Music Research Interests Essay

1679 words - 7 pages

Although I have a background in both instrumental and vocal music, the topics that I am interested in researching are entirely choral-centric. I am primarily interested in conducting research that will benefit my current teaching situation as a middle school choral music specialist. Through research and continued professional development, I hope to expand my personal “tool kit” of teaching approaches, rehearsal techniques, and management styles, as well as to hone my craft as a novice teacher to better serve my students and their needs. It is important to me that I choose research topics I find both interesting and relevant, as this will not only motivate me to do my very best work while researching but it will also make the process more enjoyable and the outcome more fruitful. The three areas of research I am interested in and am considering pursuing for my graduate research project belong to the realm of descriptive and philosophical research, examining what “is” in choral music education and researching what “should be” instead. The topics I wish to explore are the benefits of using Solfége, effective choral techniques for middle school choirs, and laying the foundation for a strong, growth-oriented choral program.
As a student, I had the rare opportunity to perform in all three areas of music offered at Anderson High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. A flutist in Wind Ensemble, flutist and piccoloist in Symphony Orchestra, and a soprano in various choirs, I had the opportunity to learn about many facets of music through participation. It was not until I entered college as a music education major that I realized what an advantage I had over my strictly “vocal” or “instrumental” colleagues. In addition to the blessing of having a strong K-12 music education in a school district that invested heavily in the arts, I found my perspective of music was more holistic than many of my peers. As a flute major, I was shocked that some of my instrumental peers were unable to vocally match and sustain pitch. Upon becoming a voice major the following year, I was even more dumbfounded by how many undergraduate singers were incompetent in music literacy. All those stereotypes became a vivid reality for me, as I taught a French horn player how to project his speaking voice prior to student teaching and assisted countless singers with labeling and clapping rhythms in repertoire. What I realize now is that the greatest benefit of my diverse high school music experience was the exposure to different approaches for teaching various musical concepts. I continue to hone my ability to pull from the strongest, most effective aspects of my orchestral, choral, and band educations and use those techniques to create well-rounded musicians in my own program. In band I learned how to number and count complex rhythms in compound meters, something less common in orchestral and choral repertoire. In orchestra I learned how to maintain an independent musical line, which is not...

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