Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MMUS)



First Advisor

Dr. Stefan Stuber

Second Advisor

Dr. Kenton Bales

Third Advisor

Dr. Neal Topp


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether musical activities involving composition and conducting as stated by the National Standards for Arts Education could have a positive effect on elementary string students' note reading skills. The researcher specifically sought to determine whether the variables of grade level, gender, or race had an effect on the results. The study was conducted with 88 elementary string students from six elementary schools in the Omaha Public School system. Three schools served as the control group, three schools served as the experimental group. Students from both the control and experimental groups were pretested and post tested using a researcher-constructed test which evaluated students' ability to sight-read five rhythmic and five melodic exercises. Students in the experimental group participated in composition and conducting activities for ten minutes a week for a ten week period. During the same period, students from the control group continued in their regular curriculum with three five minute lessons on sight-reading.

Results from this study indicate that no significant differences were found between the control and experimental groups. However, the students in the experimental group showed improvement on their posttest scores, suggesting that incorporating activities from the National Standards for Arts Education can be beneficial to elementary string students.


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 1998 Brenda S. Barber.