Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Music Education

Major Professor

John W. Richmond, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David A. Williams, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Clifford, Ph.D.


choir, chorus, vocal, voice, singing


The purpose of this study was to review and summarize selected choral music education research published between 1996-2002. Four major research surveys in this area were previously published by Gonzo (1973), Hylton (1983), Phillips (1992), and Grant and Norris (1998). Each of these authors stressed a need for research in all areas of choral music education beyond the dissertation level and called for research that mimicked "real-world" experiences that would benefit choral music educators.

This study investigated the following: (a) whether research studies in choral music education have increased beyond doctoral dissertation studies; (b) whether previous research studies have been replicated and/or expanded; and (c) whether current research attempted to solve real-world problems in choral music education.

After reviewing the selected literature, the author categorized it into the following broad areas: (a) vocal technique/pedagogy, (b) descriptive studies, and (c) assessment/evaluation. The literature was identified in reviews of American, professional peer-reviewed journals by way of computer database searches in ERIC, Education Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, International Index to Music Periodicals, RILM Music Abstracts, and Wilson Select Plus.

Due to the nature and scope of the study, the literature excluded doctoral dissertations unless they were later published in American, peer-reviewed journals.

Notable findings in this literature review include: (a) a current trend toward more choral music education research in general, both at the doctoral level and beyond, (b) continued studies on vocal pedagogy and rehearsal/conducting techniques, (c) increased studies on curriculum and assessment, and (d) increased numbers of experimental studies.

Though the research has shifted from primarily dissertation studies, most of these were preliminary in nature and need to be expanded and/or replicated. In addition, a larger variety of research methods are needed, especially longitudinal and qualitative studies. Although choral music education studies are more organized and systematic than in the past, many areas are yet unexplored and many questions remain unanswered.