Children's associations between instrumental music and paintings across four stylistic periods
Eubank, Mary Elizabeth
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not children in third, fourth, and fifth grades could make stylistic associations between music and art with and without training. The research questions were as follows. At what grade level do children make stylistic associations between music and art with and without training? Do children score higher on tests of stylistic associations when they are taught stylistic characteristics in combined music and art classes rather than when they are taught in separate music and art classes, or when they are taught stylistic characteristics with or without associations? Are there differences in children’s written descriptions of why they thought the painting matched the music before and after instruction? The researcher taught stylistic characteristics of music and paintings for the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century periods to 255 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students. Children were taught in separate music and art classes with or without associations or in combined music and art classes with or without associations. The results of the pretest showed that students were able to make some associations between music and paintings. After training, students in all grades improved in making correct associations of stylistic characteristics for all periods except the 20th Century. Fourth- and fifth-grade students scored higher when taught in combined classes with associations. Third-grade students scored higher when taught associations, whether they were in separate or combined classes. Scores across grades and tests indicated that students who were taught stylistic characteristics by any of the four methods improved in their descriptions of stylistic characteristics of music and paintings. The degree of improvement varied by grade and method. Thus, teachers of general music programs should be aware of the stylistic elements that attract children’s attention and should teach vocabulary and stylistic characteristics for music and paintings. Further, educators should give students opportunities to write descriptions of stylistic characteristics to show their understanding of associations between music and art.