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Title:A Descriptive Study of the Musical Abilities of Three- and Four-Year-Old Children
Author(s):Bedsole, Elizabeth Ann
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Music
Abstract:The purpose of the research was to describe the responses of three- and four-year-old children to selected musical stimuli. The range of developmental music aptitude (PMMA), ability on two music discrimination tests, attitude toward music, and home background of three- and four-year-old children were investigated. Differences between the two age groups on these measures as well as on tasks of physical coordination were reported.
Subjects were 15 three-year-old and 16 four-year-old children enrolled in a graduate school related preschool. The investigator formulated two music discrimination tests from extant tasks, collected questionnaire data from parents, and obtained teacher ratings on the children's ability and attitude.
The data are presented quantitatively and qualitatively, the quantitative data consisting of descriptive statistics and ANOVA results. Qualitative data emerged from in-depth protocols of selected children.
Four-year-olds scored higher (p $\le$.05) on the PMMA composite score with scores ranging from 38-53 for three-year-olds and 39-68 for four-year-olds. The mean score for both age groups is higher than that reported in the test manual for kindergarten children. Home background profile, attitude toward music, and responses to tasks of aural discrimination were similar in both age groups. Four-year-olds were marginally better on steady beat, high-low and fast-slow tasks. Four-year-olds scored higher (p $\le$.05) on the strong-weak task. Analysis of the protocols suggests that children at both ages were guessing on the up-down tasks. Four-year-olds scored higher (p $\le$.05) than three-year-olds on performance tasks of clapping, playing instruments, and singing.
The number of children who obtained higher than chance which was established as 60 percent of the two choice tasks were: steady beat, one in each age group; high-low, seven three-year-olds and six four-year-olds; up-down, four three-year-olds and three four-year-olds; fast-slow, one three-year-old and five four-year-olds; strong-weak, no three-year-olds and five four-year-olds; clapping, nine three-year-olds and fifteen four-year-olds; playing instruments, three three-year-olds and fourteen four-year-olds; singing, six three-year-olds and ten four-year-olds. Clapping seems appropriate for both age groups, playing instruments and singing for four-year-olds.
Issue Date:1987
Description:357 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8721584
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1987

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