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Sight-Singing Instruction in the Undergraduate Choral Ensembles of Colleges and Universities in the Southern Division of the American Choral Directors Association: Teacher Preparation, Pedagogical Practices and Assessed Results

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Gerald C. Myers (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
William Carroll

Abstract: The purpose of this research project was to address questions of teacher preparation, pedagogical practices and student outcomes related to the instruction of sight singing in the choral rehearsal by means of a survey of collegiate conductors. Subjects included college or university choral conductors who were active members in the Southern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). A survey was developed for data collection and featured thirty-nine questions categorized by demographics about the conductor, demographics about the college or university, frequency with which a sight-singing method is used, attitudes about sight-singing instruction, and methods of sight-singing assessment. Five purposes served as the basis for creation of this survey and a discussion of the results. The first purpose was to consider if a conductor instructed a choral ensemble in sight singing and the second was to consider the method of sight singing used in a conductor's undergraduate music courses. The third purpose was to consider a conductor's self-rating of sight-singing ability, the rating of ability to teach sight singing and the rating of college preparation to teach sight singing and the fourth was to consider the materials a conductor used to teach sight singing in the choral rehearsal. Finally, the fifth purpose was to consider if a conductor has a method to measure if a choral ensemble's sight-singing skills were improving. Participants were E-Mailed a letter of invitation describing the research project and a link to complete the online survey. Respondents to this survey were distributed quite evenly over eleven States. Most (83.9%) teach in a 4-year college or university. Two-thirds of respondents hold a doctoral degree in music. Overall, 87.2% of respondents indicated excellent or good when asked to rate their ability to teach sight singing. When asked to rate their ability to sight sing, 97.2% chose excellent or good. The responses of excellent and good, however, were indicated by only 46.1% of conductors when asked to rate their college preparation to teach sight singing in the choral rehearsal. An impressive 93.4% of respondents indicated that they believe sight-singing instruction should be a part of the collegiate choral rehearsal, but only 64.5% currently teach the skill with one or more of their ensembles. A group of 40.9% disagree that rehearsal time should be spent preparing repertoire for performance rather than instructing an ensemble in sight singing; 88.6% believe that choirs who sight sing regularly learn music faster. Despite these impressive numbers, 61.8% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement that they have difficulty finding enough class time to teach sight singing. A large 72.9% of respondents do not have a method to measure if their ensemble's sight-singing skills are improving. Of those who evaluate their ensemble's improvement as a result of sight-singing instruction, 80.5% strongly agree or agree that such instruction has improved their ensemble's ability to sight sing. A larger 88.6% strongly agreed or agreed that such instruction has improved their ensemble's ability to learn new repertoire faster.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2008
Keywords
Sight-reading, sight-singing, choral, instruction, college & university, choral music
Subjects
Sight-singing.
Sight-singing $x Instruction and study.
Choral singing $x Instruction and study.
Choral music $x Instruction and study.
Music teachers $x Attitudes.