Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



Committee Chair

R. Daniel Beard

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Christopher Goertzen

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Douglas Rust

Committee Member 4 School



The Hattiesburg Public School District (HPSD) Strings program, one of the largest public school string programs in the state of Mississippi, has been utilizing a method book series titled Essential Elements for Strings (EES) in their curriculum since the early 2000s. After almost two decades of use, the HPSD Strings staff has noticed that a majority of intermediate and advanced strings students struggle with fundamental music theory concepts. The current music theory deficiencies necessitate an improvement in the HPSD Strings curriculum's choice of instructional materials.

Referencing established music curricula and music theory textbooks, the instruction of fundamental music theory concepts of rhythm and pitch mostly follow a “Conventional Sequence.” These concepts introduced in any given book can be categorized accordingly, and a correlation percentage can be calculated showing how well the publication places music theory concepts in a sequenced instruction. The sequences of eight string method book series and seven music theory books were analyzed and each book received a ranking according to their rhythm correlation, pitch correlation, and the correlation average. HPSD string teachers or any teacher who is considering improving their curriculum to utilize in the most time-efficient way may refer to the findings from this research to select materials for their string program.