Author: Ji, Wei
Achieving fluency in sightreading—particularly rhythm reading—is often cited by researchers as a universally problematic aspect of formal music education. Music teachers and students also widely recognize sightreading as a challenge to learn. A review of the literature revealed that sightreading ability is typically assumed by educators to develop naturally in students through the accumulation of experience in general musicianship, rather than given attention as a stand-alone component of instruction in formal music curricula. Overall, there is not an immediately clear answer as to what kind of practice or instruction can help improve sightreading most effectively. This study employed a simple experimental design to compare rhythm sightreading pre- and posttest errors between a group that practiced rhythm sightreading daily for one week, and a treatment group in which participants practiced daily and received expert feedback. Findings showed that the treatment group had statistically significant rhythm sightreading performance improvement over the course of the study, while the practice-only group did not.
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Thesis advisor: O'Neill, Kevin
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