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An examination of factors influencing Nebraska high school choral directors' decisions to use sight -singing instruction

Kurt Edward von Kampen, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of the study was to describe the status of sight-singing in Nebraska high schools, to determine choral directors' attitudes toward teaching sight-singing, and to determine the extent to which selected demographic factors influence choral directors' decisions on whether or not to include sight-singing instruction. A five-point, Likert-type attitude assessment tool, the Sight-singing Questionnaire (SSQ), was developed by the researcher. Reliability of the SSQ (α = .84) was found to be in the upper thresholds of acceptability. The SSQ was administered to all Nebraska high school choral directors ( N = 278) as listed in the 2002–2003 Nebraska Music Educators Association Membership Directory via a web-based electronic survey and completed by 201 (72%) directors. ^ An analysis of the questionnaire content revealed that over half of the choral directors (52%) did not utilize any method for sight-singing, and that the choral directors had a mildly positive attitude (M = +.23 on a −2.00 to +2.00 scale) toward sight-singing. Multiple regression with backward elimination was used to examine the relationship between selected demographic factors (school size; geographic location of school in the state; and director's gender, years of teaching experience, and level of education) and SSQ attitude scores. Only region of the state and school size were found to be significant predictors of sight-singing attitude. ^ Of those respondents who indicated that they utilized sight-singing in the rehearsal, 38% indicated that they used a combination of sources rather than a published, standardized method of instruction. Further, the positive relationship between school size/location and SSQ scores seemed to reflect the fact that the larger schools in the eastern part of Nebraska have more resources to bring to the choral rehearsal; therefore, these directors are more likely to include sight-singing in their choral rehearsals. Information gathered from this study could be used to encourage secondary vocal music teachers to explore the benefits of including sight-singing instruction in the vocal music curriculum. ^

Subject Area

Education, Music|Education, Secondary

Recommended Citation

von Kampen, Kurt Edward, "An examination of factors influencing Nebraska high school choral directors' decisions to use sight -singing instruction" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3102578.