Semester of Graduation

Spring 2022


Master of Music Education (MME)

Document Type



This posttest-only control group study sought to examine how rhythm video games, through the use of the rhythm game Rhythm Heaven, affect the rhythmic skills of elementary music students, in order to determine if rhythm video games are acceptable supplementary materials for aiding beginning music students in learning rhythm. Research questions were 1) Are participants who receive the rhythm game treatment able to reproduce rhythms more accurately than participants who do not do not receive the treatment? 2) Can participants who play a rhythm game more accurately imitate longer rhythms than those who do not play a rhythm game? 3) What is the relationship between rhythm game scores and rhythm test scores? And 4) Do differences in score exist based on grade level?

Children in grades Kindergarten through Fourth grade were randomly assigned to either the control group or the treatment group. Participants in the control group took a rhythm test which included imitating heard rhythms to the best of their ability. Participants in the treatment group first played a selection of three games from he rhythm game Rhythm Heaven before taking the rhythm test. The accuracy of the two groups’ abilities to imitate the rhythms was compared. Results indicate that playing a rhythm game is beneficial to the development of rhythmic playing skills, as well as the development of rhythmic memory.

Committee Chair

Isbell, Daniel