Skills Sequencing in Music Literacy Instruction: A National Survey of the Pedagogy Practices of Secondary Choral Directors
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Curriculum and Teaching
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The importance of sound before symbol (or sight) theories has been taught to educators for hundreds of years (Hicks, 1980; Jacobi, 2012; West, 2016). While the general consensus in choral music education is that choral directors must teach their students how to read music rather than relying on rote teaching completely, many teachers walk into the classroom and hand out music, completely negating the training they received (Ester, 2010; Hicks, 1980; Phillips, 2003). The purpose of this study was to provide information about the skills sequencing in music literacy instruction, placement of these teaching skills in the choral rehearsal, and if choral directors are linking the music literacy instruction directly to choral literature they are currently learning, or if it is taught separately from the literature. The survey was hosted by Qualtrics. A link was sent to participants via the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) research assistance program and the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA). The survey was open for data collection for one month with reminders sent at the halfway mark. Results revealed that choral music educators are not only teaching music literacy skills, but they are spending additional time creating their own materials. In addition, choral music educators are spending more time teaching music literacy skills than in past surveys (Demorest, 2004). There was no positive significant correlation found between census region and physical music (other than hand signs) nor was a significant positive correlation found between census region and the use of moveable do with do-based minor. Significant positive correlations were found between years of teaching and where participants placed rhythm in their teaching sequence, years of teaching and where participants placed spaces in their teaching sequence, as well as census region and the use of Glover/Curwen hand signs.