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The purpose of this longitudinal project was to investigate the effects of a program combining musical ensembles-in-residence with regular classroom music instruction on elementary students’ auditory discrimination and spatial intelligence scores. In combination with regular, sequential general music classes as part of their school curriculum, participants in the program received two half-hour lesson each week, from musical-ensembles-in-residence. These chamber ensembles provided aural models for reinforcing fundamental concepts for four consecutive years. Researchers collected data from a stratified, random sample of students in grades K-2 and 4-5 receiving the experimental program and demographically similar comparison schools, which did not receive any regular music instruction. A total of 684 elementary students in one school district in the southwestern United States served as participants in this study. Researchers found that the experimental program with the chamber music ensembles was associated with consistent and significantly (p < 0.05) greater scores in both auditory discrimination and spatial intelligence measures. Although these statistical results should be interpreted cautiously, implications for music education include promoting such an ensemble-in-residence program in conjunction with regular, sequential music instruction to benefit student learning. Future directions of this research include investigating the role of musically enriched school environments as a means of enhancing student learning


© 2016 VRME. Original published version available here.

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Visions of Research in Music Education



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