This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A Comparison of Music Compositional Process and Product of Two Groups of Secondary Students: Using Only Acoustic Instruments Versus Using Acoustic Instruments and iPads




Lyda, Robert

Type of Degree



Curriculum and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to explore compositional process stages, determine aptitude score changes, and examine differences in two groups of secondary-level general music students who composed music over eight composition sessions. One group of students used iPads and acoustic instruments and/or voices (technology group) to compose, whereas the other group used only acoustic instruments and/or voices (non-technology). The two groups of students were compared using (a) mean scores on pre and post music aptitude testing, (b) mean scores of self-reported time engaged at different levels of the creative/composition process, and (c) four music experts’ creativity ratings of students’ final composition project. The results indicate that the technology students had several advantages over the non-technology students. The technology group’s mean pretest score was lower than the non-technology group, however their posttest mean score surpassed the non-technology group. There were no statistically significant differences between the technology and non-technology students in regards to music aptitude scores. There were no differences between the technology and non-technology groups for sessions 1 and 2, and sessions 7 and 8 of the compositional process. However, there was a statistically significant difference (at least p < .03 and below) for sessions 3, 4, 5, and 6. The non-technology group spent more time in rehearsal and production, while the technology groups spent more time in exploration and development. Overall, the expert judges rated the technology groups’ compositional products higher than the non-technology groups. The compositional products for the non-technology groups resembled the previous learning experiences in the music classroom.