Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MMUS)




The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of different music activities on reading comprehension. Ninety-six third-graders (N=96) from an urban primary school were divided into three groups: a pitched group which played l½ octave metallophones reading pitched notation; a rhythm group which played non-pitched classroom percussion instruments reading non-pitched notation; and a control group which sang and reviewed familiar songs. The 24 treatment/control sessions were given by the music specialist/researcher during the first ten minutes of the regular music classes over a three month term. All groups underwent a pretest and posttest using the reading comprehension portion of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (3rd ed.) (1989), Forms K and L. Statistical analysis was conducted at p<.05. Results indicated that reading comprehension in the control and pitched treatment groups improved significantly in some of the comparisons and not in others. Pitch and gross motor cross-over activities were identified as possible influencing factors. Questions arose concerning how these results would compare with a longer study with more students or with other types of treatments such as a non-music treatment. More study was recommended.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Music and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Music University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1997 Karen G. Miller.