The influence of inservice education on young children's responses to music

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Berj Harootunian



Subject Categories

Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education


The study explored the influences of teacher education on young children's responses to music. This project was carried out at ten diverse child care programs located in Central New York State. The investigation included observations of children's responses as they participated in a singing activity led by their teacher, testing of each child with a music specialist, parent and teacher questionnaires, teacher instruction of a music curriculum designed specifically for young children, the monitoring of classroom activities, and interviews with the teachers.

Results of the findings show: (a) during a music activity, children attend to their teachers; they also move in imitation to their teachers' demonstrations; (b) children's responses to music are influenced by their age and teacher's education; (c) teaching a music curriculum to early childhood caregivers does make a difference in the responses the children make during music activities; results of the ANCOVA show that the attending scores of the children in the Music group were significantly higher than those of the No Music Group; (d) when given a curriculum and teaching sessions to demonstrate the components of the curriculum, caregivers implement the music curriculum taught to them, as a supplement to their own music program.

Recommendations made from this study include: (1) Young children respond to music--daily activities should be provided to ensure comfort in exploring and expanding their knowledge of music. (2) An integral part of a song is the words--children should be helped to learn the words so the song becomes more meaningful. (3) Teachers benefit from education in music--they need knowledge of the elements of music, the advantages of musical experiences, and an awareness of a variety of activities.


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