Music ETDs

Publication Date



There are few instruction books for teaching adults beginning piano. The scarcity of teaching material for adult students and the deficiencies of the available materials have led to this study. The purpose of this study was to develop a beginning piano instruction book for adults to include (1) a history of music; (2) the basic elements of music, i.e., melody, rhythm, harmony, and form; (3) basic chording; and (4) music from each of the principal periods of history. The objectives of the instruction book were to provide the student with enough musical experience to (1) be able to read music; (2) to play simple compositions and accompaniments; (3) to have some awareness of the concepts of musical structure; and (4) to have some understanding of the historical development of music. Materials to be included in the instruction book were selected, with musical examples, to illustrate written material. A pilot study was organized for the purpose of testing the materials and method presented in the book. Six students were selected on the basis of age and interest to receive 20 private, one-hour lessons over a period of five months using the instruction book. The students became familiar with the symbols of notation and could read both bass and treble clefs. All understood the basic elements of music and could do simple analysis. The students could play simple compositions and chordal accompaniments. It appeared that some understanding of the development of music from the Middle Ages to the present was gained. It was found that the students who had some musical background progressed more quickly and played more fluently than the students with no previous musical experience.

Degree Name

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Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Music

First Committee Member (Chair)

Jack Ramsey Stephenson

Second Committee Member

John Montayne Batcheller

Third Committee Member

William M. Seymour



Document Type


Included in

Music Commons