The effect of repertoire on the singing achievement of second grade students

Hadfield, Christine
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University of Delaware
The purpose of this study was to contribute to the body of research on the singing achievement of students. Through a quasi-experimental design using two intact groups, the research question addressed second grade students’ (N=80) singing achievement when singing a major tonality criterion song or a pentatonic tri-chord criterion song. The researcher collected samples from Group A (n=40), which sang the major tonality song and Group B (n=40), which sang the pentatonic tri-chord song. On five different occasions, the researcher taught the criterion songs to the two groups with a scripted procedure, using a combination of general music techniques including holistic and phrase-by-phrase singing along with movement activities. During the sixth visit, the researcher reviewed the criterion songs with each group. Students were individually audio-recorded singing the entire criterion song that they learned over the 5-week period. Three independent judges analyzed the song samples using the researcher created and vetted Singing Achievement Measure (SAM) that was comprised of four 4-point descriptive rating scales and one 2-point rating scale. Interjudge reliability (r=.94), descriptive statistics, and the intercorrelations of SAM criteria were calculated. Data were analyzed through a two-sample t-Test (p < .05). Results indicated that there was no significant difference between the singing achievement of Group A and Group B. Principle Component Analysis was calculated and confirmed that the scores for each of the five criteria were similar between Groups A and B. This study has the potential to inform music educators about the effect of song repertoire choice on students’ singing achievement.