Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perceptions of adolescent female singers on their singing and training
by McRoy, Danielle Marie, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2011, 185; 3484376
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of adolescent female singers about methods of voice training. As evidenced by the review of the literature, much research has been undertaken on the anatomical and physiological changes of the adolescent voice as well as methods of instruction that can yield technical changes in the singing voice. In addition, much research underscores the social nature of knowledge construction and the effect of constructivist principles on learning processes. To gain insight into how all of these aspects are perceived by the adolescent singers themselves, the present researcher, who is an Applied Voice teacher and choral conductor, gave a series of group voice classes to adolescent female participants in a suburban high school. Framed by constructivist principles, this study sought to gain a better understanding from the students' point of view of the effects that vocal training has on them, their perceptions of studying vocal technique in a group, and how vocal technique practitioners can better construct lessons to be most engaging and effective.

The student participants in this study were 14 adolescent female singers between the ages of 14 and 18. In effect, each lesson was a group voice lesson, with the primary focus being the development of individual vocal technique. Each lesson was audiotaped and students wrote weekly reflections specific to each lesson.

The major findings of the study were: (a) for the adolescent female singers in this study, singing among peers can elicit a heightened fear of judgment, an inevitable sense of comparison, and pressure to conform; and (b) the participants in this study indicated that some of the most common methods of formal training may not be the most effective for this age group. Secondary findings were: (a) despite understanding the pedagogical value and goals for vocal warm-ups, female adolescent singers may feel disengaged through the process of repetition; (b) early classification of female adolescent singers into voice parts such as sopranos and altos may limit their vocal development by giving false impressions of vocal limits; (c) linking repertoire and its meaning to the concepts of vocal technique may be a critical step to helping female adolescent singers develop their unique personal sound and technique; (d) learning that singing is a developmental skill and not only talent can ameliorate some of their self-doubt about their own abilities; (e) female singers in student-centered vocal lessons may not be overly concerned with figuring out or meeting teacher expectations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Goffi-Fynn, Jeanne
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 73/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Pedagogy, Music education
Keywords: Adolescent, Choral, Girls, Pedagogy, Singers, Vocal
Publication Number: 3484376
ISBN: 978-1-267-00818-3
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