Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This study investigated the effect of rhythm based computer-assisted music instruction designed for individual learning style preferences. Participants were undergraduate preservice elementary education majors (N = 82) enrolled in Fundamentals of Music. The Perceptual Learning Style Preferences Survey and the Diablo Valley College Learning Style Survey were used to measure learning preferences. Two content knowledge assessments were administered as pre and posttest: (a) Music Achievement Test (MAT) Test 2-Part 3-Auditory and Visual Discrimination subtest b and (b) Researcher-Developed Rhythm Test (RDRT). Researcher-developed software programs were constructed, teaching participants the basic elements of rhythm based on learning style preferences. Forty-three of the participants (13 auditory, 13 visual, and 17 tactile/kinesthetic) completed software programs designed for their individual learning preferences. A stratified randomly selected group (11 auditory, 10 visual, and 18 tactile/kinesthetic) was assigned software that addressed all learning style strategies (n = 39) to complete the rhythm unit. A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) conducted to determine the effect of three types of learning style strategies and two treatments (learner specific and all learning styles) on the two dependent variables (MAT and RDRT) revealed significant differences between the dependent measures. Two separate three-way repeated measures ANOVAs calculated on the MAT and RDRT found significant differences from pretest to posttest, indicating a significant increase in skill level on both measures. MAT scores revealed no significant differences with regards to treatment or learning style preferences. A significant two-way interaction between treatment and pretest to posttest was found for the RDRT. Both groups made significant gains due to treatment from pretest to posttest. The gain was greater for participants who used all learning styles software than for those who used individualized learning styles software. A significant two-way interaction among learning style strategies, RDRT pretest to posttest, was revealed. All participants made large gains due to treatment; tactile/kinesthetic learners gained noticeably less than aural and visual learners. Participants with the highest and lowest posttest scores (n = 23) from each learning style preference were selected for interviews. Overlapping themes indicated positive acceptance of the program, superior educational value, and creative program design.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Evelyn K. Orman



Included in

Music Commons