The Effects of With-Text and Without-Text Song Presentation Styles on Preschoolers' Singing Voice Use and Pitch Accuracy
Kendal, Jessica Leigh
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The main purpose of this study was to examine the effects of with-text and without-text song presentation styles on the song-singing competencies of singing voice use and pitch accuracy in preschool children. A secondary purpose of the study was to discern if there were any relationships between preschoolers’ tonal developmental music aptitude, song presentation styles, singing voice use, and pitch accuracy. A total of twenty-nine 3.5- to 5-year-old preschoolers from a university children’s center in the Mid-Atlantic United States were randomly assigned within intact classes to either a text-only song presentation style or a syllable-text song presentation style when being taught two new, unfamiliar criterion songs within the context of weekly 30-minute music and movement lessons at the center. Participants in the text-only control condition (n =13) heard and sang the criterion songs with text for the entirety of the 11-week study; participants in the syllable-text intervention condition (n =16) heard and sang the criterion songs on a neutral syllable for the first six weeks of the study, then with the associated text for the remaining five weeks. All participants were pretested for developmental tonal music aptitude and were recorded singing a familiar song to determine baseline singing competencies before the start of the study; all participants were recorded singing the two criterion songs at the conclusion of the study for posttest measurement. Recordings were evaluated by three trained raters using Rutkowski’s (1998) SVDM and were evaluated by the researcher for pitch accuracy percentage scores. Results of descriptive statistical analyses showed no significant differences in median scores between the groups for singing voice use or pitch accuracy at posttest. Results of correlational analyses suggest that presenting new songs initially without text may support preschoolers’ use of singing voice, while presenting new songs with text may support preschoolers’ pitch accuracy. These analyses also showed minimal correlation between tonal developmental music aptitude and singing scores. Pitch accuracy was found to be highly correlated with singing voice use.