

344.53

565.38

400.91


0.00

0.00

1.63
5.53

0.67

9.60

3.67

1.76


Total
Difference
= Score


0.00

5.92

11.00

7.03

0.00

16.52

20.94

25.84
87.25


Difference
between
High and
STD

0.00

0.00

13.02

3.74

16.78

14.90

11.02

8.92


Total
Difference
= Score


0.00

0.00

14.65

9.27

17.45

24.50

14.89

10.68

91.44


293.66

326.67

361.48

390.27

440.00

484.62

544.44

588.00


293.66

326.67

367.50

397.30

440.00

501.14

565.38

612.50








Table 3-4. Data Chart 4
Student Sequence Note
Pretest

Child 4
-FPM


D4

E4

F#4

G4

A4

B4

C#5

D5


Student Sequence Note
Posttest

Child 4
-FPM


A4

D4

B4

F#4

D5

E4

C#5

G4


STD
Frequency


440.00

293.66

493.88

369.99

587.33

329.63

554.36

391.99


Low High Difference
between
Low and
STD


STD
Frequency



293.66

329.63

369.99

391.99

440.00

493.88

554.36

587.33


0.00

14.63

14.34

8.51

0.00

19.69

16.56

21.95


Low High Difference
between
Low and
STD


440.00

293.66

454.64

350.00

544.44

319.57

506.90

367.50


440.00

293.66

474.19

355.65

565.38

324.26

525.00

380.17


0.00

0.00

39.24

19.99

42.89

10.06

47.46

24.49


Difference
between
High and
STD

0.00

10.06

2.49

1.76

0.00

14.53

3.11

0.67


Difference
between
High and
STD

0.00

0.00

19.69

14.34
21.95

5.37

29.36

11.82


Total
Difference
= Score


0.00

24.69

16.83

10.27

0.00

34.22

19.67

22.62

128.30


Total
Difference
= Score


0.00

0.00

58.93

34.33

64.84

15.43

76.82

36.31

286.66


293.66

315.00

355.65

383.48

440.00

474.19

537.80

565.38


293.66

319.57

367.50

393.75

440.00

479.35

551.25

588.00








Table 3-5. Data Chart 5
Student Sequence Note
Pretest

Child 5
-FPM


D4

E4

F#4

G4

A4

B4

C#5

D5


STD
Frequency



293.66

329.63

369.99

391.99

440.00

493.88

554.36

587.33


Low High Difference
between
Low and
STD


293.66

334.09

373.73

397.30

440.00

506.90

558.23

612.50


293.66

339.23

380.17

408.33

440.00

518.82

580.26

639.13


0.00

4.46

3.74

5.31

0.00

13.02

3.87

25.17


Difference
between
High and
STD

0.00

9.60

10.18

16.34

0.00

24.94

25.90

51.80


Student Sequence Note
Posttest

Child 5
-FPM


A4

D4

B4

F#4

D5

E4

C#5

G4


STD
Frequency


440.00

293.66

493.88

369.99

587.33

329.63

554.36

391.99


Low High Difference
between
Low and
STD


440.00

293.66

490.00

367.50

588.00

329.10

518.82

408.33


440.00

293.66

501.14

373.73

595.95

341.86

537.80

416.04


0.00

0.00

3.88

2.49

0.67

0.53

35.54

16.34


Total
Difference
= Score


0.00

14.06

13.92

21.65

0.00

37.96

29.77

76.97

194.33


Difference
between
High and
STD

0.00

0.00

7.26

3.74

8.62

12.23

16.56

24.05


Total
Difference
= Score


0.00

0.00

11.14

6.23

9.29

12.76

52.10

40.39

131.91








Table 3-6. Data Chart 6
Student Sequence Note
Pretest

Child 6
-FPM


D4

E4

F#4

G4

A4

B4

C#5

D5


STD
Frequency


293.66

329.63

369.99

391.99

440.00

493.88

554.36

587.33


Low High Difference
between
Low and
STD


293.66

324.26

352.80

386.84

440.00

490.00

506.90

551.25


293.66

329.10

361.48

390.27

440.00

490.00

518.82

565.38


0.00

5.37

17.19

5.15

0.00

3.88

47.46

36.08


Difference
between
High and,
STD

0.00

0.53

8.51

1.72

0.00

3.88

35.54

21.95


Student Sequence Note
Posttest

Child 6
-FPM


A4

D4

B4

F#4

D5

E4

C#5

G4


STD
Frequency


440.00

293.66

493.88

369.99

587.33

329.63

554.36

391.99


Low High Difference
between
Low and
STD


440.00

293.66

469.15

329.10

558.23

324.26

501.14

335.65


440.00

293.66

474.19

334.09

580.26

329.10

506.90

364.46


0.00

0.00

24.73

40.89

29.10

5.37

53.22

56.34


Total
Difference
= Score


0.00

5.90

25.70

6.87

0.00

7.76

83.00

58.03

187.26


Difference
between
High and
STD

0.00

0.00

19.69

35.90

7.07

0.53

47.46

27.53


Total
Difference
= Score


0.00

0.00

44.42

76.79

36.17

5.90

100.68

83.87

347.83








CHAPTER 4
RESULTS
Positive numeric values in the "difference" column indicate an improvement (lower score)

between the pre and post tests (Table 4-1). Negative values indicate performances that did not

improve. The mode value for both groups (Table 4-2), during both tests, was zero because of

two open strings being played and is not listed (zero variance from the standard frequency).

These data indicate that Group 1 (with finger-placement markers) performed better than Group

2. Because of the small number of participants during this study, a t-Test analysis was not

performed.

Table 4-1. Summary Chart
Pretest Posttest Difference Total Difference for the Group
Child 1 FPM 150.28 58.20 92.08
Child 2 FPM 134.54 209.12 -74.58
Child 3 FPM 87.25 91.44 -4.19
Group Total 372.07 358.76 13.31
Child 4- FPM 128.30 286.66 -158.36
Child 5- FPM 194.33 131.91 62.42
Child 6- FPM 187.26 347.83 -160.57
Group Total 509.89 766.40 -256.51



Table 4-2. Comparison Chart
Pretest Posttest
Median Mean sd Median Mean sd
Group 1 Finger Placement Markers 134.54 124.02 26.78 91.44 119.59 64.75
Group 2 No Finger Placement Markers 187.26 169.96 29.60 286.66 255.47 90.87








CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

Although the duration of this study was eight weeks, instruction in intonation was limited to

four weeks. This was necessitated by the nature of instructing beginning string students.

Lesson time was needed to complete an aural discrimination test, familiarize the students with

the instruments, and instruct on bowing techniques. The two groups were instructed in the

same classroom, on the same day and within one hour of each other. This helped control for

the additional demand on the student's time these lessons represented. The lessons appeared

to be well received by all students.

Performance results of this study were used to determine the effect of finger placement

markers on intonation. The experimental group used finger-placement markers and recorded a

mean score of 124.02 during their pretest. The group's median score was 134.54. An

improvement in intonation would be demonstrated by registering a lower score during the post

test. A lower score would be due to the smaller variance from the standard frequency for the

pitch being played. Results from the post test for the experimental group showed that, as a

group, intonation improved. The median score fell 43.1 points (32%) to 91.44, while the mean

score dropped to 119.59. Only one of the group's three students showed improvement.

However, this student recorded the largest improvement of all students studied.

The control group as a whole did not show any improvement between the two tests. In

fact, the group recorded negative improvement. The median score rose from 187.26 to 286.66

(an increase of 35%). The mean score rose from 169.96 to 255.47. As in the experimental

group, only one student in this group showed improvement.

Numerically, the results of the study showed that both groups had the same number of

improving and non-improving students. Although all possible extraneous variables could not be








taken into account, the groups did differ significantly in the amount and direction of

improvement. As a group, students with finger placement markers performed better than those

without. Students with finger placement markers more accurately played the correct pitch

frequency. Students without finger tape showed the largest amount of variance. The research

indicates that the finger placement markers assist the beginning student in producing proper

intonation.

Previous research has been inconclusive, as different studies have yielded different

results. My ability to use an accurate measuring device such as "Perfect Intonation" increased

the precision of the test results. Mindful of this, I contacted the engineers of the computer

program and reviewed the limitations and experience of using their product in this study. The

company expressed in writing that future versions of the product will include enhancements

suggested by the researcher.

The purpose of this study was to help provide music educators (and specifically string

teachers), to gain knowledge of teaching methodologies that may be successful when

instructing beginning students. String teachers should not be reluctant to use all possible

techniques that may aid the student. This study indicates they should consider allowing

beginning students the use of aids such as finger- placement markers to produce more

accurate intonation.








APPENDIX A
LESSON PLANS



Music Lesson Plan


Unit


Lesson One
Content
(Noun)

Violin
Rhythm
Pitch
Melody
Objectives
(Skills)

SListen/Analyzing
Procedures

Administer interval and melodic evaluations
Proper name for parts of the violin
Letter name of each string lowest to highest G, D, A, E
Model proper stance for violin hold and pizzicato
Say and play each string name while playing pizzicato
Pass out take home folder with picture of correct stance, violin hold and practice
sheets for open strings
Assessment


Name at top of sheet and answers circled for interval and melodic evaluation.
Identified violin parts and proper term for each.
Correct stance and hold used when playing.
Secured base of thumb in correct position. Plucked string with index finger.
Played proper string, when instructed to, by letter name.


Resources


Answer sheets for interval and melodic evaluations, violin, sheet picturing correct
stance for feet and violin hold, take home sheets for practicing open strings,
homework assignment page for identifying parts of the violin








Music Lesson Plan


Unit


Lesson Two
Content
(Noun)

Rhythm
Pitch
Objectives
(Skills)

Playing
Reading
Procedures

Instruct students from hand out on rhythm for:
whole note: whole-note-hold-it (4 beats)
half note: half-note (2 beats)
quarter note: quarter (1 beat)
quarter rest: rest, palms up (1 beat)
Model finger #1 is pointer finger, #2 tall man and #3 ring finger
"Monkey Song" on each string using fingers 1, 2, and 3 using pizzicato
"Mary Had a Little Lamb" on the D and A string
"Twinkle, Twinkle" using the D and A strings
Assessment

Clapped and said aloud whole, half and quarter notes and quarter rests.
Used proper fingering and string for each song.
Resources

Rhythm sheet, Monkey Song, Mary Had a Little Lamb and Twinkle, Twinkle sheets
to be added to folder for practicing at home.








Music Lesson Plan


Unit


Lesson Three
Content
(Noun)

Bow
Melody
Objectives
(Skills)

Playing
Reading
Procedures


Proper names for the parts of the violin bow
Model correct right hand finger placement on stick and frog
Shadow bow down and up
Using only the middle of the bow, play down bow stop, up bow-stop on the violin
Introduce open, 1, 2, 3 on the D and A strings for the, one octave, D major scale
Play pitches of the D major scale with the bow
Play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and Twinkle, Twinkle" with one note per bow


Assessment

Identified parts of the bow with proper term for each.
Correct positioning of right hand fingers on stick and frog.
Correct fingerings, rhythms and bowing for songs.
Resources


Take home packet sheets with link for YouTube video for bow hold, picture sheet
for correct bow hold, rhythm patterns and D major scale tablature


I








Music Lesson Plan


Unit


Lesson Four
Content
(Noun)


Objectives
(Skills)

Playing
Reading
Listening/Analyzing
Procedures

Review D major scale
Video and sound record each individual student, using the Perfect Intonation
computer program, playing a one octave D major scale
Assessment

I Analysis of each note played for pitch accuracy.
Resources


Computer, video camera, Perfect Intonation program








Music Lesson Plan


Unit


Lesson Five
Content
(Noun)

Rhythm
Melody
Objectives
(Skills)

Playing
Reading
Listening/Analyzing
Procedures

One octave D major scale
Rehearse "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Twinkle, Twinkle"
Introduce "Ode to Joy"
Play, in random order, pitches of the D Major scale
Have each student play one question and group answers using pitches in the D
major scale
Assessment


D major scale played with correct fingering and intonation.
"Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Twinkle, Twinkle" played with correct fingerings,
rhythm and bowing.
"Ode to Joy" played with correct fingerings.


Resources

Take home practice sheet for "Ode to Joy"








Music Lesson Plan


Unit

Lesson Six
Content
(Noun)

Rhythm
Melody
Objectives
(Skills)

Playing
Reading
Listening/Analyzing
Procedures

One octave D major scale
Rehearse "Mary Had a Little Lamb", "Twinkle, Twinkle", and "Ode to Joy"
Model technique for left hand pizzicato
Introduce "Pop Goes the Weasel"
Play, in random order, pitches of the D Major scale
Have each student play one question and group answers using pitches in the D
major scale
Assessment

D major scale played with correct fingering and intonation.
"Mary Had a Little Lamb", Twinkle, Twinkle" and "Ode to Joy" played with correct
fingerings, rhythm and bowing.
"Pop Goes the Weasel" played with correct fingerings and use of left hand
pizzicato.
Resources

Take home practice sheet for "Pop Goes the Weasel"








Music Lesson Plan


Unit


Lesson Seven
Content
(Noun)

Rhythm
Melody
Objectives
(Skills)

Playing
Reading
Listening/Analyzing
Procedures

One octave D major scale
Rehearse "Mary Had a Little Lamb", Twinkle, Twinkle", "Ode to Joy", and "Pop
Goes the Weasel"
Play in random order, pitches of the D Major scale
Have each student play one question and group answers using pitches in the D
Major scale
Assessment

D major scale played with correct fingering and intonation.
All songs played with correct fingerings, rhythm and bowing.
Resources

No new take home sheets needed








Music Lesson Plan


Unit


Lesson Eight
Content
(Noun)

Rhythm
Melody
Performance
Post Test
Objectives
(Skills)

Playing
Reading
Listening/Analyzing
Procedures

D major scale
Rehearse all songs
Perform "Mary Had a Little Lamb", Twinkle, Twinkle", "Ode to Joy" and "Pop Goes
the Weasel"
Video and sound record each individual student, using the Perfect Intonation
computer program, playing, in random order, the eight pitches of a one octave D
major scale
Assessment

Analysis of each pitch played for accuracy.
Resources

Computer, video camera, Perfect Intonation program








APPENDIX B
PARENTAL CONSENT FORM


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


Dear Parent/Guardian,

I am a graduate student in the School of Music, College of Fine Arts at the University of
Florida, conducting research on intonation in beginning string players under the supervision of
Dr. Timothy Brophy. The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of finger marking tape
on the student's ability to produce "in tune" notes. The results of the study may help teachers
better understand which methodologies and techniques will best assist new players. 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.

Half of the participating children will have school supplied violins with a clear finger marking
tape applied to the finger board. The other half will be supplied a standard violin with no
markings. Instruction will take place twice a week over the course of eight weeks during the
students General Music Class. With your permission, your child will be audibly and visually
recorded. The recording will be accessible only to the researcher for verification purposes. At
the end of the study, the recordings will be erased. The children will be asked to identify
themselves by random number only and their identity will be kept confidential to extent
provided by law. 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 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 your participation. Group results of this study will be available
in December 2010 upon request. If you have any questions about this research protocol,
please contact me at 386.451.3561 or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Brophy, at 352.273.3193.
Questions or concerns about your child's rights as a research participant may be directed to
the IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611, (352) 392.0433.


Brigid Miles










I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily give my consent for my child,
____.__, to participate in Brigid Miles's study of intonation in beginning string
players. I have received a copy of this description.


Parent / Guardian


Date


Date


2nd Parent / Witness








APPENDIX C
STUDENT ASSENT FORM

Student Assent Form

I am Brigid Miles and I am a graduate student at the University of Florida. I am studying about
how beginning string players learn how to play notes on the violin. I would like you to
participate. If you do this, you will start to learn how to play the violin. We will spend a small
amount of your music class on this project during an eight week period. You do not have to do
this if you don't want to, and if you start and don't like it, you can quit at any time. Other than
me, my assistant, and your classmates, no one will hear your performances. Whatever you
decide, this will not affect your grade. Your parent/guardian said it would be okay for you to do
this. Are you interested?



Yes, I am willing to participate in this study.

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




Student's Signature Date








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University
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Bencriscutto, F. (1965). Intonation-a new approach. The Instrumentalist, 20
(4), 66-68

Bergonzi, Louis S. (1991). The effects of finger placement markers and harmonic
context on the development of intonation performance skills and other
aspects of musical achievement of sixth-grade beginning string students.
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Bransford, J. & Darling-Hammond, L & LePage, P. (2005) Preparing Teachers for a
Changing World. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons

Cohen, H.F. (1984). Quantifying Music. Boston, MA: D. Reidel Publishing Company

Cuddy, L. L. (1970). Training the absolute identification of pitch. Perception and
Psychophysics, 8, 265-269.

Deverich, R (2006). How Did They Learn? : An Overview of Violin Pedagogy with
an Emphasis on Amateur Violinists.
Retrieved June 20, 2009, from Violin On Line Web site:
http://www.violinonline.com

Dillon, J. A., & Kriechbaum, C. B. (1978). How to Design and Teach a Successful School
String and Orchestra Program. San Diego, CA: Kjos.

Elliot, D. J. (1995). Music matters: A new philosophy of music education. New York:
Oxford University Press.

Galamian, I. (1985). Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching (2nd ed.) Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice-Hall.

Gordon, E. E. (1988). Learning sequences in music. Chicago: G.I.A. Publications.

Hoffer, C. R. (2001). Teaching Music in the Secondary Schools (5th ed.) Belmont,
CA: Wadsworth

Johnson, S. (1985). Young strings in action, Volume 1, teacher's book (2nd ed.) Farmingdale,
NY: Boosey & Hawkes.








Lundin, R. (1963). Can perfect pitch be learned? Music Educators Journal, April-May, 49-51.

Mursell, J. (1953) Music in American Schools. (2nd ed.) New York,
NY: Silver Burdett

Nunez, M.L. (2002). Comparison of Aural and Visual Instructional Methodologies
Designed to Improve the Intonation Accuracy of Seventh Grade Violin and Viola
Instrumentalists (Doctoral Dissertation, University of North Texas, 2002). Electronic
Document Project, Open Document.

Pernecky, Jack M. & Fink, Lorraine (1998). Teaching the Fundamentals of Violin
Playing
Los Angles California: Alfred Music Publishing

Radocy, R.E. & Boyle, J.D. (2003). Psychological foundations of musical behavior (4th ed.)
Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas
Smith, C. M. (1985). The effect of finger placement markers on the development
of intonation accuracy in beginning string students. Dialogue in Instrumental Music
Education, 9 (2), (Fall), 62-70.

Suzuki, Shinichi (1968). Nurtured by Love: A New Approach to Talent
Education. Warner Bros. Publications, Miami Fl.

Villasurda, G. (2006). Finger Placement Tape. Retrieved June 20, 2009, from
Master Violin Class Website: http://www.violinmasterclass.com








BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

A native of Springfield, Ohio Brigid Miles graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis,

Indiana with a Bachelor of Music. Upon graduation she held several music teaching positions

in Indianapolis. After moving to Daytona Beach, FL, she began teaching at the Stetson

University (Deland, FL) Community School of the Arts, teaching general music in private

schools and private lessons in her home studio.

After completing a Master of Music degree, she plans to continue her 10-year affiliation

with the Community School of the Arts as well as teaching general music, private violin and

piano students in her home studio. She will also continue to be the Director of her church hand

bell choir.




Full Text