Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of adult female, adult male, and child vocal modeling on the pitch-matching accuracy of children in grades one through six. Because singing is a basic component of the elementary music curriculum and is a skill which a child will continue to use throughout his/her life, it is important to determine how a child can most successfully develop and use his/her singing voice. Existing literature indicates that those factors which most directly affect a child's singing ability are maturation, auditory discrimination, vocal range, and vocal modeling. Conflicting results exist as to the most effective model voice or pitch stimulus to be used in eliciting vocal accuracy in children. Two-hundred eighty-two subjects were tested individually on three separate occasions, each time with a different vocal model. Model pitch stimulus and testing conditions were exactly the same on each testing occasion, the only difference being the model voice. Accuracy of the response was measured and evaluated and each subject was given a deviation score for his/her response to each model. Scores for all subjects were then subjected to comparisons involving all variable factors. Results indicated that vocal modeling did have an effect on pitch-matching accuracy of the subjects. There were more correct responses to the child model, followed by the female and male model, respectively. Incorrect responses were more often flat for the female and male models, and more often sharp for the child model. First-grade subjects and sixth-grade subjects sang the highest percentages of incorrect responses for all three models. The highest percentage of flat responses was sung by first-grade subjects. Sixth-grade subjects enrolled in band sang more correct responses than sixth-grade subjects enrolled in chorus. For the male model, band students sang more correct responses than chorus students.