Aural preparation is operationally defined as hearing, performing, decoding, and creating rhythms or pitches aurally prior to the introduction of music notation. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of aural preparation on second grade students’ music literacy rhythm skills (i.e. reading, performing, and dictation). The research questions that guided this study included: (1) What are the psychometric qualities (i.e., validity and reliability) of the three measures used in this study used to assess rhythmic potential and achievement? (2) How does aural preparation affect students' ability to read and perform rhythms? (3) How does aural preparation affect students' ability to decode and dictate rhythms? Six second grade elementary school classes (N = 125 students) participated in this study. Three classes (n = 64) received aural preparation interventions, and three classes (n = 61) received no aural preparation interventions. Each participant was administered a pretest and posttest that assessed rhythm dictation and rhythm performance skills. Results indicated a significant increase in performance skills but no significant increase in dictation skills when students received aural preparation interventions. Implications for use of aural preparation in the general music classroom as well as future research are discussed.



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