A Comparison Study of the Use of Singing Technique Between the Choral Conductor and the Teacher

July 1, 2011 / By: Gail L. Vornkahl

The purpose of this comparison study was to determine the similarities and differences between the education, methods, and techniques employed by the choral conductor and the teacher of singing.

Questions of qualifications, education, and general instructional techniques, as well as more specific information on actual singing technique, were explored using sources from college texts, scholarly journals, peer-reviewed website journal articles, presentation transcripts, and music reference books.

A literature review is the main outcome of the research; in addition, examples from the researcher’s experience as a conductor and teacher of singing and education are provided. Information was also obtained on the pros and cons of selecting and working with a teacher of singing, in particular.  Specific elements of vocal pedagogy are explored and detailed.

The resulting literature review reveals that experts in the field of vocal music have detailed requirements for the qualifications of both the choral conductor and the teacher of singing. The qualifications are specific and recommended by several experts in the field of vocal music education.

Vocal pedagogy is reviewed with the intent of informing the reader of the necessary elements a choral conductor and a teacher of singing should be informed about.  Study of further elements, such as vocal health education, would be indicated in future research.

The review concludes by discussing the ability of the conductor and the voice teacher to provide a comprehensive vocal music education, while also providing the intangible elements of compassion and understanding so necessary in working with a human being.  These elements are essential, as the researcher has discovered, in retention of choir members or students in the voice studio.