A comparison of music literacy scores between 6th and 7th grade band and choir students in relationship to practice regimen, private instruction, ensemble membership, and student/teacher ratio
Burton, Stephanie R
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The purpose of the study is to compare the development of music literacy skills between 6th and 7th grade band and choral students and determine what factors lead to higher achievement. Data were collected while surveying 5 middle school choir and band directors and collecting scores from their district’s benchmark test that they administered to their 24 ensembles/classes at the beginning and the end of the Fall semester to measure their students’ musical literacy. Results showed that the five groups with the highest gains in scores were four 6th-grade band classes (bassoon, trumpet, percussion, clarinet) and one 7th-grade band. Among these five groups, 100% were required to practice outside of class hours, 80% had a student/teacher ratio of 13:1 or less, and 60% had students that were either selected or auditioned. Thirty-eight percent of the combined membership of the five groups were enrolled in private lessons.