THE EFFECT OF A PROGRAM OF PORTABLE ELECTRONIC PIANO KEYBOARD EXPERIENCE ON THE ACQUISITION OF SIGHT-SINGING SKILL IN THE NOVICE HIGH SCHOOL CHORUS
Parks, Judith Elseroad
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The problem was to determine whether a method of aural and visual vocal training that included a program of portable electronic piano keyboard experience would be more effective in teaching sight-singing skills to novice high school chorus students than a method that included only aural and visual vocal training. A sub-problem was to determine whether novice chorus students enjoyed playing electronic keyboards in chorus as a reinforcement experience in sight-singing training. Students were randomly assigned to two treatment groups, tested with the Musical Aptitude Profile, Tonal Imagery, part A, and then trained separately. The experimental group sang repetitions of melodic patterns and utilized techniques associated with the Kodály Method while simultaneously playing keyboard. The comparison group received a similar treatment without using keyboards. The students were pre- and post-tested in sight-singing using the Vocal Sight-Reading Inventory. Results of the Analysis of Covariance using MAP scores as the covariate revealed no significant difference (p<.05) between post-test scores of the two groups. Improvement was noted in 96% of students from pre-test to post-test regardless of grouping. The repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant relationship (p<.006) between aptitude group and post-test score. High aptitude students in both groups were found to benefit more from the training than low aptitude students. High aptitude keyboard group students achieved an average gain score that was 8.67 points higher than the comparison group. Of the total experimental group, 92% enjoyed playing keyboards in chorus. It is recommended that future research be undertaken to study the use of keyboards with advanced high school choruses and with uncertain singers in the high school chorus. Research is also needed to develop graded, valid, and reliable sight-singing tests for use in high school chorus. Techniques of the Kodály Method should be further investigated for use in high school sight-singing training.