Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Scott Price


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of sight singing, using moveable-do solmization, on the keyboard transposition performance of undergraduate group piano students. Thirty-nine (N = 39) undergraduate non-keyboard music majors enrolled in three intact sections of first-semester group piano courses participated in this quantitative study. Students completed an individual pretest and posttest consisting of a videotaped sight-reading and transposition performance and a pretest and posttest questionnaire. Throughout the six-week treatment period, all students received sight-reading and transposition instruction using identical musical examples. A control group sight read and transposed examples without singing, while students in two experimental groups sang all musical examples using moveable-do solmization prior to sight reading and transposing. Results of the Kruskal–Wallis One-Way Analysis of Variance by Ranks revealed no statistically significant differences between the control and experimental groups in total transposition scores or in individual scores of pitch accuracy, rhythmic accuracy, continuity, and musical expressivity. However, post-hoc Mann–Whitney U tests on students’ gain scores revealed that students in the second experimental group displayed significantly greater gains than students in the control group on continuity scores (p = .04). While not statistically significant, freshmen in both experimental groups who engaged in singing instruction evidenced considerably larger pretest-to-posttest gains on both posttest examples than freshmen in the control group who did not sing prior to transposing. Additionally, all students in both experimental groups—regardless of academic level—attained greater pretest-to-posttest gains than students in the control group on the second, more difficult posttest transposition example. Results from this study therefore suggest that the use of singing may positively affect student achievement in keyboard transposition performances.


© 2014, Michelle Irene Wachter