Secondary school choral directors' self reported beliefs and behaviors regarding fundamental choral elements and rehearsal approaches
Ganschow, Cory Mastronardi
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This investigation contributes to the body of research regarding secondary choral conductors' approaches to create desired choral sounds and the pedagogical choices they made to achieve those sounds. Secondary school choral conductors representing all geographical regions of the United States were invited to complete a 10-minute electronic survey about their choral rehearsal pedagogy. Respondents (N=239), reported: (1) rehearsal priorities regarding fundamental choral elements (Balance/Blend, Diction, Dynamics, Intonation, Interpretation/Musicianship, Rhythm, Technique, and Tone Quality), (2) rehearsal approaches (Micro-Macro/Macro-Micro), and (3) primary professional development influences. Demographic information concerning teaching experience and grade-levels taught were collected and considered as possible influences in participant responses. The choral elements most frequently cited as a rehearsal priorities were intonation, tone quality, diction and expression. Differences were discovered in rehearsal approaches as a function of teaching experience. More than half of participants with ten or more years of teaching approached rehearsals with a Macro-Micro approach, and those teaching for nine or fewer years utilized a Micro-Macro approach. Additionally, a majority of respondents indicated that observing other conductors/ensembles at conferences and continuing education were primary influences in their professional experience. There were no statistically significant differences (p > .05) between high school and middle school choral directors' choices of rehearsal priorities or approaches. However, it is important to note that there was a difference in the reported use of the Micro-Macro approach, with 44% of middle school conductors reporting use of this method, compared with 34% of high school directors. Implications of these findings are discussed, and recommendations for future research are presented.
Table of Contents
The research problem -- Review of related literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Survey tool -- Appendix B. Surveygizmo data privacy statement -- Appendix C. Email letter to potential participants -- Appendix D. Survey invitation post to potential participants -- Appendix E. Facebook message to potential group members