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ERIC Number: EJ878596
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0190-4922
Effects of Learning Melodies by Ear on Performance Skills and Student Attitudes
Musco, Ann Marie
Contributions to Music Education, v36 n2 p79-95 2009
This study examined the effects of playing by ear in selected keys on the abilities of musicians (N = 28) to play by ear and sight-read in those keys. Middle school band students in the experimental group learned melodies by ear in one familiar and two unfamiliar keys, and did no music reading in the new keys, while students in the contact-control group practiced technical exercises from notation. The experimental group improved significantly in playing by ear in the two new keys, but not in the familiar key, while the contact-control group did not improve in any of the keys. Both groups improved in sight-reading in all keys. Responding to an attitude survey, only students in the experimental group perceived any improvement in performance, specifically in the new keys. The results of the study suggest the potential benefits of playing by ear as preparation for sight-reading in new keys.
Ohio Music Education Association. Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue MU332, Cleveland, OH 44115. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A