Beginning band instrument selection preferences and performance scores over time

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


This quantitative study examines the process of guiding students in beginning band instrument selection at Monforton Middle School, in Bozeman, MT. Data from 46 students was collected to identify if correlations exist between students initial instrument tone production and preference ratings and the students' performance throughout the first 15 months of playing the instrument they selected. Data for this study was collected through instrument tryout forms prior to students selecting and instrument and playing assessment rubrics for each of the 12 playing assessments, all of which were requirements of beginning band class. While data did not suggest that stronger initial tone production and preference ratings correlated with higher scores on playing assessments, there is evidence to suggest the overall instrument selection process was beneficial in guiding students to select an instrument that is well suited to them, as students, on average, scored 82% on their playing assessments. Further research to better prove the effectiveness would likely require a control group of students not receiving guidance in the instrument selection process; this would likely not be possible because student education would be inhibited through the lack of guidance.




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