The effect of rhythmic pattern instruction on the sight-reading achievement of wind instrumentalists
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This study investigated the effects of rhythm pattern instruction on the sight-reading achievement of woodwind and brass instrumentalists. Subjects were members of the University Band concert ensemble (N = 50) at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Participants in this study volunteered to participate in a six-week treatment that included four weeks of rhythm pattern instruction. Assessment took place at the individual and ensemble levels. Three musical aspects of the ensemble's performance were evaluated: facility, ensemble, and flow. The results of the statistical analyses revealed no significant differences between experimental and control groups. There were, however, statistically significant differences between pretest and posttest scores, with improvement in all aspects from pretest to posttest. There were no statistically significant interactions. The ensemble assessments showed a similar pattern. There was significant improvement in all three areas (facility, ensemble, and flow) from pretest to posttest, but there were no statistically significant interactions between testing (pretest-posttest) and condition. Results of this study suggest that students' sight-reading of rhythmic patterns might improve through the ensemble experience alone. There was no evidence that teaching isolated rhythmic patterns over a brief period of time affected the students' sight-reading achievement. Further research should employ the approaches used in this study in more extensive time frames and with a larger number of participants.