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Primary school children and the perceived benefits of choir participation
thesisposted on 28.02.2017, 00:15 by Hayes, Michele
The purpose of this research was to establish what motivated children aged eight to ten to participate in a school choral group and what they perceived as the benefits of being part of such a group. Children's perspectives have taken more prominence in music education researchers' work in the last ten years and my goal was to contribute to this within the specific area of primary school singing, and choir in particular. I was unable to locate any research that specifically examined the perspectives of children aged eight to ten years singing in a choir, hence the significance of this particular study. This research project focused on a group of students who participated in a weekly choir session which was a timetabled activity. The students that were involved were in Years Three and Four at an Independent school in Melbourne, Australia. A questionnaire was given to the students, followed by two observations of rehearsals and two focus group interviews. The results of the study revealed six themes - student preference for individual or group singing; children are positive about choir rehearsals and performing as a choir; children's metacognition and awareness of their own learning; repertoire and its significance to children in terms of learning and enjoyment; effective teaching strategies and behaviour management; and fun: - learning, rehearsing and performing with peers. The children in the eight to ten year old age group were able to clearly articulate their preferences, beliefs and perspectives. This could lead to developments and/or improvements in the ways in which choir and singing are implemented with this age group. Further research into the area of metacognition and music learning in primary school could be beneficial, as would comparative studies of singing in primary school.