ERIC Number: ED250071
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Children's Understanding of Rhythm: The Relationship between Development and Musical Training.
This study assesses 7- to 12-year-old children's abilities to understand the figural and metrical aspects of rhythm. Tasks were developed to assess children's ability to (1) make figural and metrical descriptions, (2) interpret figural and metrical descriptions, (3) produce the metrical hierarchy through drumming, (4) describe the metrical hierarchy, and (5) relate the metrical hierarchy to the surface durations of a melody. Tasks were presented individually through a standardized clinical interview to 72 children in second through seventh grades. Nonparametric statistics were used to test for significant differences across age groups and between musically trained and untrained subjects; protocol analyses were related to quantitative findings. Results indicated that the differences between musically trained and untrained children in terms of metrical understanding are not as strong as would have been expected from prior research. Additionally, it was found that all children were able to understand both figural and metrical forms to differing degrees; musically trained children did not lose their figural understanding in the process of developing their metrical abilities. Findings are discussed in terms of music education practices. Suggestions for highlighting the figural aspects of rhythm are given, and ways of moving to metrical descriptions are discussed. It is argued that teachers and students should learn to integrate the figural and metrical forms at all levels of musical training and performance. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ontario (Kingston); Representational Competence; Rhythm; Symbolic Representation
Note: Paper presented at the Music in Early Childhood Conference (Provo, UT, June 28-30, 1984).