An Individualized Computer Test of Cognitive Understanding of Music Concepts Presented In Widely Used Beginning Instrumental Method Books

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Music Education (DME)



First Advisor

Robert Tuley

Advisor Department



Instrumental music has been a part of the educational system for many years. Music teachers sometimes find that administrators, parents, or school boards want specific information related to student accomplishment in music. Music teachers should be held responsible for student progress, be able to justify their evaluation procedures, and offer scholastic results just as any academic teacher in the school may be called upon to do. In the present study, an individualized computer test was designed to evaluate students' cognitive understanding of music concepts presented in widely used beginning instrumental method books. A survey was completed by 50 instrumental music teachers. Results from the survey were analyzed in an attempt to determine what teachers believed were important music concepts to teach beginning instrumentalists. Other areas studied in the survey attempted to determine what attributes a valid and reliable music test instrument may employ for widespread use in school music programs. The music test instrument was developed and analyzed to determine item reliability. Once the instrument was restructured and the final version completed, the test was administered to a sample of students in an attempt to determine validity and reliability. Concurrent validity and test-retest procedures were undertaken using samples of beginning instrumentalists. Results from these procedures showed that the instrument was useful for testing music concepts with beginning instrumentalists.