A Comparison of Structured Versus Unstructured Composition Tasks as Assessments of First Grade Children’s Understanding of ABA Form and Rhythmic and Timbre Differences
The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of unstructured composition tasks versus structured composition tasks in first grade students’ understanding of ABA form and rhythmic and timbre differences. Subjects in this study were first grade students from a rural elementary school in the midwestern United States. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Subjects were asked to compose a song in three sections with the first and third sections being exactly alike. The structured group learned a shark poem and those subjects were asked to create their own shark composition. The structured group had two white pieces of paper with a piece of red paper in the middle to represent the B section. The unstructured group had three white pieces of paper. The unstructured group simply received instructions to compose a song in three sections with the first and third sections being exactly alike. The students had five minutes to compose their songs and then their final compositions were videotaped. Three elementary music teachers served as judges and scored the compositions. The results showed that groups (structured vs. unstructured) differed in their ability to compose a piece in ABA form that demonstrated their understanding of rhythmic and timbre differences, t(28) = -2.09, p < .05. The unstructured group more effectively utilized ABA form and demonstrated greater understanding of rhythmic and timbre differences in their compositions.
School:Bowling Green State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:music composition children aba form timbre rhythm
Date of Publication:01/01/2007