Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. David Sogin

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Hudson


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of cooperative learning on preservice elementary teachers’ interest in, and the application of music into, core academic subject lesson plans. Participants (N = 59) were preservice elementary teachers enrolled in four class sections of a music method course designed for elementary education majors at a large southern university. All members participating in the study were placed by section for eight weeks in one of two groups-an individualistic learning group or cooperative learning group.

During the first 6 weeks of the study, participants worked on the Music Integration Project. The purpose of the project was to develop academic lesson plans with the integration of music. Each Music Integration Project consisted of a: (a) title page, (b) table of contents, (c) a rationale citing 2 primary sources, and (d) 10 lesson plans integrating music into core subject lesson plans. At the conclusion of the 6 weeks, participants turned in their projects, which were scored by the primary investigator using the Music Integration Project Rubrics developed by the researcher. The Integrated Music Project Rubrics consisted of three sub-rubrics: (a) Organization Rubric, (b) Rationale Rubric, and (c) Lesson Plan Rubric. During the last two weeks of the study, all of the participants were videotaped teaching an integrated music lesson. Tapes were analyzed post-hoc and the participants’ scores were recorded by using the Integration of Music Observation Map. This Map assessed each of the participant’s microteaching on ten different criteria: (a) teacher, (b) pupils, (c) process, (d) element, (e) atmosphere, (f) purpose, (g) authenticity, (h) expression, (i) degree, and (j) range. Participants also completed a pre and post-Integrated Music Project Interest Survey.

The independent variable used in this study was learning environment, cooperative learning and individualistic learning. The dependent variables were the participants’ scores on the Integrated Music Project Rubrics (organization, rationale, and lesson plan), scores from the Integration Music Observation Map, and scores from the pre/post interest survey. Interjudge reliability consisted of 20% of the scores from each learning groups’ Integrated Music Project and microteaching. Interjudge reliability was calculated as a Pearson product-moment correlation and found to be high with a range of r= .82 to .96.

An alpha level of .05 was set for all tests of significance. Results from the Music Integration Project showed cooperative learning participants scoring statistically significantly higher on the organization rubric, lesson plan rubric, and total scores than participants in the individualistic learning group. For the microteaching component, participants in the cooperative learning environment scored statistically significantly higher on the Integration Music Observation Map in the areas of: (a) pupils, (b) atmosphere, (c) purpose, (d) authenticity, and (e) degree. On the pre and post Integrated Music Project Interest Survey, participants in the cooperative learning group rated all areas (attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction) statistically significantly higher than participants in the individualistic learning environment.