This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Current Usage and Applications of Traditional Christian Hymns for Teaching Choral Music in the Secondary Setting




Blake, Jody

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Curriculum and Teaching


For generations Christian hymns were used as instructional tools and performance literature (Keene, 1982; Mark & Gary, 1992); however despite their ubiquitous presence in the choral music education profession, few studies address their current usage and applications (Fritz, 2015; Hill, 2009; Powell, 2015). The purpose of this study was to determine the current usage and applications of traditional Christian hymns as instructional tools in the secondary choral music setting. The following elements were investigated: (a) school setting (private or public and grade levels), (b) teacher educational attainment and background, (c) teacher years of experience, (d) teacher use of Christian hymns, (e) Christian hymn literature sources used by the teacher, (f) type of Christian hymns used, (g) teacher thoughts and beliefs regarding the use of Christian hymns as instructional tools, and (e) type of higher education the teacher received (sectarian or non-sectarian). Data were collected through a researcher-created survey instrument distributed anonymously online. Potential participants (N = 10,228) were randomly selected secondary-level choral music educators who were members of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). A total of 335 participants completed the questionnaire, with a response rate of 3.28%. Results indicated that traditional Christian hymns were used in the secondary choral music setting with part-singing, sight-singing, and music history as the three highest-rated areas for hymn use in the choral classroom. Differences in choral music educator beliefs regarding hymn use were also found. Analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics, the Kruskal-Wallis H Test, chi-square, and Mann-Whitney U Test as a post-hoc test.