The effects of learning to sing with and without Curwen hand signs on singing accuracy in kindergarten-age children were compared. Participants comprised an experimental group (Curwen signs) and a control group (without signs), each containing 33 children aged 5 to 6 years. All participants took 30 music lessons centered on learning songs. The experimental group learned songs using Curwen signs and the control group learned the same songs without signs. Before and after instruction, all participants were tested on singing accuracy and melodic perception. Short-term memory was assessed to ensure between-group equivalence. Complementary data were gathered from a parent-completed questionnaire on the home music environment. Results showed significantly improved singing accuracy and melodic perception from pretest to post-test for all participants. However, no significant difference in singing accuracy was found between the Curwen group compared with controls, or between boys and girls. In addition, the home music environment appeared to foster melodic perception, more specifically, recognition of a four-note melody, but with no significant effect on singing accuracy.
"Vocal Accuracy in Preschool Children: Are The Curwen Hand Signs Really Useful?,"
Research & Issues in Music Education: Vol. 15
, Article 3.
Available at: https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/rime/vol15/iss1/3