The White Whale: A Case Study of Sight-Singing Philosophies and Practices of Two Secondary Choral Music Educators
AuthorCampman, Jennifer Brobeck
AdvisorCorso, Dawn T.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWithin the American secondary choral classroom, sight-singing instruction is a common practice, with many teachers touting its connection to building music literacy for singers. Given the plethora of available sight-singing curricula, as well as the many possible musical and instructional systems that can be used in sight-singing instruction, choir teachers can approach this subject in a variety of ways. This thesis sought to delve deeper into the backgrounds, philosophies, and rationales of two Tucson, Arizona-area secondary choir teachers in regard to the instruction of sight-singing in their choir classes. The two teachers, Mrs. Julia Higgins of Esperero Canyon Middle School and Mrs. Sarah Ross of Marana High School, were first interviewed one-on-one to gain a foundational understanding of their personal musical backgrounds, teaching philosophies and instructional choices. They were then each observed teaching “standard sight-singing lessons” to three of their choir classes. After their observations, each participant made a self-reflection in the form of a vlog to discuss the rationales behind the lessons that they taught. After analyzing the data, several categories emerged: teacher identity (subcategories: personal musical experience, instrumental music connections, perception of self, and relationship to students), musical systems and curriculum (subcategories: solfege, establishing the key, tuning and intervals, beat and rhythm, and curriculum choices), pedagogical strategies (subcategories: structure and repetition, variety in approach, modeling, feedback and assessment), and philosophy (subcategories: efficiency and fluency, connecting the mind and the voice, artistic significance and application to repertoire, fun, and student independence and growth over time). This led to a discussion of each teacher’s music teaching philosophies as they relate to sight-singing, their pedagogical strategies used when teaching sight-singing, and how these two categories connect. This study provides only a snapshot of two teacher’s backgrounds and methods, and further, broader research can and should be done to comprehensively investigate how and why secondary choral educators teach sight-singing.
Degree ProgramGraduate College