The research was based on a comparison of traditional African and software-based staff notation methods in the teaching of the nyunga nyunga mbira to two grade six classes in the Arts and Culture learning area at Pretoria Chinese School in South Africa. The experiment involved 30 pupils whom the researcher exposed to the nyunga nyunga mbira an African musical instrument. The classes had 15 learners each with grade 6L as the control group and grade 6M the experimental one. The research was conducted during the Arts and Culture lessons from 9 September 2010 to 10 November 2010. The nyunga nyunga mbira tune Kukayiwa with four variations was taught to both the control and experimental groups. Whereas the control group was taught to play the instrument through the rote method, the experimental received instruction using the computer-assisted approach. Proceedings in each of the teaching sessions were diarized. Audio and video recordings and photographs of pupils’ activities were also undertaken. An assessment of the pupils’ performance in both the control and the experimental groups was done to ascertain the effectiveness of each of the methods being researched. The results showed that both methods were effective in the teaching of the nyunga nyunga mbira. In terms of pupils’ performance the methods had the same impact upon the learners. However, the pupils in the control group started off with a better performance than their counterparts in the experimental group. The experimental group became more consistent than the control group towards the end of the research. The research findings also indicate that the pupils involved in this research liked the inclusion of the nyunga nyunga mbira in the Arts and Culture lessons. The instrument proved that it could fit well in the core components of the Arts and Culture learning area which are art, dance, drama and music. The nyunga nyunga mbira music performed during the research was effective in storytelling, dance, movement and drama, especially with the extra afternoon session learners. Even though the computer-assisted method began to yield consistent performance among the learners it was concluded that neither of the two methods was better than the other. Nonetheless it is recommended that further research be conducted and more time be allocated to this kind of research to verify the method that may hold more advantages for the learners in the performance of the nyunga nyunga mbira. Additional information available on a CD stored at the Merensky Library on Level 3.
Dissertation (MMus)--University of Pretoria, 2012.