The University of St. Thomas

Music

Charles, Susan

Charles, Susan

Case Study Analysis of Inner-City Kindermusik Students' Spatial and Interpersonal Characteristics
Susan Anderson Charles
Abstract

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the evolutionary nature of inner-city preschool children's spatial and interpersonal characteristics in a Kindermusik program. Through case study analysis, developmental records and interviews with parents and teachers of five children who received Kindermusik instruction commencing during their toddler years and continuing through age five were examined. The difficulties in obtaining data limited the number of subjects that could be included in this investigation and, by chance, the number of boys included in the study. The available data examined in the children's developmental records were sparse and misleading. As a result, some of the originally selected subjects were excluded from the study. Moreover, developmental data needed further clarification in the interview phase of the study. The researcher also observed whether the Child Development Center kept accurate and thorough developmental records, since these records would provide vital information about the children's developmental progress.

Findings suggest that data on each child's spatial development conforms to the expectations documented in other research studies -- all subjects demonstrated mastery of age-appropriate spatial skills after four years of early childhood music instruction. Although most of the children's spatial skills were below normal as toddlers, all five children exceeded expectations of normal five-year-old spatial skills as demonstrated in their ability to assemble puzzles following four years of Kindermusik instruction.
The interpersonal skill data collected for the children in the present case study analysis also demonstrated significant progress toward age-appropriate skills after four years of early childhood music instruction. Four of the five subjects demonstrated below age range interpersonal skills as toddlers. Following four years of Kindermusik instruction, however, all five children were demonstrating age-appropriate interpersonal skills.

Kindermusik instruction appears to be linked to the gains demonstrated in these children's spatial and interpersonal skills. Whether four years of Kindermusik instruction also affected developmental of positive self-esteem in these children was not determined. It was not possible nor reasonable to infer from the records examined and data collected that self-esteem was intentionally addressed, either formally or informally, by the professional staff.

Thesis Supervisor
Dr. Carrol Gonzo