An exploration of the relationships between cultural background and music preference in a diverse elementary orchestra class.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebecca B. MacLeod, Associate Professor (Creator)
Constance McKoy, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The purpose of this research was to investigate the music performing and learning mode preferences of fourth- and fifth-grade elementary students who were enrolled in an elective orchestra class in a culturally diverse elementary school. We were interested in exploring whether students’ self identified race or ethnicity influenced the songs that they preferred learning on their string instruments and whether they preferred learning “by ear” or by reading music notation. Thirteen fourth-grade and 14 fifth-grade students (N = 27) participated in the study. During a nine-week period, they studied one song each associated with the African American and Mexican American culture, and one song from the standard Western European classical repertoire for orchestra. There was an overall trend for students to prefer music from a culture other than their own. Participants were nearly evenly divided in their preference to learn the songs by reading notation or “by ear.”

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
culturally responsive teaching, rote learning, music reading, elementary school , string music education, music education

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