Effects of Weikart's Sequential Approach to Rhythmic Movement on Development of Rhythmic Competency in Primary Age Children
Trump, Patricia B.
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SubjectMusic in education; Musical meter and rhythm; Musical perception; School children--Instruction and study
Problem. The purpose of this study was to compare the rhythmic competency of children receiving training using Weikart's Sequential Approach to Rhythmic Movement, and those receiving no training. Variables included gender and task alteration. Procedure. The sample consisted of 54 first graders. The Rhythmic Competency Analysis Test (RCAT) was administered to measure initial rhythmic competency. The experimental group received approximately 25 five-minute training sessions over a period of four months. Lessons were taken from Weikart's book, Music and Movement. The control grcup received no special training in rhythmic movement. An equivalent form of the RCAT was administered to all subjects at the end of the treatment period. Findinqs. RCAT data was treated statistically with t tests and with a 2(gender) x 2(instruction) factorial analysis of variance design. During the treatment period the subjects made significant improvement in RCAT scores, p<.001. Results showed locomotor tasks to be significantly more difficult than nonlocomotor tasks, p<.001. Gender was found to be significant only for Task 1 (patting bilaterally), p<.05. The experimental group made significantly better progress than the control group for locomotor tasks, p<.05, but there were no significant differences due to instruction for nonlocomotor tasks. Conclusions. The study concluded that while maturation was important to the development of rhythmic competency, instruction using Weikart's method could inprove performance, particularly locomotor skills. It was also found that the method of instruction could be implemented into a primary school music curriculum with a minimum investment of time and money. Recommendations. The study recommends that training in rhythmic movement be incorporated into elementary music classes, and that greater emphasis he placed on locomotor movement activities. Further research using an improved scoring method and a larger sample is needed in ordcr to clarify the effects of gender and to generalize these findings to other populations.
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