MUS Graduate Student Conference Papers

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    The effects of varying melodic intervals in Melodic Intonation Therapy for persons with Aphasia
    (Wichita State University, 2021-04-02) Darland, Kylie; O'Bryan, Erin; Bernstorf, Elaine; Richburg, Cynthia M.
    INTRODUCTION: Broca's Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that most commonly occurs after a stroke. It is characterized by deficits in expressive language, both spoken and written. Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) is an evidence-based approach to the treatment of Broca's Aphasia, which emphasizes the musical elements of speech (i.e., pitch and rhythm) to facilitate language recovery. Clients are taught to sing phrases intoned on a single melodic interval while tapping their left hand in rhythm. Many studies have illustrated the importance of the rhythmic component of MIT; however, little research has directly evaluated the effects of using different melodies (i.e., melodic intervals) in therapy. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of using two different melodic intervals in MIT: a common, perceptually pleasant interval known as the minor third, and an uncommon, perceptually unpleasant interval known as the tritone. METHODS: Two participants received MIT twice a week for six weeks via teletherapy. Each was exposed to twenty-four pairs of phrases equal in number of syllables and intonation pattern. One phrase of each pair was intoned on the minor third and the other on the tritone. Following a Latin- square design, the interval assigned to each phrase within the pair was opposite for the two clients. An assessment of trained phrases measuring syllable intelligibility was administered pre- and post- treatment to monitor progress. RESULTS: An effect size was calculated using a formula designed specifically for single-subject, multiple baseline aphasia studies. It was determined that the effect size for the tritone was greater than the effect size of the minor third for both participants. The researchers believe the difference is meaningful; however, no equation has yet been developed to determine the statistical significance of the difference in effect sizes using the preceding formula. Regardless of pitch both participants showed significant improvement in trained phrases, providing evidence that MIT is efficacious in the teletherapy format. CONCLUSION: The results contradict the researchers' hypothesis that using a common and perceptually pleasant interval would yield greater success in MIT. The findings may have implications for MIT protocol, which recommends intoning phrases on a common interval such as the minor third. Limitations to this study include a small sample size and human error associated with pitch. Future research should continue to evaluate the complex interaction of rhythm and pitch within MIT to ensure treatment is as effective as possible.
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    Comparative pitch analysis in young children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder
    (Wichita State University, 2020-05-01) Harbutz, Lydia; Parham, Douglas F.; Self, Trisha L.; Bernstorf, Elaine
    INTRODUCTION: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often experience delayed speech development. Current research shows that ASD is associated with atypical vocal quality. Early signs of ASD include difficulties recognizing and using speech prosody, which is how a speaker manipulates changes in pitch, loudness, and duration to emphasize what is important. Pitch is the perceptual representation of fundamental frequency (f0), or the physical speed by which the vocal folds vibrate (cycles per second). Manipulating f0 is a developmental skill that neurotypical children learn in infancy. Children with ASD struggle with this skill. PURPOSE: This study examined differences in pitch among three groups: (1) children diagnosed with ASD, (2) children with developmental delays, and (3) neurotypical children. METHODS: Three children from each group were audio-recorded individually in a naturalistic setting. Acoustic analysis was conducted using PRAAT software. Single syllable utterances were extracted for each child. The f0 of each utterance was analyzed quantitatively and visually (i.e., pitch contour), and compared across the three groups. RESULTS: Children with ASD tended to have higher f0 means and medians than the other groups, but differences were non-significant. CONCLUSION: Fundamental frequency is a critical acoustic vocal parameter and is important in understanding speech development. Future research will include a larger participant pool. Identifying differences in f0 between children with and without ASD can expand the knowledge base of autism diagnostic teams and early interventionists. This knowledge will enable professionals and caregivers to develop more efficient strategies for supporting speech development in children with ASD.
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    Music teacher beliefs and classroom environments
    (Wichita State University, 2018-04-27) Exline, Kaitlin; Bernstorf, Elaine; Schommer-Aikins, Marlene; Oare, Steve R.; Lemoine, Carmen
    The purpose of this study was to examine what music teachers believe "should" be happening in their classrooms and what they say people "will see" happening in their classrooms, with regard to "informal music learning," as defined by researcher Lucy Green (2008, 2016). In this mixed methods study, participants (N=79) completed an optional, twenty question survey ranking their beliefs and perceived classroom activities on a five- point scale. Using factorial analysis, the results suggested a relationship between teacher beliefs and their perceived classroom activities, especially with regard to student choice and the role of teacher planning for activities. Furthermore, the results suggested that teachers who have more flexibility in their classroom activities may be more open to informal learning practices.
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    Neo-fado: identify creation among Portuguese-Americans
    (Wichita State University, 2017-04-28) Briggs, Elizabeth; Pierre, Kelly St.
    Traditional Portuguese fado typically consists of two guitarists?often both a Portuguese and acoustic?along with a vocalist. However, a new instrumentation of the genre has yielded a modern style--neo-fado--popular throughout Portuguese communities. More than the music, this modernization of a traditional cultural artifact reveals the globalization and pluralism of diapsoric Portuguese communities. Scholars have already recognized this pluralism. Scholar Michael Arnold's research highlights the hybridity neo-fado represents in mainland communities, especially Lisbon. Still others, including Estellie Smith and Don Warrin, examine the use of traditional fado in immigrant communities in the US. Joao Leal explores the pluralism of Azorean-Americans and expressions of transnationalism and identity through Holy Ghost festivals. This research explores neo-fado as a lens onto pluralism in Azorean- and Portuguese-American communities. Ultimately such an exploration will reveal how younger generations in immigrant communities reject the Portugal of their parents to construct one of their own.
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    A study in music interpretation and nuances
    (Wichita State University. Graduate School, 2013-05-08) Khow, Karine; Coats, Sylvia
    The purpose of this study is to address the importance of interpreting music and to explore the possibility of transferring ideas from the score to the audience. The study will consist of a brief description of the meaning of interpretation, various methods by professionals to help students interpret music, and activities to help students understand concepts and convey musical ideas. The activities were carried out and tried during lessons according to the problems and difficulties faced by the students, and the result of the experiments proved to be useful and effective. At least 3 students are needed and the result for this study is determined by how the students understood the concepts.
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