The effects of conducting-gesture instruction on high school string orchestra students' recognition of and playing response to common musical conducting emblems

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Fine Arts
Department Music (School of)
Title The effects of conducting-gesture instruction on high school string orchestra students' recognition of and playing response to common musical conducting emblems
Date 2012-08
Description The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of conducting-gesture instruction on high school string orchestra students' recognition of and playing response to common musical conducting emblems. Musical conducting emblems were defined as nonverbal movements or gestures used by conductors to convey meaningful musical information to a group of ensemble musicians. In order to counteract the problem of high school string students' lack of consistently following common conducting-gestures, the researcher modified and expanded upon the previous work of Cofer, who taught common conducting-gestures to seventh-grade band students. Participants were string students (N = 51) from two similar high school orchestras that were given a multiple-choice "pencil and paper" pretest to see how many of 18 conducting-gestures could be correctly identified while watching a prepared video-recording of a conductor demonstrating those gestures. An informal analysis identified the most difficult gestures of the pretest so that instruction could focus on those gestures. Each school's orchestra was divided into experimental groups (n = 26) and control groups (n = 25). The experimental groups received five sessions of researcher-designed conducting-gesture instruction activities, while the control groups did not. After a post- "pencil and paper" test was given to all participants, which was identical to the pretest, a "playing test" was administered consisting of each participant's performance of a simple four-measure melody 12 times while watching the demonstration of those 12 gestures on a video-recorded presentation. This performance exam provided information about participants' ability to transfer their instruction on conducting-gestures into performance responses. Using a repeated measures ANOVA with two between-subjects factors (school and group) and one within-subjects factor (test), a statistical analysis was performed on the data from the pre- and post- "pencil and paper" tests. Results indicated a significant main effect for test F (1,47) = 35.92, p < .001, partial !" = .43, as well as a significant interaction between test and group F (1,47) = 19.40, p < .001, partial !" = .29, which demonstrated that the groups scored higher on the posttest than on the pretest. For the "playing test," a two-way ANOVA with two between-subjects factors (school and group) was conducted on the data, which came from the ratings of three independent judges who evaluated each participant's audio-recorded playing test on a 5- point Likert-type scale. Results indicated a significant main effect for group, F (1,43) = 4.16, p < .05, partial !" = .08, which demonstrated that the participants of the experimental groups scored higher than those of the control groups. According to the results of this study's two measures, the general research question, "Can short-term conducting-gesture instruction improve high school string students' conducting-gesture recognition and playing responses?" was answered in the affirmative.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Conducting-gestures; Conducting instruction; High school music; Nonverbal communication; Orchestra students; Performance response
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © James W. Thompson 2012
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 11,745,384 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/1806
Permissions Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=1310683
ARK ark:/87278/s6j67xpb
Setname ir_som
Date Created 2012-08-06
Date Modified 2018-04-03
ID 195495
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6j67xpb
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