A Description of a Gender Separate Middle School Choral Program

by Nycz, Tracey J.

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to identify the advantages and disadvantages of single gender vocal ensembles at the middle school level by examining one exemplary middle school choral program through qualitative case study methods including interview, observation, and survey. The setting of this study was a middle school with an established and exemplary choral music program in which all choral ensembles are separated by gender. The director of the boys' choir has 11 years of public school teaching experience. The girls' choir director has one year of public school teaching experience. Student participants were those voluntarily enrolled in seventh and eighth grade choir. Data were gathered by means of (a) students' written responses to open-ended questions, (b) interviews with the teachers of the gender separate choirs, (c) a school administrator's written responses to questions, and (d) classroom observations and field notes. Both the boys' and girls' choir teachers and the administrator agreed that single gender choral ensembles are beneficial at the middle school level because of the developmental appropriateness, positive social interactions, decreased behavioral problems, and increased participation. Both male and female students enjoyed participating in these ensembles because of the non-threatening classroom environment, accessibility of music regarding vocal range, and repertoire selection. However, the majority of female students preferred participating in a mixed gender choral ensemble citing social reasons and overall mixed choral sound for their preference. Future research possibilities may include the implications of same or opposite gender teachers instructing each gender separate choir. Also of potential interest are studies comparing gender separate and mixed gender ensembles in the same school under the instruction of the same teacher. Finally, further investigation of different instructional approaches and their effectiveness in guiding male and female students through the voice change process is needed.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:gender separate single sex middle school choir chorus adolescent


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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