THE EFFECT OF MUSIC ISLAND (COMPUTER PROGRAM) ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF MUSICAL ABILITIES IN SCHOOL MUSIC LESSONS
Several research deals with using of digital devices effect on students’ motivation on music lesson. However, only a small number of publications focus their impact on the development of musical abilities and knowledge. Therefore, in our seven month-long experiment, we aimed to improve musical abilities and musical knowledge in a digital learning environment among first graders.
We had an experimental (N=135) and a control group (N=111) in this study. The newly developed Music Island computer program (Szabó, 2018) was used in the experimental group. The computer program based on the Hungarian national core curriculum. We also applied several other computer applications in the experimental group. The Rhythm Master was used to practice rhythm tasks and the NotateMe Now application to learn music scoring. The students worked individually on their own tablet on music lesson. We applied the traditional teaching methods in the control group.
Musical ability was measured by a musical ability test (Surján & Janurik, 2018). It consisted of two parts. The first part (64 items) involved discrimination tasks; the second part (30 items) measured reproduction skills, singing and rhythm clapping. (Cronbach-: discrimination .80; reproduction .94; total test .91). Musical knowledge test covers eight components: rhythm writing (3 tasks); solmization (4 tasks); name of instruments (4 tasks).
We applied a pretest-posttest experimental design. On pretest there was no significant difference between the experimental and the control groups in musical ability and socioeconomic status. However, results show a significant difference between the two groups in the development of reproduction skills on the posttests (experimental: M=41.28, SD=24.26; control: M=33.11, SD=21.99, p=0.008; Cohen-d=0.35) and musical knowledge (experimental: M=84.77, SD=14.34; control: M=72.92, SD=23.57 p<0.001, Cohen-d= 0.61). Based on our results, we can say that music and singing lessons in digital learning environment were more effective than the traditional music teaching method.