The Effect of a Guided Aural Reinforcement Model on Perceived Improvement in Intonation of Middle School Trombone Players
Gross, Gene F.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a guided aural reinforcement model on perceived improvement in intonation of middle school trombone players. Based on their responses to the Watkins-Farnum performance test and a questionnaire, subjects were matched by grade-level equivalent-pairs and then assigned by rank-order to control and experimental groups. All subjects taking part in the investigation were given a researcher-designed pretest to determine initial skill level of intonation performance. Following the pretest, all subjects received nine periods of instruction on trombone. The experimental group practiced with a pre-recorded guided aural intonation component as a part of each lesson instruction period. The control group received instruction which included, for this school district, a traditional method of learning intonation rather than the prerecorded guided aural intonation component. A researcher-designed posttest was administered to all subjects following the nine periods of instruction. Pretests and posttests were recorded and later evaluated by a panel of experts. Reliability of coefficient tests and ANOVAs were used to determine inter-evaluator reliability. Results yielded a high degree of reliability among evaluators. Statistical t-tests were used to determine significant (p=.05) differences between the gain scores of students in the control and experimental groups. Results indicated no significant gain score differences between the control and experimental groups on part I (unison test). Analysis of gain scores for part II (interval test) and part III (melodic test) portions of the pretests/posttests revealed significant differences between the control and experimental groups with regard to improvement in intonation performance. As a result of practice with the guided aural reinforcement model, the experimental group demonstrated improvement in intonation performance which was significantly greater than the control group. Additional research possibilities and educational implications have been included.
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