Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


Problem: The purpose of this study was to test a basic ungraded program of study in electronic music suitable for use in grades five through eight.

Procedure: The research population consisted of 339 students drawn from two elementary schools and one junior high school in the Grand Forks, North Dakota, Public Schools. These students were grouped into seven pairs of experimental and control groups. For one semester the experimental groups received music instruction using an electronic music-based curriculum while the control groups received more general, traditional music instruction. Measurements were made with a battery of four pre/post-tests to determine any possible significant differences in attitude toward music, competencies in electronic music, and musical concept development that existed between the experimental and control groups.

The statistical techniques utilized for this study were analysis of covariance and analysis of variance by regression Analysis of variance was included to identify any effects that could be attributed to the covariate. The .05 level of confidence was established a priori for determining the significance of the analyses.

Findings: 1. There were no significant differences between the control and experimental groups in attitude toward music.

2. In a majority of the groups tested, the experimental groups showed a significantly better mastery of competencies in electronic music than did the control groups.

3. Exposure to and involvement with electronic music contributed to a higher level of conceptual development for a majority of the experimental groups (for the portion of the musical concepts measured by the fourth test) than for the control groups.

4. Students' opinions of electronic music and their reactions to its inclusion in music class are much more positive in seventh and eighth grades than in fifth and sixth grades. There was a wide range of likes and dislikes; most students were able to tell quite specifically why they either liked or disliked electronic music. However, the comments seem to indicate that most students had not yet reached the point of being able to identify with the aesthetic aspects of electronic music.

Recommendations: 1. Some electronic music should be introduced at each grade level with the main emphasis occurring at the seventh and eighth grades. Becoming familiar with terms and techniques appears to be one of the greatest obstacles for students. A gradual acquisition of necessary knowledge and skills could be much more easily developed if electronic music were started in the lower grades.

2. The development of musical concepts (through exposure to and involvement with electronic music) that are applicable to many kinds of music has not been conclusively established by this study. Further study should be undertaken to identify these concepts. The need for a reliable test instrument is crucial.

3. Electronic music's many sound capabilities lend themselves to unlimited development of the creative capacity. Additional studies should be made to uncover the potential of electronic music in relation to research findings in other phases of creativity.

4. Electronic music study should last for a period of time that will enable students to master the mechanical aspects well enough for the aesthetic aspects of the music to become the central focus of the learning experience.

5. An electronic music-based class should be considered, on an elective basis, as an alternative to the traditional general music class in grades seven and eight. An additional study could be made to determine the differences between the electronic music-based class and the traditional general music class when self-selection (choice between electronic or traditional class) is made available to students.