Effects of instruction on first, second and third grade children's ability to decenter when assessed on discrimination between contrasting musical characteristics

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Music Education

First Advisor's Name

Carolyn Fulton

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

M. Gregory Martin

Third Advisor's Name

Roby George

Date of Defense



This experimental study sought to determine the effect of instruction on the abilities of first through third grade children to single and double discriminate contrasting musical characteristics. Six samples were used.

The experimental variable consisted of four sessions designed to teach children to distinguish between fast/slow and smooth/choppy musical excerpts. Subjects were tested on their single/double discrimination abilities following the treatment sessions. Results show that first and second grade experimental groups scored significantly higher on single discrimination items than their control groups. On the double discrimination accuracy section the experimental second, third and control first graders were significantly higher than their counter-groups.

These findings demonstrated that the four treatment sessions have a profound effect on first and second grade children's abilities to make single discriminations. They also show that success in making double discriminations may depend more on the individual subjects. Further investigation would be beneficial.



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