College Choir Directors' and Voice Instructors' Techniques for Classifying Female Voices

by Pagan, Ellen M.

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to determine college choir directors' and studio voice instructors' techniques for classifying female voices. Three groups of respondents completed an online survey: college faculty members who were (a) choir directors only, (b) voice instructors only, and (c) both a choir director and a voice instructor. The survey was comprised of four sections. The first three sections consisted of closed ended questions and the fourth section consisted of two open ended questions. One hundred and thirty-four of the 496 e-mail recipients returned the survey for a response rate of 27%. The state with the highest response rate was Ohio (52.7%), followed by Michigan (28.7%), and Indiana (18.6%). The respondent group with the highest response rate was voice instructors only (51.9%), followed by respondents who were both a choir director and a voice instructor (24.81%), and choir directors only (23.26%). The results showed that associate professor was the most common academic rank. The top ranked aspects that respondents consider when classifying female voices are, in descending order: tessitura, vocal timbre, range, vocal health, quality of extreme ranges, voice studio classification, needs of ensemble, former classification, and a student's voice classification preference. Many (36.92%) choir directors reclassify their female choir students every year, and one fourth (24.73%) of voice instructors reclassify their students every semester. More than one third (37.74%) of choir directors indicated that they moved the reclassified females at the beginning of the next semester. There were 85.71% of voice instructors who immediately recommended new repertoire to their students. Implications for music education included listening to tessitura as the top aspect to consider when classifying a female's voice and noting immaturity of the voices in the classification process so that the choir director or voice instructor can be aware of the possible need to reclassify the voice as it develops. Suggestions for further research included conducting a case study of several females who are being reclassified in order to closely examine the process of reclassification and writing a handbook for pre-service and novice secondary school choir directors and novice voice instructors that presents classification techniques that can be used by both types of educators.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:female voice instructor choir director classification techniques


Date of Publication:05/20/2009

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