Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Carroll Gonzo, Ph.D.; Bruce Kramer, Ph.D.; Eleni Roulis, Ph.D.


The problem of this dissertation was to identify and analyze certain learning modalities to determine to what extent they are linked to and function in the teaching of musical elements when nested in a Kodály-inspired instructional sequence. Specifically, what are the pedagogical characteristics and implications for the teacher and, by extension the learner when engaged in the teaching/learning of aural, kinesthetic, oral and visual activities in the preparation and practice of musical elements?

The research methods employed in this study were structured based upon the nature of phenomenology, defined by Creswell (2007) and Van Manen (1990), and grounded theory, defined by Charmaz (2006). The data were generated from classroom observations, interviews with teacher participants, and a research journal. Rich description of the phenomenon of Kodály-inspired music instruction was the basis for the development of theoretical structures about aural, oral, kinesthetic, and visual learning.

The findings in this study indicate that the intentional creation and implementation of modality-based musical learning experiences is critical to developing students’ abilities to intellectually process musical elements. Further, the following modalities sequence was identified as a result of the collected data: aural, kinesthetic, oral, and visual. The data that emerged from the modality-based learning experiences served as the genesis for formulating the following eight theoretical constructs, which capture the essence of the major findings for this research: 1. Educators must develop aural learning experiences that lead to aural literacy. The pedagogical aural activities that lead to these experiences are rooted in and extrapolated from a sequential curricular structure. 2. Teachers must design aural learning experiences in which the vii students are asked to rely on information embedded in their aural memory to identify known and unknown musical information, e.g., melodic and rhythmic elements and/or musical elements. 3. Physical movement in the teaching/learning process is a pathway to the cognitive processing of subject matter. 4. Teachers employ physical movement as a pathway to achieving students’ musical expression, performance, and demonstration of overall knowledge of the subject of music. 5. Oral learning experiences are created by teachers to help students verbally articulate their ability to process cognitively the nature of music material. 6. Teachers implement oral learning experiences with the intent to elicit students’ cognitive abilities to process the symbolic function of language executed through performance of the subject. 7. Leading students to unlock the symbolic language of music visually requires pedagogical aural, kinesthetic, and oral precursors in the acquisition of the visual understanding and music making. 8. There is a symbolic relation among aural, kinesthetic, oral, and visual learning that combine to complement and reinforce each other to inform the teaching/learning process of music.


Kodály-Inspired Instructional Sequence, Pedagogical Characteristics, Aural, Oral, Kinesthetic, and Visual learning.

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