Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Music Education

Committee Chair

Ryan A. Fisher

Committee Member

Reginald L. Green

Committee Member

Armand V. Hall

Committee Member

Kenneth R. Kreitner


With the intent of improving the instructional practice of improvisation in the elementary general music classroom, the purpose of this research was to examine the effects of instructional strategies and music aptitude on the rhythmic improvisation of second-grade general music students. The research questions were: 1) Does whole group or small group instruction effect the rhythmic improvisation performance of second-grade general music students? and 2) Does music aptitude as measured by the Intermediate Measures of Music Audiation (IMMA) effect the rhythmic improvisation performance of second-grade general music students? The research design involved two instructional settings consisting of an experimental and a control group. All of the participants (n = 93) were administered theIMMA and an improvisation pre-test. Students in both groups received four improvisation music lessons. The experimental treatment involved the use of improvisation lessons through small group instruction with four to six students per small group. The treatment period lasted six music class sessions. At the end of the treatment, all improvised responses were assessed to measure their improvisation performances using the Rhythmic Improvisation Performance Assessment (RIPA). The researcher designed the RIPA to score the second-grade rhythmic improvisation performances. The independent variables were the instructional strategies (whole group/small-group instruction) used in the music lessons and the IMMA grouping (high/low). The dependent variable was the composite rhythmic improvisation performance assessment score. Two separate mixed ANOVA were conducted. Results revealed a main effect for the pre-test/posttest , F(1, 82) = 39.01; p < .001, indicating participants significantly improved on improvisation from the pre-test to the posttest. A statistically significant interaction between whole group/small group instruction showed more improvement for the whole group between pre-test and posttest than those in small group instruction. Results also revealed no main effect for music aptitude.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.