Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Mary Bair

Second Advisor

Doug Busman

Third Advisor

Charles Norris


The purpose of this exploratory, action research study was to investigate the effect of three seating arrangements on players’ preference of sound in the string orchestra. Research questions included the following: (a) How was the players’ perception of string orchestra sound affected by the repositioning of sections across the orchestra? (b) What seating arrangement do orchestra members prefer? (c) How do the preferences of orchestra members vary by section, gender, grade and years of playing experience? High school orchestra members recorded three different one-minute excerpts each in three different seating arrangements. After listening to the recorded excerpts, they chose which formation they preferred regarding the best overall sound. Survey results showed that the old German seating was the most preferred seating arrangement. This study is one example of how music educators can incorporate action research to engage students in a music classroom.

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Education Commons