Vocal Practice in Spanish Primary Schools


Abstract


The need for investigation arises from a real concern derived from my practice in the training of preservice primary music teachers, some of whom are reluctant to sing, and even display vocal problems. The study aims at filling a gap in the research of teachers perspectives on singing in school, which will help develop a research-based singing pedagogy.
This study tried to find out how singing is practiced at primary schools, and to understand it in its context. A qualitative case study strategy of inquiry was used, focused on the vocal practice of two music teachers in two schools in Madrid. Data collection techniques included non-participant observations, the open and semi-structured interviews, field notes and journals, and the analysis of documents and materials.
The data were collected was made during the 2006-2007 academic year. The analysis and interpretation of data reveal that in two vocal practices singing had a predominant place, with similarities and differences that produced two styles of vocal practice. Both teachers made a systematic evaluation of the vocal progress of students, and offered two suited vocal models adapted to childrens vocal characteristics. The context is determinant and affects the continuity of vocal practice or its absence, as well as the correlation between perceptions and actions of the teachers.
Significant implications for teacher training are derived from this study, related to the necessity, nature and approaches of vocal training. We need to think about the convenience of typifying the way that the technical vocal training must be carried out, designing the role of the music teacher, and defining and systematizing which is the right singing voice model that he or she must offer in the classroom.

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