Factors Affecting Pitch-Matching Ability of Kindergartners

Date of Graduation

Summer 2002


Master of Music



Committee Chair

Robert Quebbeman


The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that aided in the ability of kindergartners who have had no formal musical training prior to entering the school system to match pitches vocally. Some kindergartners have no difficulty matching pitches and some have considerable trouble with this task. The hypothesis of this study was that this difference in ability is accounted for by the difference in the amount of exposure to music in the home prior to entering school. A vocal pitch-matching test was given to the kindergarteners and compared to the results of a survey of the parents. The survey consisted of questions about the amount of exposure to music the students had prior to school. The one area of the survey that yielded significant statistical results was involving the children who sang in a choir prior to entering kindergarten. This suggests the possibility that children under the age of five may be able to develop the ability to sing on pitch if given feedback on their performance. It also suggests that vocal singing ability may not be genetically fixed, and in fact may be developmental. This research is important for music educators and the parents of all children.

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© Natalie Sneed Miller