Comparison between two strings methods : Essential Elements for Strings and New Directions for Strings

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Comparison between two strings methods : Essential Elements for Strings and New Directions for Strings
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Iglesias-Mendez, Mirlynez
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College of Fine Arts, University of Florida
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This study evaluates the achievement of sight-reading skills in beginning string players, by comparing two strings methods: Essential Elements for Strings (Allen, Gillespie, & Hayes, 2000) and New Directions for Strings (Erwin, Horvath, McCashin, & Mitchell, 2007). The study was conducted over the course of the first 9-week grading period of the school year and was guided by the following two questions: What is the effect of method on sight-reading accuracy? To what extent does the supporting material provided by the Essential Elements and New Directions for Strings methods contribute to sight reading accuracy? Two beginning orchestra classes, from the researcher’s work place, were selected for the purpose of this study. The study examined a total of 55 participants, boys and girls from the secondary level (grades 6-8) ranging from 11 to 14 years old with no previous experience in string playing. Students were separated by sections: violin, viola, violoncello, and double bass. One class, identified as Group A (N = 25), received instructions from the strings method: Essential Elements for Strings as the other class, Group B (N = 30), received instructions from a second strings method: New Directions for Strings. All students participated in a pre- and post-test to attain achievement score data. Data was collected through a rubric designed by the researcher stating the note accuracy of the player at the time of the sight-reading exam. Results revealed statistical significance (p = .02) between the two groups; therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected. Although, the group using the Essential Elements reported better gain scores than the other group, data analysis indicated a measurable improvement in both groups achievement scores from the pre-test to the post-test.
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Music education terminal project

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! A COMPARISON BETWEEN TWO STRINGS METHODS: ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS FOR STRINGS AND NEW DIRECTIONS FOR STRINGS By MIRLYNEZ IGLESIAS MENDEZ SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE: RUSSELL L. ROBINSON, CHAIR SILVIO DOS SANTOS, MEMBER A PROJE CT 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 2011

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! # MIRLYNEZ IGLESIAS MENDEZ

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! $ To my grandmother, mother and brother for their love and support

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! % ACKNOWLEDG E MENTS I thank the Music Education faculty at t he University of Florida for their hard work and dedication to seeing this last class of Summer Masters in Music Education accomplish their goals.

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! & !"#$%&'(&)'*!%*!+ & ! !!!!!!!!!! '()* ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 6 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 8 Problem of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 9 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 10 Null Hypothesis ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 10 Research Hypothesis ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 11 Delimitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 11 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 12 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 12 Teaching Beginning String Students ................................ ................................ ............................ 12 Teaching Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 14 Instrumental Techniques ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 16 METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES ................................ ................................ ............... 21 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 21 Procedures and Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 21 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 22 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 23 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ........................ 25 APPENDIX A ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 27 APPENDIX B ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 28 APPENDIX C ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 32 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 34 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 36

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! + Abstract of Project in Lieu of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Music A COMPARISON BETWEEN TWO STRINGS METHODS: ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS FOR STRINGS AND NEW DIRECTIONS FOR STRINGS By Mirlynez Iglesias Mendez December 2011 Chair: Russell L. Robinson Major: Music Education This study evaluate s the achievement of sight reading skills in beginning string players by comparing two strings methods : Essential Elements for Strings (Allen, Gillespie, & Hayes, 2000) and New Directions for Strings (Erwin, Horvath, McCashin, & Mitchell, 2007) The study was conducted over the course of the first 9 week grading period of the school year and was guided by the following two questions: What is the effect of method on sight reading accuracy? To what extent does the supporting material provided by the Essential Elements and New Directions for Strings methods contribute to sight reading accuracy? Two beginning orchestra classes, from the researcher's work place, were selected for the purpose of this study. The study examined a total of 55 participants, boys and girls from the secondary level (grades 6 8) ranging from 11 to 14 years old with no prev ious experience in string playing. Students were separated by sections: violin, viola, violoncello, and double bass. One class, identified as Group A ( N = 25), received instructions from the strings method: Essential Elements for Strings as the other class, Group B ( N = 30), received instructions from a second strings method: New Directions for Strings. All students participated in a pre and post test to attain achievement score data. Data

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! was collected through a rubric designed by the researcher stat ing the note accuracy of the player at the time of the sight reading e xam. Results revealed statistical significance ( p = .02) between the two groups; therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected. Although, the group using the Essential Elements reported be tter gain scores than the other group, data an alysis indicate d a measurable improvement in both groups achieveme nt scores from the pre test to the post test.

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! INTRODUCTION Selecting method books for string instruments is a challenging task. String orchestra directors currently employ in their programs either one or a variety of method books for strings I have found that m any string instructors around the country find it difficult to find a method book that covers every single aspect beginning stud ents need to know and learn in one book. Many times instructors find themselves jotting ideas from diverse sources in order to fulfill the needs of their young students. Nevertheless, some methods are more in demand s than others. Essential Elements for String s for example, is favored over others by many teachers and school districts. I n the Miami Dade County (MDCPS) school district string orchestra directors have been using the Essential Elements for Strings as part of their annual curriculum for many years, even though, there are other string methods available such as All for Strings Anderson, & Frost (1985), Strictly Strings (Dillon, Kjelland, & O'Reilly, 1996) and more recently String Explorer (Dabczynski, Meyer, & Phillips, 2002) MDCPS string teachers have used the Essential Elements as part of their annual curriculum. Recently a new methodology book for strings has been published: New Directions for Strings. Some string orchestra dir ectors consider this book more attainable for students to achieve better sight reading than the one currently in use. For t he p ast two years, music supervisors from MDCPS district have been introducing this new method through professi onal development sessi ons and have encouraged teachers to use it in their classroom. Although, it has been said during these professional developments, that the new method book will help students develop better sight reading, no studies has been conducted proving this or other wise.

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! Problem of the Study Colprit (2000) describes that a number of researchers have examined the effects of teaching methodologies on student performance achievement in beginning string classes. Other s tudies about first versus third position instruc tion, beginning bow hold at the balance point versus beginning bow hold at the frog, and homogenous versus heterogonous class instruction have been published; nevertheless, the results of these studies mentioned above indicate no significant difference in student p erformance achievement. To which Colprit asks if teaching methodologies are not responsible for student performance achievement, then what are the variables that affect positive change in the performance of string students? In answer ing to this qu estion, Colprit mentions that there is not enough research in the area of string teaching toward student achievement through certain methodologies perhaps because it is difficult describe precisely the complexity of the teaching learning process. Sight re ading in beginning string players depends on various factors Learning how to read notes may not be enough for a student to achieve confiden ce when sight reading music. Therefore, the method of instruction chosen by the teacher for beginning students is es sential in order to achieve good sight reading skills overall. Basic string techniques have to be covered before students are introduced to note reading. Techniques such as bow holding and left hand position which are always stated on the first pages of th e method book students use in the classroom. Therefore, especial attention should be paid to the way each methodology presents these technical aspects. The two methodologies describe and guide students through the basic techniques of string playing. Both methods present graphs, pictures, students' ex ercises and others in order to aid teachers and students develop the basic technique requirements for each

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! "/ instrument of the orchestra. Thus, based on the exercises and narrative of the book, the teacher develops the instructions moving eventually into not e reading. The Essential Elements for Strings presents the notes on the staff with the letter name in the middle of the note. Later after a series of exercises, the letter names start disappearing until leaving on ly the notes on the staff. The New Directio ns for Strings presents a color code system along with the letter name in the middle of the note. Each string has its own color code and the student associates the notes from each string with the color given to each string individually The colors are the same for all four instruments; for example, the A string is blue, D string is yellow, G string green, E string pink, and C string orange. This method provides color codes and letter names for a longer period of time before disappearing all together. Purpos e of the Study The purpose of this study was to evaluate the achievement of sight reading skills in beginning string players. The study was guided by the following questions: What is the effect of method on sight reading accuracy? To what extent does the supporting material (for basic technique skills) provided by the methods contribute to sight reading accuracy? Null Hypothesis There will be no stati stically significant difference between beginning string orchestra students' sight reading skills using one method or the other

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! "" Research Hypothesis Students will develop the same sight reading skills by the end of the study. There will not be any difference between the sight reading sk ills of the students using the Essential Elements for Strings or New Directions for Strings. Delimitations The methods used for the purpose of this study are: Essential Elements for Strings 2000 New Directions for Strings The following will not be accounted for in this study: Gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background of the students participating in the study.

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! "# REVIEW OF LITERATURE Introduction The strings provide us with the most expressive and ap pealing medium (with perhaps the exception of the human voice) that exists in the whole range of music. A good string orchestra can attain a degree of pianissimo which amounts to little more than an attenuated whisper, and is also capable of a robust and solid fortissimo which is almost brassy' in its effect ( Jacob 1931, p. ). The purp ose of this literature re view is to investigate different teaching experiences, methods, technique, and repertoire choices beginning string teachers utilize. This research aims to provide a variety of information about what former and current educators hav e experienced within this profession in a classroom setting. Teaching beginning string c lasses is not an easy task for instrumental instructors. It s main objective is the creation of a solid foundation on the development of new string skills acquisition. With a solid foundation students will be able to acquire the essential skills to participate in great programs that resemble the quote found above. Therefore, students can have a positive experience in the field of music and co ntinue to play music for years to come. Teaching Beginning String Students The different problems affecting the teaching of beginning string players has been studied for a long time. In her study about the problems teachers face, Rush (1936) describes tha t there are many things to consider when fol lowing the proper procedures to train beginning students in an orchestral or band instrument. The amount of time available to be spent by both teacher and pupil comes into the problem in no small way. Among the t hings to be consider ed are the age of

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! "$ the students to be trained, the amount and kind of equipment to be used, the financial outlay, the technical and physical equipment of the instructor and many other problems before the actual start can be made. Develop ing an effective string education system should be the goal of string educators. Hamann (2000) explains that in order to do this educators need to be made aware of how students learn, what students attitudes affect learning and retention, and how effective programs address the many issues facing string educators. She also believes that the goal of string programs should be to improve string instruction in general. Effective string teaching begins with the involvement of both teacher and learners. In matter s of class organization, Mishra (2000) notes that there are different ways to organize a beginning string class. Some teachers prefer to teach homogeneous setting while others prefer to teach in heterogeneous classes. The difference is that while the homog enous setting will be focusing on techniques and problems presented by one instruments, the heterogeneous classes offer the ensemble experience. The opinions about this subject are divided since many people have favored the ensemble setting over the other. String instructors find themselves teaching not only different age level (middle school) but also different levels of experience. Block (2011) describes her experience teaching mixed experience classes. She decided to have the "old kids" work with the new ones on beginning skills and getting them through the first few pages in the method book. They did this for a couple of weeks to catch the beginners up as the rest of the class would work on more complex music. The experienced students taught things such as posture and the proper way to hold the instrument.

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! "% While some teachers face these difficulties when teaching beginning string classes, others describe the benefits and drawbacks of starting to play a string instrument in sixth grade. Berger (2004) beli eves that the benefits of starting string instruction in middle school far outweigh the drawbacks. Since in middle school student meet their teacher daily, she can closely monitor the development of matter such as posture, finger position, bowing, and note reading. Also, sixth graders learn faster since they're more physically and mentally mature than elementary students. However, she notes that one of the drawback is students won't be able to learn the skills they need to in such a short time. Teaching Met hods Paper (2006) identifies important points for teachers to keep in mind for a string/orchestra programs to be successful. She explains that for the middle and high school level is crucial daily instructions, the teacher must understand the pedagogy for teaching students' playing skills, the teacher demonstrates the playing skills students should learn, the teacher should be a n excellent musician and should relate to the students successfully (good classroom management). String teachers use all kinds of teaching or pedagogical methods in order to accomplish better results in beginning string students. It serves as an aid in the formation of the correct left hand shape. One of these methods is the "finger placement markers" (FPMs). Bergonzi (1997) describe s this approach as a way of providing a visual/kinesthetic referen ce for finger placement. In his study, Bergonzi mentions that this pedagogical approach is not actually new. His studies track back to the pedagogical tutorial of Corrette, Giminiani, and Le opold Mozart. Also, recommendations to use the FPMs are also evident in contemporary literature on teaching beginning strings such as Anderson & Frost, Johnson, Kohut, and Matesky & Rusch. He also

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! "& observed that as part of the Suzuki methodology, the FPMs a re implemented. It has not only served as an aid to develop a proper left hand position but also as a guide for parents and as being of secondary importance to the ear in matters of intonation. Hamann (2000) also agrees that one of the instruction methods most often associated with beginning string teaching is the Suzuki method Therefore, several researchers have conducted a number of studies in regards to Suzuki instruction and its effects on music learning in young students. Rather to its effect in musi c learning, Hamann explains that the Suzuki method has an effect on student achievement and attitude toward music learning. The Suzuki training not only affects the behavior of students, but it also influences the behavior of the teacher. In selecting ins tructional methods for beginning string ensembles, Rush (1936) explains that it could be selected from a wealth of teaching methods. This decision is largely up to the individual instructor as to what text should be used I the classroom. To him, a good tea cher can use almost any method and develop real players. What is important, according to Rush, is that the instructor understands the instrument being taught and should be able to demonstrate to a fair degree how to produce tone and what a good tone should sound like. The first mental image of true tone quality as well as the proper technique should come first from the teacher to later be sought after by the students. Applebaum (1979) explains that there is beautiful literature at every age level. However, beginning string instructors need to know what to look for since works for young string students should only include quarter notes, half notes, pizzicato, various little rhythmic patterns, open strings, playing in the back of the bridge, tapping on variou s parts of the instrument, and a piano

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! "+ accompaniment that could provide effects to make the music interesting. Later, eighth note, dotted quarters, and so on can be added. Kapuscinski (1979) had experienced that in addition to materials from eastern and m iddle Europe, there were two to other developmental approaches [names not mentioned in the article]. One featuring "tunes" ingeniously created with piano accompaniment and the other, most recent, [at the time] features the use of a cassette recording coord inated with the book. These two methods had seemed to capture the imaginations of many beginning and intermediate students as well as their teachers. Therefore, Kapuscinski concludes that any method that inspires students to communicate, to create a pleasi ng sound and a rhythmic organization of those sounds while holding their [students] attention, pleases him. Rabin (1979) says that contemporary music is a rich resource of alternative sources of repertoire for beginning and intermediate string players. He mentions that the natural involvement of educators and musicians with the music written from the past is crucial to our maturation and understanding of music, but students' interest must be generated by an ongoing involvement with contemporary music. He n otes that fiddling music and folk music also deserves attention and they could be attractive to our students. Instrumental Techniques One of the most important aspects of learning how to play an instrument is not only the acquisition of skills but how to acquire those instrumental skills The skills or instrumental techniques enable the student s to perform at a high tech nical level and provides them with the freedom to express the music. Many string pedagogues have researched and studied the be st approach to teach beginning students. For example, Paul Rolland was an American violinist and violin instructor who analyzed all aspects of string playing, both physical and psychological. He

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! ", focused his studies in learning how beginning students acquir ed these instrumental techniques and develop them thereafter. According to Kovacs (2011), Rolland's aim was to reduce tension in the performer's body by encouraging tension free movements. Furthermore, Rolland applied the principles of Gestalt Theory and i ncorporated them into his violin pedagogy by taking into the account the total body involvement for every technical action. Rolland was interested in the physical movements required for specific techniques and more importantly on how the balance and moveme nt of the entire body affected the acquisition of the skills. Rolland created different activities and exercises for teachers and students to develop the basic foundations of string techniques such as rhythmic activities in which the students would use the ir physical attributes to feel and produce rhythmic patterns. In addition, Rolland's teaching pedagogy included movement, foundational balances and leverage, and control and regulation of voluntary movement. The underlying principal was the total body acti on toward a specific learning of instrumental techniques for the right or left hand. Mishra (2000) notes that a number of influential pedagogues have suggested ways of teaching beginning string students a relaxed bow hold. In her study, she mentions differ ent methods that seem to be in popular use these days. Working with Suzuki bow technique, the student is asked to place the right thumb under the frog of the bow. Rolland's method is more inclined to start beginning students by holding the bow at the balan ce point first and gradually moving the hold towards the frog. Other string teachers favor the traditional method which is starting the students with the normal bow holding as we know it. Regarding the left hand position, Mishra includes three types of t echnique approaches string teachers implement. A number of popular method books suggest start beginning violinists and violists in a transverse (guitar) position before the instruments are moved into place under

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! "! the chin. Other teachers like to start their violinists with small hands in third position rather than first position. This procedure aids the development of the left hand position as well as intonational accuracy. Whereas other beginning string teachers advocate placing markers on the fingerboard ( FPMs) much like frets on the guitar. Lastly, she mentions that many teachers utilize piano accompaniment to aid the d evelopment of accuracy in intonation and rhythmic consistency. Bergonzi (1997) claims that the ability to hear the sound before engaging i n the mechanism of pitch production is essential to development a good intonation. For this reason acquitting this ability may be more challenging for beginning string players than other beginning instrumentalists due to the fretless fingerboard these stri ng instruments possess Thus, the "unlimitedness" of the fingerboard has led many string teachers to provide students with finger placement markers for the fingers. Bresette (2010) advises beginning string instructors who are not string players to seek for local professional aid if they're asked to teach beginning string ensembles. Asking professional string players to supplement the school music director in technical and string specific issues helps tremendously in accomplishing orchestral goals. These respected professionals can help with bowings, string warm up, fingering, articulation and modeling. Other professional string performers and music educators as well have been concern with the fact that many of our school string teachers are violinists without experience in other instruments such as cello and string bass. Karr (1979) explains that violini sts must be aware of the fact that the bow draw of the lower instruments is considerably slower than that of the violin. Since the bow is drawn so slowly, every technical maneuver will seem to occur in very slow motion. All movement will be greatly reduced including wrist motion, string crossing, the speed

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! ". of shifting, and bow directional changes. He also advises that beginning string instructors should know that people with short arms do better with the French bow and long armed people with the German. Ac cording to Karr, another obvious problem with the double bass is that is not tuned in fifths. Therefore, since the bass is tuned in fourths, the violinists teaching double bass should learn to finger the bass intervallically rather than chromatically. Kem pter (1979) continues on the topic of cello double bass teaching by saying that the correct left hand position and bow technique is dependent on many thing such as height, angle, and slant of the bass, regardless of whether the player is standing or sittin g. The correct left hand position calls for the same space between the fingers one and two, and two and four, and it can only be achieved with a correct thumb two relationship and with the first finger pointing toward the peg box. He also gives a detailed explanation about the bow technique and the bad habit of teaching bass students to "use all your bow." According to Kempter, the cello section also suffers of misguidance when violinist teachers are not aware of the correct technique of this instrument. The cello section needs especial attention to correct position including chair height, length of end pin, and body posture. Cellists should sit on the edge of the chair and the lower peg should be approximately even with the ear. The cello should be held s o that the student can see the right knee and not the left with the instrument slanted slightly to the right. The student should lean into the instrument so that both hands can easily touch the bridge. Applebaum (1979) advises violinists as well as violis ts teaching beginning string ensemble to learn about other instruments to teach them with authority. To him, a teacher should use methods developed by or in consultation with cellists and bass players, and attend workshops given by other instrumentalists. Teachers should also have a cello and bass at home so that they

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! #/ can try out different techniques. He believes that string majors who are teaching these instruments within school ensembles that undermine these advises are a bit permissive, allowing students to develop bad habits in the left hand and bow arm.

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! #" METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES Introduction This study was based on the comparison of two method books for string orchestra instructions: Essential Elements for Strings and New Directions for Strings. The data collected during this study was taken from a researcher constructed sight reading test. Procedures and Research Design The methodology of selecting the participants was nonrandom convenience and purposive sampling Convenience sampling since the participants for this study were the students from my beginning orchestra classes. Purposive sampling, to better account for the results of the study, was more appropriate as the two methods being studied were tested in stu dents who did not know how to read music. Two beginning orchestra classes were selected for the purpose of this study in which Group A ( N = 25) received instructions from the Essential Elements for Strings and Group B ( N = 30) from the New Directions for Strings Students were separated by instrumental sections: violin, viola, violoncello, and double bass. The two classes consisted of mixed grades students that is, students in 6 th 7 th and 8 th grades. The demographics consisted of boys and girls between the ages of 11 to 14 years old with no previous experience in string orchestra field. Instructions were planned strictly from the method books. Students meet for orchestra class every day for 50 minutes. Instructions took place for approximately 40 minutes every day for each class. The process of learning how to read music took about two months (8 weeks)

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! ## before the students could take the sight reading assessment prepared for the purpose of th is project. Data Collection During week 1 of class, students in both classes were administered a pre sight reading test (See Appendix C) to measure their knowledge in music reading. Later on the semester once the students had received class instructions and were able to read the notes with no aids (letter names and color codes); a post sight reading test, using the same music excerpt as during the pre test, was administered in order to measure the students' sight reading achievement. The results from the pre test/post test sight reading assessment (researcher constructed) served as the primary source to compare both the students' sight reading achievement and the two methods being studied in this project. The sight reading test administered to the student s included the same level of difficulty presented in the method books (level 1) such as note range, string crossings, rhythm, and articulation. Also, the music excerpt used during the sight reading assessment did not include letter names or color codes. As the students performed through the sight reading assessment, the researcher collected the data by using a scoring sheet in which the students had 20 possible correct notes ( See Appendix A ). Correct notes would receive a plus sign (+) and incorrect ones an X ( See Appendix B).

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! #$ Data Analysis This study compares two strings methods currently in use for string instructions through the sight reading achievement of beginning string students. Data was collected through a pre and post sight r eading test. Since the purpose of this study is to compare the two strings methods mentioned earlier, the main focus of the analysis of data was on the gain scores of the post test for both Group A and B. The two gain scores were analyzed using the unpaire d t Test for the significance of the difference between both groups using each a different method. However, the gain scores from the students' pre test to the post test for each group was only taken into consideration just to observe the students' achievem ent in sight reading skills. The data was also analyzed using the unpaired t Test results. In Table 1, the P value equals 0.6647. By conventional criteria, this difference is considered to be not statistically significant. The mean of Grou p A minus Group B equals 0.30. There was a 95% confidence interval of this difference from 1.68 to 1.08. Immediate values used in calculations were t = 0.4359, df = 53, and the standard error of difference = 0.688. In Table 2, the P value equals 0.0983. By conventional criteria, this differen ce is considered to be not statistically significant. The mean of Group A minus Group B equals 1.23. There was a 95% confidence interval of this difference from 0.24 to 2.70. Immediate values used in calculations were t = 1.6829, df = 53, and the standard error of difference = 0.733. In Table 3, the P value equals 0.0289. By conventional criteria, the results show statistical significance. The mean of Group A minus Group B equals 1.533. There was a 95% confidence interval for the difference from 0.0214 to 3.0874. Immediate values used in calculations were t = 1.9396, df = 53, and the standard error of difference = 0.775.

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! #% Table 1: Unpaired Students' t Test Results of Pre Test from Group A and Group B Test Group A Group B Mean "0// "0$/ SD #0%# #0+% SEM /0%! /0%! N #& $/ P Value = 0.6647 T Value = 0.4359 Table 2 : Unpaired Students' t Test Results of Post Test from Group A and Group B Test Group A Group B Mean ",0%/ "+0", SD #0#/ $0/+ SEM /0%% /0&+ N #& $/ P Value = 0.0983 T Value = 1.6829 Table 3 : Unpaired Students' t Test Results of the Gain Scores from Group A and Group B Test Group A Group B Mean "+0%/ "%0-, SD #0&, $0"! SEM /0&" /0&! N #& $/ P Value = 0.0289 T Value = 1.9396 *Group A: Essential Elements for Strings Group B: New Directions for Strings

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! #& DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION As seen in Table 3 the results suggest that the Essential Elements for Strings method reveals not only better results in sight reading achievement but also better gains score s in the students using the New Directions for Strings The results have shown a statistical significance ( p = .02) b etween the two groups Therefore, the null hypothesis is rejected, i.e., there will be no statistically significant difference between b eginning string orchestra students' sight reading skills using one method or the other. Never theless, it is important to mention that both classes showed measurable improvement from the pre test to the post test r esults regardless of the method being used All students showed growth from the beginning of the school year until the time of the assessment wheth er they used one method or the other. The supporting material presented in both methods includes graphs, pictures show ing hand positions and postures a nd exercises to help them develop the ba sic technique skills instructions for the care of the instruments and bow, and others Also, the methods provide the instructor with a teacher manual which includes students' forms, rubrics for assessing the students, the same pictures/graphs/exercises provided to the four instrumental books (violin, viola, cello, string bass), and an annual sequence of the curriculum to help the teacher plan for the lessons. Even though both classes showed measurable improvement on students' sight reading skills during the course of this study, with the Essential Elements students had has had better gain scores. I pe rsonally experienced that students using the New Directions for Strings were dependable of the colors in order to identify the string in which they had to play the notes.

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! #+ Therefore, once the color codes disappeared, students felt a little disoriented strug gling with sight reading thereafter. To conclude, using only one of the methods mentioned in th is project should not be the only teaching/sigh t reading source teachers should provide our students with in the classroom. For music instructors should n o t be e nough to rely on one method to develop sigh t reading when a variety of musical sources should be introduce d to our students. Furthermore, students will develop a greater under standing about the different music styles and instrumental skills required in the performance of any musical instrument. A lso their sight reading skills will improve preparing them for a higher level of performance.

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! #, APPENDIX A PRE AND POST TEST SCORING SHEET Musical excerpt with 20 notes: every student is playing the same excerpt Individual Testing N.1 N.2 N.3 N.4 N.5 N.6 N.7 N.8 N.9 N.10 N.11 N.12 N.13 N.14 N.15 N.16 N.17 N.18 N.19 N.20 *N.1 = Note 1, etc. + = Correct Note x = Incorrect Note

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! #! APPENDIX B Table B 1: Pre Test Group A: Essential Elements for Strings ST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 T 1 0 2 0 3 + + + + 4 4 0 5 0 6 0 7 0 8 0 9 + + + + + + + 7 10 0 11 0 12 0 13 0 14 0 15 0 16 + + + + + + + + 8 17 0 18 + + + + + + 6 19 0 20 0 21 0 22 0 23 0 24 0 25 0 *ST = Student 1 = Note 1, etc. T = Total of Correct Note + = only correct notes

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! #. Table B 2: Pre Test Group B: New Directions for Strings ST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 T 1 0 2 0 3 + + 2 4 0 5 0 6 + + + + + + + + 8 7 0 8 0 9 0 10 + + + + 4 11 0 12 0 13 0 14 0 15 0 16 + + + + + 5 17 0 18 0 19 0 20 0 21 + + + + + + + + 8 22 0 23 0 24 0 25 0 26 0 27 + + + + + + + + 8 28 + + + + 4 29 0 30 0 *ST = Student 1 = Note 1, etc. T = Total of Correct Notes + = only correct notes

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! $/ Table B 3: Post Test Group A: Essential Elements for Strings ST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 T 1 + + + + + x + x + + x + + x + + + + + + 16 2 + + + + + + + + x + + + + x + + + + + + 18 3 + + + + + x x + + + + + x + + + + + x + 16 4 + + + + + + + + + + + x x x x + + + + + 16 5 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 6 + + + x + x + x + + + + x x + + + + + + 15 7 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 8 + + + + + + + + + + + + x x x + + + + + 17 9 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 10 + + + + x + + + + x + + x x x + + + + + 15 11 + + + + + + + + x + + + x x + + + x + + 16 12 + + + + x x + + + x + x + x + + x + + + 14 13 + + + + + + + + + + x x + + + + + + + + 18 14 + + + + + + + + + + + + x + + + + + + + 19 15 + + + + + x + + + x + + + x + + + + + + 17 16 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 17 + x + x x + + x x x + + x x + + + + + + 12 18 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 19 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 20 + + + + + x + x + + + + x x + + + + + + 16 21 + + + + + + + + + + + x x + + + + + x x 16 22 + + + + + + + + x + + + + + + + + x + + 18 23 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 24 + + + + + x + + + + + x + + + + + + + + 18 25 + + + + + + + x x + + + + + + + + + + + 18 *ST = Student 1 = Note 1, etc. T = Total of Correct Notes

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! $" Table B 4: Post Test Group B: New Directions for Strings ST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 T 1 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 2 + + + + + x + x x + + + x x x + + + + + 14 3 + + + + + x x + x + + + x x x + + + + + 14 4 + + + + + + + + + + + + x + + + + + + + 19 5 + + + + + + + + + + x x x + + + + + + + 17 6 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 7 + + + + + + + + + x + + + x + + + + + + 18 8 + + + + + x + x + + + + + + x + x + x + 15 9 + + x + x x + x + + + x x x x + + + x + 11 10 + + + + + + + + x + + + x x x + + x + + 15 11 + x + + x x + + + x + + x x x + + x + + 12 12 + x + x + + + + x x x + + + + + + + + + 15 13 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 14 + + + + + x + + x x x x x + + x x + + + 12 15 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 16 + + + + + x + + + + x + + x + + + + + + 17 17 + + + + + x + x x + + + + x + + + + + + 16 18 + + + + + + + + + + + + + x x + + + + + 18 19 + + + + + + + x + + + + x x + x x + + + 15 20 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 21 + + + + + + + + x + + + + + + + + + + + 19 22 + + + + x + + + x + + + x + + x x + + + 15 23 + + + + + + + + + + + + + x + + + + + + 19 24 + + + + x x + x + + x + + x x + x x + + 12 25 + + + + + x x + + x + + + x x + + x + + 14 26 + x x x x + x + + x + + x x x + + x + + 10 27 + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 20 28 + + + + + + + + + + + + + x + + + + + + 19 29 + + + + + x + x + + + x + + + x + + + + 15 30 + + + + x + x + x x + + + x x + + + + + 14 *ST = Student 1 = Note 1, etc. T = Total of Correct Notes

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! $# APPENDIX C

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! $$

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! $% References !""#$%&'(%&)*""#+,*#%&-(%&.&/01#+%&2(&3(&456667(& !""#$%&'()!(#*#$%")+,-).%-&$/"0 &89!:&/0" ; <#=$0>?& @=>,=>0A*=$( & !$?#>+=$%&)(&B(%&.&C>=+A%&-(&9(&4DEFG7(& 1(()+,-).%-&$/"2)3,*4-#5#$"&6#).%-&$/)7#%5,80 &90$&H*#I=%&@!:& J#*"&!(&KL=+&'M+*N&@=O,0$1( & Barss, J. E. (19 22, March 13). Sight Reading. C.A.A.S: Cavsa Artivm Alit Scientiam 15 (18), 137 140. Berger, D. (2004, August). Strings in Middle School: And the Surprising Benefits One Teacher Discovered. Teaching Music 20. Bergonzi, L. (1997, summer). Effects of Finger Markers and Harmonic Context on Performance of Beginning String Students. MENC: The National Association for Music Education 45 (2), 197 211. Block, D. G. (2011, January). Mixed Experience Classes Can Work Well With a Little Creative Thinking. Teaching Mu sic 18 (4), 58. Bodegraven, P. V. (1949, February March). Music Reading. MENC: The National Association for Music Education 35 (4), 71 72. Bresette, W. (2010, November). Building a High School Symphony Orchestra From a band Director's Viewpoint. Florida Music Director 64 (4), 14 18. Colprit, E. J. (2000, autumn). Observation and Analysis of Suzuki String Teaching. MENC: The National Association for Music Education 48 (3), 206 221. H0PNQ1$+R*%&!(% &'#1#>%&-(%&.&2S*""*,+%&T(&45665 7(& .%-&$/)!94(,-#-2)1) :,;-$#<)&$%,)%5#)=,$8#-"),+).%-&$/) >('<&$/0 &89!:&/*IS"0$?UBA"*$I&2MP"*+S*$I%&0&?*V*+*=$&=W&!"W>#?&2MP"*+S*$I&@=(%&X$N( & H*""=$%&Y(%&KL #""0$?%&Y(%&.&Z[-#*""1%&Y(&4DEE\ 7(& .%-&?%(<).%-&$/"0 &89!:&/*IS"0$?UBA"*$I&2MP"*+S*$I%&0& ?*V*+*=$&=W&!"W>#?&2MP"*+S*$I&@=(%& X$N( &

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! $& B>]*$%&Y(%&/=>V0AS%&K(%&'N@0+S*$%&-(&H(%&.&'*ANS#""%&T(&4566^7(& @#A)B&-#?%&,$")+,-).%-&$/"0 &C=>A& <0M?#>?0"#%&C<:&3S#&CY/&'M+*N&@=O,0$1&X$N( & Hamann, K. L. (2000). Teachers, Learners, and Programs in String Education: A Review of Research. Journal of St ring Research Jacob, G. (1931). Orchestral Technique: A Manual for Students. London: Oxford University Press. Kapuscinski, R. K. (1979, February). A String Teachers Roundtable. MENC: The National Association for Music Education 65 (6), 30 47. Kirk, R. E. (1996, October 1). Practical Significance: A Concept Whose Time Has Come. Educational and Psychological Measurement 56 746 759. doi: 10.1177/0013164496056005002 Kovacs, I. (2011, August). The Influence of Gestalt in Paul Rolland's Theory of Pedagogy. American String Teacher 61 (3) 46 49. Mishra, J. (2000). Questions and Answers: Research Related to the Teaching of String Technique. Journal of String Research Paper, W. (2006, September). String/Orchestra Instruction in Schools in America. The American String Teachers Association Rush, R. E. (1936, September). The Individual Instrument Class. MENC: The National Association for Music Education 23(1), 34.

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! $+ BI OGRAPHICAL SKETCH Mirlynez Iglesias Mendez was born on June 27, 1979 in La Habana, Cuba. The older of two children, she graduated as a professional violinist from the Music Conservatory "Amadeo Roldan" in 1998. She started her studies in music at the age of seven in the Music Conservatory "Alejandro G. Caturla" where at the age of eleven was founder of the first Youth Symphony Orchestra in the island. In the year 2001, she arrived to the United States of America where she continued her studies in music re ceiving her Bachelor's in Music from the Florida International University in Music Performance with emphasis in Violin. As a student in FIU, she took several courses in music education. She is currently employed by Miami Dade County Public Schools system a s a Director of the Strings Program at Glades Middle School. At Glades she is in charge of the guitar ensembles as well as the string orchestras, beginning and advanced. Mirlynez was recently working on her Master's in Music program at the University of Florida. Upon the completion of her program, she will continue to work in Glades Middle School and will start working in obtaining the National Board Certification.