Master of Music (MM)



Document Type



The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of participation in performing ensembles on listening practices of adolescents. Specifically, this study looked at whether the focus of choral students while listening to music was more on the lyrics and their meaning and if the focus of band students was more on the instruments in comparison with each other and students enrolled in general music classes. A secondary interest of this study was to uncover the listening preferences of adolescents. Middle school students enrolled in band, choir, or general music classes (N = 23) served as participants. Students were asked to complete a background form containing questions about their interests in music and their involvement in performing ensembles in and out of school. Three musical selections were played with time given after each selection for students to complete a questionnaire pertaining to what they heard. Musical selections were “Born in the U. S. A.,” by Bruce Springsteen; “Summertime” from the opera Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin; and “How Can I Keep From Singing?,” arranged by James Mulholland. Participants responded to questions about meaning of text, instruments they heard, and preference for music selections. Results indicated a tendency for all participants to enjoy the choral piece better than either the rock or opera selections, choral students to focus on the vocal part and lyrics more than instrumental students, instrumentalists to be more accurate in identifying the instruments played, little success in interpreting intended meaning from lyrics after one listening, and that all participants include music listening in their daily lives.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Cassidy, Jane



Included in

Music Commons