Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Composing in groups: Creative processes of third and fifth grade students
by Crawford, Lisa A., D.M.A., University of Southern California, 2016, 173; 10195571
Abstract (Summary)

Music education has long included creative music activities and provided opportunities to compose in foundational learning environments. As the use of varying technologies increases in foundational learning, it is unclear how composing with acoustic rhythm instruments compares with technology-mediated applications when considering pedagogy and children's creative processes in third and fifth grades. It is also unclear what differences of application technology-in-composition lesson plans require when considering composing at different grade levels or if there are gender differences when composing at these levels.

This experimental study, with a between-subjects factorial design, was completed in three phases. In the first phase, participants were tested on the Intermediate Measure of Music Audiation (IMMA) (Gordon, 1986). In the second phase, children were invited, in groups of four by grade levels three and five, to compose with acoustic rhythm instruments or a graphic notation computer program, Hyperscore. Participants' compositional processes were observed using a researcher-constructed protocol, the Crawford Index of Quality for Composing Groups (CIQCG) (Crawford, 2016). The third phase tested all participants using the Measure of Creative Thinking in Music (MCTM) (Webster, 1994). Additionally, variables of grade level and gender were tested.

Results showed that third grade participants scored higher than fifth grade on the IMMA. Third grade scored higher composing with Hyperscore while fifth grade participants scored lower. No statistically significant correlations were found between gender and IMMA scores, however, male participants composing with acoustic instruments scored higher on the MCTM while female participants scored higher on the MCTM after composing with Hyperscore. Additionally, there were no statistically significant correlations between the test scores for the IMMA, CIQCG and MCTM, indicating that musical aptitude, musical composition process, and creative thinking are three separate areas in which music educators may focus.

Implications of this study for music education indicated that while technology may be a well-received tool for compositional work in classrooms, acoustic instruments were also well received by the third and fifth grade students in this study. These findings further indicate a strong need for development of close observation of composing opportunities in music classroom groups. Creative processes may be observed with greater understanding through use of the Crawford Index of Quality for Composing Groups.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ilari, Beatriz
Commitee: Hocevar, Dennis, Webster, Peter
School: University of Southern California
Department: Music Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music education
Keywords: Creative process, Group compositions, Hyperscore, Technology
Publication Number: 10195571
ISBN: 978-1-369-47434-3
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