Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr Basil Jayatilaka

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of Gross-motor Rhythm Imitation Training and Verbalised Rhythm Imitation Training in developing rhythm imitation skills in pre-primary children. Students of two pre-primary classes, with the same teacher, from a middle class metropolitan, co-educational government school were the participants in the research. One class was involved in the Gross-motor Rhythm Imitation Training Programme and the other in the Verbalised Rhythm Imitation Training Programme. The training programme was conducted four days a week for eight consecutive weeks. The researcher devised a ‘Rhythm Imitation Test' which was conducted before and after the training period. The results of this research show a significant difference in test scores between the two groups of students at the .004 level. The group of students involved in the Verbalised Rhythm Imitation Training Programme showed a significant improvement in test scores between the pre-test and post-test at the .000 level, while group of students involved in the Gross-motor Rhythm Imitation Training Programme showed no significant improvement in test scores. These results have implications for both music educators and pre-primary teachers who are interested in improving pre-primary children’s rhythm skills and in particular the verbal rather than the gross-motor method by which these rhythm imitation skills arc learned. The results of this report question some of the common rhythm learning practices. They also point to far reaching implications in the way rhythm imitation skills can be taught in pre-primary years in order to optimise children's rhythmic ability.

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