An Action Research Study of Effective Teaching Techniques in the Student Learning of Musical Notes and Rhythms By Mandy Co...
Abstract <ul><li>Involving 12 third grade students, this action research study examined teaching strategies that identifie...
Introduction <ul><li>The purpose of this action research study was to find more effective ways to teach musical notes and ...
Research Question:: <ul><li>The research question addressed in this action research project was: </li></ul><ul><li>What is...
Goals for the Project <ul><li>The researcher’s goals for this project are to find possible techniques that could enhance a...
Method <ul><li>During a five week period, the researcher used three different methods of teaching musical notes and rhythm...
Data Collection <ul><li>All students have some prior knowledge of musical notes and rhythms.  All students in this class u...
Data Collection, Continued <ul><li>The second teaching strategy involved singing and clapping.  Although this is a recorde...
Data Collection, Continued <ul><li>The third teaching strategy involved the students making their own composition.  The st...
Data Analysis:  Surveys
Data Analysis: Surveys <ul><li>In Survey A & B, Questions #1 & #2 asked the students (True or False) if they understood ho...
Data Analysis:  Pre vs Post
Data Analysis: Pre vs Post <ul><li>The results of the Pre Test showed that students correctly identified most of the notes...
Data Analysis: Post Tests
Data Analysis: Post Tests In comparing all three post tests, the researcher noticed that the students felt more comfortabl...
Conclusion <ul><li>Upon completion of this action research project, the researcher has made several observations.  It is c...
Conclusion, Continued <ul><li>The students seem to have a hard time grasping that both rhythm and note name have to be lea...
References <ul><li>The Teacher as Researcher in Beginning Instrumental Music.  By: Conway, Colleen, Jeffers, Tom, Update: ...
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  1. 1. An Action Research Study of Effective Teaching Techniques in the Student Learning of Musical Notes and Rhythms By Mandy Corso
  2. 2. Abstract <ul><li>Involving 12 third grade students, this action research study examined teaching strategies that identified effective learning of musical notes and rhythms. Data was gathered concerning the effectiveness of three different teaching techniques of musical notes and rhythms. From subsequent research and data collected, the researcher was able to identify more effective ways in which to teach young students these musical fundamentals. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>The purpose of this action research study was to find more effective ways to teach musical notes and rhythms. Participants in this study were 12 third grade students, six girls and six boys. The students in this class learn how to play the recorder, a pre-band instrument. These students were seen by the music teacher researcher once a week for 40 minutes. These students also receive a 3o minute music class once a week from a different teacher </li></ul>
  4. 4. Research Question:: <ul><li>The research question addressed in this action research project was: </li></ul><ul><li>What is the most effective teaching strategy to teach musical notes and rhythms? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Goals for the Project <ul><li>The researcher’s goals for this project are to find possible techniques that could enhance and help the teaching in the classroom. The researcher wants to find new ways of introducing note names and rhythm values to students that will hopefully help them to understand better the world of music. In doing research for this action research project, the researcher found several ideas that might prove helpful. In the first study that was looked at, the researchers dealt with first graders. They stated that they “found that first graders performed rhythm patterns more effectively when visual icons were linked with auditory sounds or kinesthetic motions” (Gauthier, Dunn, 2004). Upon reading this research the researcher has incorporated several visual icons within the techniques to hopefully teach the kids at a visual level as well as kinesthetic level. </li></ul><ul><li>Another part of this research project should be to take into account other factors that may hinder or help the learning of the material. “It is important for the effectiveness of teaching environments to take account of group or individual learners’ characteristics, competence and experiences (pre-learning) throughout the process of planning learning </li></ul><ul><li>environments” (Yilmaz-Soylu). This is an important factor and may prove to be difficult for the researcher. The researcher does not have a specified music classroom. Music classes are held in the art room at the school where the action research project is to take place. The researcher will have to think about and include some suggestions from this article to make sure that the students can be as successful as possible in the learning of note names and rhythms. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Method <ul><li>During a five week period, the researcher used three different methods of teaching musical notes and rhythms. At the beginning of the five week period, the researcher gave the students a pre-test to test their knowledge of musical notes and rhythms so far for the school year. This pre-test developed a base line so that the researcher could gauge any progress made by the students for each strategy. The researcher also asked the students to fill out a short survey to identify the students concerns and problems in learning musical notation. Each strategy was taught to the class for one 40 minute session. After each strategy was taught, the students took a post test. At the end of the five week period, the students were asked to fill out an exit survey and take a final post test. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Data Collection <ul><li>All students have some prior knowledge of musical notes and rhythms. All students in this class use a recorder methods book. The students are taught how to play each note on the recorder, where it is located on the staff, and basic rhythms. </li></ul><ul><li>The first teaching strategy was a written worksheet. On this day, a worksheet was given to the students to complete individually. The worksheet used differing puzzle strategies to encourage the student to figure out the musical notes and rhythms. The students were allowed to use their recorder books as a reference. At the end of this session, the researcher led the class in a review of the worksheet and correct answers. The class and researcher discussed why answers were right or wrong. Any questions asked by students were answered by the researcher. At the completion of this teaching strategy, the students were given a post test on music notes and rhythms. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Data Collection, Continued <ul><li>The second teaching strategy involved singing and clapping. Although this is a recorder performing class, singing and clapping is still used in an instrument based class because it gives the students a more kinesthetic connection. On this day, the students were given a song to look at out of a recorder methods book. This song had not previously been taught or sight read in the recorder class. No notes had been labeled and no rhythms identified. The researcher also had a copy of the song on the overhead projector. As a group, the researcher led the students in the identification of the notes and rhythms. The notes were labeled underneath the staff lines and the rhythm values were labeled on top of the staff lines. The students were then led by the researcher in the singing and clapping of the notes and rhythms. Finally, once the clapping and singing had been mastered together, the students were then asked to play the song on their recorder. The students were given a post test on music notes and rhythms. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Data Collection, Continued <ul><li>The third teaching strategy involved the students making their own composition. The students were allowed to work with a partner. On this day, the researcher led the group in note taking. The students were required to draw a staff and treble clef on a sheet of copy paper. The students were then led by the researcher to draw and label the notes on the staff. The students were also directed to draw proper whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes on their paper. This sheet was to be used for reference by the students. The students were then given a new piece of copy paper. Again, the researcher led the students to draw a staff and treble clef on the paper. The researcher then led the students into making four measures out of their staff they had drawn. The researcher then gave the instruction to the students that they were to compose their own four measure song using correct usage of rhythm and notes. The researcher drew several examples on the board of what their composition could look like. They were given thirty minutes to work on their composition and they could use their reference sheet as necessary. If they needed help, they were instructed to ask the researcher. At the end of this session, each group performed their composition for the class. The students were given a post test at the end of this teaching strategy. </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of the three teaching strategies, the students were given a final post test and exit survey </li></ul>
  10. 10. Data Analysis: Surveys
  11. 11. Data Analysis: Surveys <ul><li>In Survey A & B, Questions #1 & #2 asked the students (True or False) if they understood how to identify notes and rhythms. In both surveys, the students answered that they felt they understood how to identify notes and rhythms. Both surveys had very close results for Questions #1 & #2. </li></ul><ul><li>In Question #3, the students were asked if they worked better by a.) working with a partner, b.) as a large group, or c.) by yourself. In both surveys the students stated that they felt better by working with a partner. </li></ul><ul><li>In Question #4, the students were asked what was most helpful: a.)another student, b.)teacher, or c.) working alone. In both surveys, the students answered that another student or working alone was the most helpful. </li></ul><ul><li>In Question #5, #6, and #7 the students were asked which way they would like to learn, which teaching method they like the best, and which method helped them to learn more. In all three questions, worksheets and singing were the two categories that were chosen most often. Creating your own composition was not chosen at all. These results indicate to the researcher that the students feel most comfortable when learning is tactile. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Data Analysis: Pre vs Post
  13. 13. Data Analysis: Pre vs Post <ul><li>The results of the Pre Test showed that students correctly identified most of the notes that were on the staff. However, upon inspection of the rhythm section of the Pre Test, over half of the students correctly identified only one rhythm. This shows the researcher that rhythm seems to be the weakness for this group. </li></ul><ul><li>The results of the Post Test show that there was improvement with both notes and rhythm. In the note identification section there were nine students who scored eight correct answers or more in the Pre Test. The Post Test results showed there were still nine students who scored eight correct answers or better. However, upon close inspection of the data, the results show that there was a slight increase in the amount of correct answers overall. In the rhythm section of the Pre and Post Tests, the graphs clearly show that there was an increase in the amount of correct answers. In the Pre Test, only five students scored two or more correct answers. In the Post Test, nine students scored two or more correct answers. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Data Analysis: Post Tests
  15. 15. Data Analysis: Post Tests In comparing all three post tests, the researcher noticed that the students felt more comfortable with learning the notes by using Technique #1, the worksheet. Technique #2, singing and clapping, came in second. Technique #3 came in last, with less students feeling comfortable with learning both notes and rhythms
  16. 16. Conclusion <ul><li>Upon completion of this action research project, the researcher has made several observations. It is clear that the students feel they learn more by being helped by another student or working alone. The students also feel that learning by worksheets and singing/clapping is the most beneficial way for them to learn the material. However, even though the students feel this way, the researcher found some differing results. The researcher found through the Pre and Post Tests comparison that the students did slightly better on identifying notes and rhythms, but all of the students had a difficult time identifying rhythms throughout all techniques. The technique that seemed to work the best was the singing/clapping. The students thoroughly enjoyed this technique and were very excited to get started on this technique. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Conclusion, Continued <ul><li>The students seem to have a hard time grasping that both rhythm and note name have to be learned in order to play the music correctly. They have trouble concentrating on both note name and rhythm at the same time. When asked to identify notes, they seem to have made progress. In naming rhythm values, the students are still having problems. A good point for more research in this area would be to try to explain why these students are having more trouble with rhythms than with notes. The researcher may have made this project more difficult by concentrating on both rhythm and notes, when maybe it should have been one or the other. </li></ul><ul><li>A good point for this project has been that the researcher has some concrete techniques that seem to have worked well in the learning of note names. As a result of this project, the researcher can now apply these techniques to only rhythm and see what the result would be. It may be that the students felt overwhelmed by rhythms and notes, as previously discussed. It may benefit the researcher and students to concentrate on rhythms only now and see what happens as a result. This project proved to be successful in both identifying possible solutions and identifying possible problems. </li></ul>
  18. 18. References <ul><li>The Teacher as Researcher in Beginning Instrumental Music. By: Conway, Colleen, Jeffers, Tom, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, 87551233, Spring/Summer 2004, Vol.22, Issue 2. </li></ul><ul><li>The Characteristics of Action Research in Music Education. By: Tim Cain. B.J. Music Education, 2008, Vol.25, Issue 3. </li></ul><ul><li>Comparing Two Approaches for Teaching Rhythm Reading Skills to First-Grade </li></ul><ul><li>Children: A Pilot Study. Gauthier, Delores and Dunn, Robert. Research and Issues in Music Education, September 2004, Vol. 2, No. 1. </li></ul><ul><li>The Effect of Learning Styles on Achievement in Different Learning Environments. Yilmaz-Soylu, Meryem. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 1303-6521, October 2009, Vol. 8, Issue 4. </li></ul>

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