Abstract

Instrument preferences of third and fifth-grade students (N = 90) were investigated for eight instruments commonly found in orchestra and band: flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, cello, trumpet, French horn, and trombone. Participants were divided into two groups and asked to identify their favorite and least favorite instrument from a list of the eight instruments. One class each of third and fifth-grade students, Group A, listened to aural examples of the instruments and rated preferences for each instrument. The other two classes, Group B, rated pictures of each instrument. Overall ratings placed the eight instruments in the following order of preference: violin, flute, cello, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and French horn. A significant interaction between grade, gender, and instruments indicated little difference between genders in instrument preference at the third-grade level, but in fifth-grade, females preferred flute, violin, and cello more than males. No significant difference was found between the two methods of testing.

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