Comparing the effects of spoken versus sung transitions in an inclusive preschool music class

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McGovern, Jenna Rebecca
Bernstorf, Elaine
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Times of transition can be challenging, no matter the age. It is important at a young age that children learn how to cope with smaller transitions so that they may learn strategies to handle larger situations later in life. In an early childhood setting, transitions can take up a substantial part of the day. Often during transitions, teachers will model the expected behavior for their students, however, for children with visual impairments, additional supports are needed. This study compared the effects of spoken versus music transitions in an inclusive classroom for children with visual impairments. The participants (n=17) aged three to five years old were students enrolled in an inclusive early childhood classroom for students with visual impairments. Three of the students were diagnosed with visual impairments. The researcher was interested in learning if spoken or musical directives during transitions affected two variables: the duration of the transition and the number of inappropriate behaviors during transition. The researcher identified five distinct transitions during a 25-minute music class: (1) Entrance, (2) Choosing an Instrument, (3) Putting Instrument Away, (4) Moving to Open Floor for Movement Activity, and (5) Lining Up to Exit. For four of the five transitions, the music condition averaged a shorter transition duration than the spoken condition. Similarly, the average transition duration had a decreasing trend as the transitions were later in class. There did not appear to be a change in the number of inappropriate transitions between the two conditions. The spoken transition condition had a total of nine inappropriate transitions and the musical transition condition had a total of eight inappropriate transitions. These findings indicate that there may be a difference in duration between spoken and musical transitions, however there were no differences found regarding the number of off-task behaviors between the two conditions.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Fine Arts, Dept. of Music Education
Wichita State University
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