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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of adaptive instruction on the developmental rhythm aptitude and rhythm achievement of preschool students with a hearing impairment. Specifically, this study is designed to determine a) if the addition of body percussion and percussive instruments to music instruction affects the developmental rhythm aptitudes of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children with a hearing impairment and b) if the addition of body percussion and percussive instruments affects the rhythm achievement scores of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children with a hearing impairment. The results of this study may have implications for music teachers who teach students in an inclusive classroom setting. Subjects were 5 students from 3 intact preschool classrooms in an urban public elementary school. Audie was used as a pretest and posttest assessment tool.

The researcher taught each class two 30-minute music classes for 6 consecutive weeks. Content was identical for both the treatment group and the control group except that the treatment group received instruction utilizing hand drums and body percussion while the control group received instruction using stimulation from CD player speakers and general body movements such as clapping and tapping. Subjects engaged in activities in which they moved, sang, chanted, and responded to rhythm patterns both in a group and individually. Content for the lessons consisted of age-appropriate songs, rhythmic games, chants and movement activities. The researcher found no statistical difference found between the treatment and control groups for developmental rhythm aptitude scores. A five-point rating scale was used to measure rhythm achievement. Three judges independently rated each child’s video taped final performance. No significant difference was found for the effect of adaptive instruction. Students who received instruction that included drums and body percussion received similar rhythm achievement mean score as students who did not experience the drums and body percussion.