The Volunteer Choir: Pedagogical Aspects of Sight-Reading in the Church Choir Setting




Kittley, Cecilia

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While much research exists in the area of choral sight-reading, little specifically targets sight-reading in the volunteer choir setting. This paper will also detail, based on a review of secondary literature, the strategies for improving sight-reading abilities in a volunteer choir setting, and will provide choral directors with pedagogical tools to improve choir members’ sight-reading skills through the infusion of music theory and choral singing Furthermore, this paper will present the data collected during an experimental period with a specific church choir. During that period, choir members were introduced to basics of music theory and aural skills, and strategies for improving sight-reading were emphasized. A pre-test and a post test, combined with surveys of the choir members, provided information on the abilities of an average church choir. The surveys specifically captured the self-perception of sight-reading abilities by the choir members and how a self-critical perception increased during the experimental period of instruction Data collected from surveys and questionnaires sent to church choirs throughout the state of Texas will also give the reader insight into the choir members’ own perception of their sight-reading abilities and further establish relevance for this study.



sight-reading, choral singing, music theory, instruction


Kittley, C. (2009). The volunteer choir: Pedagogical aspects of sight-reading in the church choir setting (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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