The purpose of this study was to test the rhythmic aptitude of children in grades three and five using the Intermediate Measures of Music Audiation (IMMA) by Edwin E. Gordon (1986). The results of the test were compared by grade level and gender to explore three questions: (a) is there a difference between boys’ and girls’ musical aptitude; (b) is there a difference between third-grade students’ and fifth-grade students’ musical aptitude; and (c) what impact should the results have on what happens in the music classroom?
Forty-six third-grade students and 53 fifth-grade students were administered the IMMA. The Intermediate Measures of Music Audiation consists of two subtests (tonal, rhythmic). The students took the rhythmic subtest only.
In this study the third-grade and fifth-grade girls combined scored significantly higher than the third-grade and fifth-grade boys combined. Also, the fifth grade students scored higher than the third grade students, but not significantly.
Some of the individual students test scores surprised me. There were students who showed no interest during music class who scored above the class mean. The aptitude scores would be of great value in class while monitoring achievement. If students had musical aptitude but rarely participated or volunteered in class, the music specialists could take extra measures to entice them into utilizing their innate ability. The knowledge of music aptitude scores can positively affect instruction.