A Comparative Study on the Effectiveness of Two Song-Teaching Methods: Holistic vs. Phrase-by-Phrase

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The purpose of our study was to compare the effectiveness of two song‐teaching methods: holistic and phrase‐by‐phrase. Thirty‐two first‐grade children (n = 32) from two music classes in an urban elementary school were taught two folksongs. The first class (n = 16) was taught one song through the phrase‐by‐phrase method and another song through the holistic method. The second class (n = 16) was taught the same songs using the reverse teaching procedure. Following one week of teaching, each child was individually recorded performing both songs. Comparisons were made using an analysis of variance for differences between classes, songs and types of errors. Results indicated that while children sang the songs using the holistic method with fewer errors than with the phrase‐by‐phrase method, this difference was not significant. The most errors were pitch inaccuracies while fewest errors were rhythmic.

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Early Child Development and Care

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