Master of Music (MM)



Document Type



The purpose of this study was to examine middle school band students’ ability to sing and play their instruments in tune following short-term vocal technique instruction. In a posttest-only design, individual participants listened to three-note stepwise sequences produced digitally and performed them in three ways—sung on the syllable /Zu/, sung on /Zi/, and played on the instrument. Performances were recorded and analyzed for cent deviation from equal-tempered tuning (reference A=440). Results showed a significant 3-way interaction among pitch direction, performance condition, and pitch, with the most inaccurate playing happening after the first time participants sang the pitch sequence. Singing accuracy, however, was quite poor throughout. An interview was conducted with all participants at the conclusion of the 6 weeks instructional period to better understand their perceptions of singing in the band rehearsal. Answers revealed that both the student and teacher participants’ perceived growth in the students’ singing accuracy, group instrumental intonation, overall awareness of pitch, and student-led tuning as a result of the instruction, despite these results not being reflected in the performance data. While it is a widely accepted belief that singing in the instrumental music setting aids in intonation, this was not the case under the conditions of this study. Further investigation is warranted to determine the best way to implement vocal instruction in the instrumental rehearsal.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Byo, James



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Music Commons