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Title:Influential Factors on the Musical Development of Outstanding Professional Singers
Author(s):Rexroad, Eileen Foote
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Music
Abstract:This study was conceived and carried out as a result of the investigator's perceived need to determine the influential factors on the musical development of outstanding professional singers. Data pertinent to the initial identification of the singers' musical talents; the extent to which music existed in the home; the number and quality of musicians in the artists' families; their private study; their school and community musical experiences; and the sources of the singers' encouragement, guidance, counseling and motivation; provided a detailed, comprehensive picture of the artists' talent development and the factors that contributed to this development.
The problem was two-fold: (a) What environmental and experiential factors do professional singers report as being part of their musical development? (b) Which of these factors do the singers perceive as influential on their musical development?
The data-gathering instrument was a six-sectioned questionnaire. Following the pretest of the questionnaire and the pilot study, in which six professional singers were personally interviewed, the questionnaire was mailed to 136 artists. The final sample totaled 100.
Division of the subjects by sex and age group helped in providing comparisons and in identifying trends in age groups. Generally, there were no important differences between the musical experiences of males and females; with regard to trends, the increase in the number of music programs for the gifted and talented during the past 15 to 20 years was notable. The most significant finding was an extremely high incidence of musicality in the subjects' families (the average number of family musicians was three). The influential experiences on the artists' musical development during their elementary and secondary school years included studying musical instruments, singing solos in public, attending professional concerts and operas, winning voice competitions, and singing in church, school and community musical groups.
Private teachers provided career guidance and counseling in music for the majority of the singers during and after high school. The encouragement of mothers, high school music teachers and private teachers, coupled with the artists' personal desire and the necessary talent to pursue vocal careers, aided in the singers' musical growth and subsequent success.
Issue Date:1985
Description:344 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8511664
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1985

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