Effects of Orff-Schulwerk process of imitation on elementary students' reading fluency
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Title: Effects of Orff-Schulwerk process of imitation on elementary students' reading fluency
Physical Description: Project in lieu of thesis
Language: English
Creator: Suzuki, Naoko Wicklein ( Dissertant )
Hoffer, Charles ( Thesis advisor )
dos Santos, Silvio ( Reviewer )
Publisher: College of Fine Arts, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009
Copyright Date: 2009
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Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the Orff-Schulwerk process of imitation on the reading fluency of elementary students. Subjects were second-grade students in the same classroom receiving the same reading instruction. They were then separated into two groups. The control group (N=9) received their regular music instruction once every six days for forty minutes. The experimental group (N=10) received an additional forty minutes of music instruction time in a six-day rotation. The control group read independently in the classroom during those forty minutes. The Orff-Schulwerk activities included chanting rhymes and transferring the rhythm of the rhymes into movement or instrumentation. Pre- and post-reading fluency test scores for each group were compared at the end of the seven-week study. Paired t-test results indicated the students who received twice as much music instruction showed a statistically significant gain in reading fluency (t = 2.57, df = 9, p = .030). The mean gains for the control group were not statistically significance (t = 2.17, df = 8, p = .062). The results indicated the Orff-Schulwerk process of imitation improved the reading fluency of elementary students.
Acquisition: Music Education terminal project
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EFFECTS OF ORFF-SCHULWERK PROCESS OF IMITATION ON ELEMENTARY
STUDENTS' READING FLUENCY















By

NAOKO WICKLEIN SUZUKI


SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE:

Charles Hoffer, Chair
Silvio dos Santos, 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

2009

































2009 Naoko Wicklein Suzuki









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

LIST O F TA BLES ............... ................................................................................... 4

LIST O F FIG U R ES ............................................................................................ . . 5

A B S T R A C T ................................................................................................ 6

CHAPTER

1 PROBLEM ....................................................................................................................... 7

T he P purpose of Study ............................................................................................. 8
N ull Hypothesis ........................................................................................... . . 8
R research H ypothesis .............................................................................................. 8

2 REV IEW O F LITERATURE .................................................................................... 9

3 M ETHO DO LO G Y .......................................................................................... .. 12

4 RESULTS ..................................................................... ..... 13

5 D IS C U S S IO N ......................................................................................................... 1 5

APPENDIX

TEACHER RESPO NSES .................................................................................... .. 17

LIST O F REFERENCES ................................................................................. . . .. 18

BIO G RAPHICAL SKETCH ..................................................................................... 19



















3









LIST OF TABLES

Table page

4-1 Reading fluency score (pre- and post-test) of each subject.............................. 13

4-2 Paired t-test results .................................................................. .............. 14









LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

Figure 4-1 M ean gain score com prison .................................................. ............... 14









Summary of Project Option 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

EFFECTS OF ORFF-SCHULWERK PROCESS OF IMITATION ON ELEMENTARY
STUDENTS' READING FLUENCY

By

Naoko Wicklein Suzuki

December 2009

Chair: Charles Hoffer
Major: Music
ABSTRACT


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the Orff-Schulwerk

process of imitation on the reading fluency of elementary students. Subjects were

second-grade students in the same classroom receiving the same reading instruction.

They were then separated into two groups. The control group (N=9) received their

regular music instruction once every six days for forty minutes. The experimental group

(N=10) received an additional forty minutes of music instruction time in a six-day

rotation. The control group read independently in the classroom during those forty

minutes. The Orff-Schulwerk activities included chanting rhymes and transferring the

rhythm of the rhymes into movement or instrumentation.

Pre- and post-reading fluency test scores for each group were compared at the

end of the seven-week study. Paired t-test results indicated the students who received

twice as much music instruction showed a statistically significant gain in reading fluency

(t = 2.57, df = 9, p = .030). The mean gains for the control group were not statistically

significance (t = 2.17, df = 8, p = .062). The results indicated the Orff-Schulwerk

process of imitation improved the reading fluency of elementary students.









CHAPTER 1
PROBLEM

The current situation in the state of Florida is that music education in public

schools is facing many problems due to budget cuts. Some schools have lost their

music and art programs completely while others have cut the programs in half. This has

happened even though research studies have shown that musical ability increases until

students are about nine years old (Radocy & Boyle, 2003). Abril and Gault (2006)

found that student involvement in music education showed a 50 percent decline, and

the number of music teachers showed 26.7 percent decline in California between 1999

and 2003. These decreases were due to the current budget crisis and the

implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. Schools don't have the budget to

support the program while putting more emphasis on reading and math. They

shortened the schedule for music programs (Abril & Gault, 2006).

Abril and Gault (2006) conducted a survey on the music curriculum of elementary

school principals. Ninety-five percent of the principals believed that music is a very

important part of a child's well-rounded education, and more than three-quarters of

those principals felt that schools should mandate music instruction. Abril and Gault's

(2006) study clearly shows that elementary school principals understand the importance

of music education, yet the programs are being cut.

According to Kassner (2002), there is no evidence to suggest that cutting time for

music learning and increasing time for reading curricula result in higher test scores.

Kassner states that classroom teachers are already teaching the reading skills to their

students as much as 90 to 120 minutes per day. Music teachers already do what









classroom teachers do to help children develop phonemic awareness, rhyming,

segmentation, expressiveness in reading, vocabulary, and other skills (Kassner, 2002).

Mclntire (2007) suggests music education can develop literacy naturally. Adding

rhythm, music, and movement to a learning experience helps students tremendously. A

richer learning experience is created since messages are sent to the brain through

various pathways. "If music programs are discontinued, students will be deprived of

kinesthetic, aural, oral, visual, and emotional experiences that can ultimately bring

written texts to life" (Hansen & Bernstorf, 2002, p. 18).

The Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the Orff-Schulwerk

process of imitation on elementary students' reading fluency.

Null Hypothesis

There will be no statistically significant difference between reading fluency scores

of students who receive training in the use of the Orff-Schulwerk process of imitation

and those who do not.

Research Hypothesis

Students who receive training in the Orff-Schulwerk process of imitation will

score higher in reading fluency tests than the students who do not receive the training.









CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Gromko (2005) studied the effect of music instruction on phonemic awareness in

beginning readers. She found that kindergarten children who received four months of

music instruction developed greater phoneme segmentation fluency than children who

did not receive music instruction. Active music making helped the students to

associate sounds with symbols. However, the mean gains for letter-naming fluency and

nonsense-word fluency were not significantly different (Gromko, 2005).

Biggs (2007) examined the difference between the use of an interactive sing-to

read program Tune Into Reading (Electric Learning Products, 2006) and the regular

music curriculum in middle school. Students were tested on fluency, word recognition,

comprehension, and instructional reading level. The students who used the sing-to

read program improved on their scores to a greater extent (Biggs, 2007).

Register, Darrow, Standley, and Swedberg (2007) conducted a study to

determine the effect of music as a remedial strategy to enhance the reading skills of

second-grade students and students with a learning disability in reading. To improve

reading comprehension and vocabulary skills, Register designed an intensive short-

term music curriculum. Results showed a significant improvement in students with

disabilities in reading. They improved on word decoding, word knowledge, and reading

comprehension. Second-grade students in both the treatment and the control classes

improved on word decoding, and word knowledge. There was no improvement in

reading comprehension (Register, Darrow, Standley & Swedberg, 2007).

Not all music programs improve the students' reading skills. Johnson and

Memmott (2006) examined the relationship between participation in high- and low-









quality school music programs and standardized test scores. The National Standards

were used to determine whether music programs were of high or low quality. This study

had 4,739 participants from elementary and middle schools. The data showed that the

elementary students in high-quality music education programs had higher scores on

both English and mathematics standardized tests than the students who experienced

low-quality music programs, although the effect sizes were small. The middle school

students who were in high- and low- quality music programs scored higher than the

students who were not a part of any music programs (Johnson & Memmott, 2006).

Orff-Schulwerk recognizes rhythm as a starting place. Children are taught a

rhyme first. Using echo pattern practice or using different types of voices, the students

learn the taught rhyme very well. They also can explore different dynamics and tempos.

Then body percussion and percussion instruments often accompany that simple rhyme.

Melodic material consisting of two pitches is introduced next. Two-pitch melodic

materials are expanded to the pentatonic and diatonic scales later. Simple ostinato

pattern and simple chord changes are taught as an introduction for harmony.

Orff-Schulwerk suggests four phases of musical development: exploration,

imitation, improvisation, and creation (Shamrock, 1997). Shamrock suggests that

classroom teachers can benefit greatly from the speech and rhythmic materials. The

Orff approach offers many connections between music and language development

(Mizener, 2008). Through chant activities the students experience steady beat,

durations, accent, dynamics, tempo, pitch, texture, form, and expression, which are the

same concepts used to teach language experiences. "Rhythmic flow, or fluency,









experienced in rhymes and chants can transfer to the uninterrupted flow necessary to

read with understanding" (Mizener, 2008, p.12).

Burkett (1996) applied Orff-Schulwerk for the training of beginning percussion

students. Burkett explained using the rhythm of speech helped students learn the

rhythm more quickly. In the imitation phase of Orff-Schulwerk, students develop basic

skills in rhythmic speech and body percussion. First, the teacher introduces a rhyme to

the students. Using that rhythmic pattern from the rhyme, the students then transfer it

to body percussion, drums, or other instruments (Burkett, 1996).









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

This study was conducted at an elementary school in Florida with a second-

grade class that received reading instruction from their classroom teacher. This class

was separated into two groups. The control group received regular music instruction

once every six days for forty minutes. It consisted of nine students. The experimental

group consisted of ten students. The experimental group received an additional forty

minutes of music instruction time in a six-day rotation. The control group read

independently in their classroom during those forty minutes.

The Orff-Schulwerk activities included chanting rhymes while keeping steady

beat. In each lesson the students were introduced to a few new rhymes. They were

asked to keep steady beat on their knees or on their feet walking while chanting the

rhyme. Then, the students transferred the rhythm of the rhyme into clapping or patting

on their knees. The syllables of the words were broken down to make rhythm. Then

they played the rhythm on classroom percussion instruments such as tone blocks,

drums, triangle, and wood blocks. They also improvised on xylophones using the

rhythm of the rhyme.

A total of six treatment lesson plans (240 minutes) were taught for seven weeks.

Pre- and post-reading fluency test scores of each group were compared. All schools in

this county use the Treasures Reading Series by Macmillan/McGraw-Hill. The

classroom teacher used the weekly fluency assessment from this reading series to

monitor the students' progress. The students were asked to read a story, and the words

per minute (WPM) were calculated by taking the total number of words the student read

minus the mistakes. The study took place in September and October, 2009.









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

The pre-test and post-test scores of each subject from the experimental and

control groups are shown in Table 4-1. Figure 4-1 shows the mean gain scores for the

experimental group compared to the control group. The experimental group gained

10.5 points, while the control group gained close to 14 points. Results of the paired t-

test indicated the students of the experimental group showed a statistically significant

gain in their reading fluency, t = 2.57, df = 9, p = .030. The mean gains for the control

group were not significant, t = 2.17, df = 8, p = .062 (Table 4-2).

The classroom teacher commented that the experimental group students

improved on their fluency speed and comprehension. The students began recognizing

the rhyming patterns in words in the classroom. In addition, the teacher suggested that

the students seemed to become confident in their reading (Appendix).


Table 4-1 Reading fluency score (pre- and post-test) of each subject


Experimental group
Subject Pre-test Post-test
1 58 100
2 92 100
3 90 100
4 100 100
5 86 100
6 100 100
7 86 100
8 38 55
9 100 100
10 100 100
Mean 85 95.5
SD 6.59 4.5


Control group
Subject Pre-test Post-test
1 92 100
2 100 100
3 63 100
4 100 100
5 49 83
6 100 100
7 100 100
8 46 91
9 100 100
Mean 83.33 97.11
SD 23.58 6.07









Pre-test Post-test Mean gain
Experimental 85 95.5 10.5
Control 83.33 97.11 13.78


Pre-test


Post-test


* Experimental
* Control


Mean gain


Figure 4-1 Mean gain score comparison


Table 4-2 Paired t-test results


Experimental group Control group
(N = 10) (N = 9)
t df p T df p
2.5664 9 0.0304* 2.1689 8 0.0619
*Significant difference, p < .05.


. f


rz


r









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the Orff-Schulwerk

process of imitation on the reading fluency of second-grade students. Results showed

that the students (N = 10) who received six additional music classes showed greater

gains in their reading fluency when compared with the students (N = 9) who did not

receive additional music instruction. Even though there is a relationship between Orff-

Schulwerk instruction and reading fluency, the result does not establish a causal

relationship. Further study is necessary to determine a more detailed relationship

between Orff-Schulwerk music instruction and reading fluency.

Several factors need to be considered. The control group gained close to 14

points while the experimental group gained 10.5 points. Seven students in the control

group scored 100 on the post-test. Of those seven students, five scored 100 on the

pre-test. Most of the control group's gain was the result of one student (Subject 8) who

moved from 46 to 91. The experimental group had a student (subject 1) who moved

from 58 to 100, but it also had a student (Subject 8) who did not show much

improvement. This subject only improved from 38 to 55.

The paired t-test results indicated the students of the experimental group showed

a statistically significant gain in their reading fluency while the control group's mean gain

was not significant. However, the control group came rather close to the .05 level. If it

had had a couple of more subjects in it, it would have probably been statistically

significant.

The standard deviation for the control group was high in the pre-test, but was

smaller in the post-test, which indicated that the learning was uniform among the









subjects. The attendance rates of the treatment group students were not consistent due

to the flu season. It may have affected learning of some students. The study was

conducted for a short period. A different result might have been observed if it were for a

longer period. Having a large number of subjects would have been helpful to see a

more detailed relationship between Orff-Schulwerk music instruction and reading

fluency.

Music can offer a lot to students. It can teach them important social skills such

as working as a team, being responsible, and being creative. It can help them succeed

in other subjects, especially reading, through the activities that students can easily be a

part of. Since each student learns differently, educators should offer different teaching

styles. For some students, music might be the answer to improve reading fluency. An

activity such as chanting rhymes in music class will improve the children's reading skills

and attitude toward reading unconsciously. The Orff-Schulwerk process of imitation has

a possibility to improve reading fluency. The students deserve to have a complete

music education in their lives.









APPENDIX
TEACHER RESPONSES


How did the treatment group respond to the additional music
Question instruction?
The treatment group was always very excited to attend the additional
music instruction. When they returned they wanted to share
Answer everything they had learned with the rest of the class.
What did you perceive to be the strengths of the music instruction on
Question reading fluency?
The strengths would have to be the enunciation of words. They no
longer slurred their speech when they would read which made their
fluency speed pick up and their comprehension increase. The
students also recognized rhyming patterns in words when they read.
This skill helped them get over having to sound out every letter of
each word. This is a phonics skill they seemed to have missed from
first grade and the music presented it in such a way that those
students grasped the concept and were able to apply it to their
reading. This was a major factor in increasing their fluency. In
addition to the academic benefits, I noticed changes in my shy
students. They developed more confidence and would read aloud
more frequently. I believe hearing themselves read aloud was
instrumental in building their fluency. They could hear where they
made mistakes and determine whether or not the tempo of the
Answer reading was appropriate.









LIST OF REFERENCES


Abril, C. R., & Gault, B. M. (Spring, 2006). The State of Music in the Elementary School:
The Principal's Perspective. Journal of Research in Music Education, 6-20.

Biggs, M. (2007) Reading Fluency through Alternative Text: Rereading with an
Interactive Sing-to-Read Program Embedded within Middle School Music
Classroom (Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL).
Retrieved from
http://kong.lib.usf.edu:8881///exlibris/dtl/d3_1/apache_media/170156.pdf

Burkett, E. (December, 1996). Teaching Snare Drum through Orff-Inspired Speech
Rhythms. Percussive Notes, 38-39.

Gromko, J. E. (Fall, 2005). The Effect of Music Instruction on Phonemic Awareness in
Beginning Readers. Journal of research in Music Education, 199-209.

Hansen, D., & Bernstorf, E. (March, 2002). Linking Music Learning to Reading
Instruction. Music Educators Journal, 17-21, 52.

Johnson, C. M. & Memmott, J. E. (Winter, 2006). Examination of Relationships between
participation in School Music Programs of Differing Quality and Standardized
Test Results. Journal of Research in Music Education, 293-307.

Kassner, K. (Winter, 2002). To Be or Not to Be ... A Reading Teacher. General Music
Today, 19-26.

Mclntire, J. M. (August, 2007). General Music: Developing Literacy through Music.
Teaching Music, 44-48.

Mizener, C. P. (Winter, 2008). Enhancing Language Skills through Music. General
Music Today, 11-17.

Radocy, R., & Boyle, D. (2003). Psychological Foundations of Musical Behavior.
Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas. Publisher Ltd.

Register, D., Darrow, A., Standley, J., & Swedberg, 0. (Spring, 2007). The Use of Music
to Enhance Reading Skills of Second Grade Students and Students with Reading
Disabilities. Journal of Music Therapy, 23-37.

Shamrock, M. (May, 1997). Orff-Schulwerk: An Intergrated Foundation. Music
Educators Journal, 41-44.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Naoko Wicklein Suzuki was born in Hokkaido, Japan. She came to America as

an exchange student when she was a senior in high school. After graduating she

continued with her education in the United States and received her Bachelor of Music

with Honors in Piano Performance from the University of Florida in December 1994.

During this time she studied piano with Dr. Holly Hughes. She then completed the

music education certification course for Music K-12 at the University of Florida in 1997.

She worked as a music teacher at South Ocala Elementary for five years. During those

years she completed the Orff-Schulwerk Level 1, II, III certification courses at James

Madison University, University of Memphis, and Western Carolina University. She

returned to Japan and taught English at a junior high school for 2 years. She came

back to the U.S. in 2005. She has been teaching music at Hammett Bowen Jr.

Elementary School since 2006, and became a National Board Certified Teacher in the

music/early and middle childhood area in 2007. After completing her national

certification she also became a certified Kindermusik instructor. Naoko currently serves

as president of the Marion County Music Association and as treasurer of Heart of

Florida Orff Chapter. She enjoys working as a music educator, and she likes to share

the joy of making music with her students. She is happily married to her husband,

Christian Wicklein.




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