This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A Comparison of a Sociocultural and a Chronological Approach to Music Appreciation in Face-to-Face and Online Instructional Formats




Eakes, Kevin

Type of Degree





The purpose of this study was to investigate whether differences exist with regard to music achievement, music self-concept, or student course satisfaction among students enrolled in four different sections of an undergraduate music appreciation course taught from chronological or sociocultural approaches in online or face-to-face formats. Participants were enrolled in four sections of music appreciation during the 2008 10-week summer semester at a two-year college in the southeastern United States. Ninety-one participants completed a researcher-designed music achievement test at the beginning and end of the semester and submitted concert critique writing assignments and course evaluations during the study. Eighty-six participants completed Vispoel’s Music Self-Perception Inventory (MUSPI) at the beginning and end of the semester. Results indicated significant gains across the semester for study participants on the music achievement test. Students in sociocultural sections, both face-to-face and online, scored significantly higher on the music achievement test than students in chronological sections. Participants’ MUSPI score changes from the beginning to the end of the semester also indicated a significant increase for all participants. MANOVA analyses revealed significant differences based on curricular approach and based on the interaction of curricular approach and instructional format for concert critique submissions and for course evaluations. Sociocultural students scored significantly higher than chronological students on concert critique submissions and on course evaluations. Highest scores on subscales of the concert critique and course evaluation measures varied between face-to-face and online students, with face-to-face students scoring significantly higher than online students on some subscales. Music appreciation instruction in both face-to-face and online formats yielded positive outcomes, with significantly higher scores reported on some measures for face-to-face students compared with online students. Sociocultural students’ scores indicated that the new approach was effective. Implications for music educators and for future research are discussed, including broadening the scope of chronologically based music appreciation classes with ideas from the sociocultural approach, and continuing to explore effective online instruction.