Date of Award:
Master of Music (MMus)
This study has been made in response to some of the problems observed in the general music program of the Logan City School District during the five-year period 1960-1965. As the number of classroom units increased during these years, the function of the elementary music supervisor was modified. Supervision as a "visiting music teacher" on a bi-monthly schedule gradually changed to supervision as a "teacher consultant" whose scheduled classroom visits were once a month or less.
During these scheduled visits, the classroom teacher planned and presented two or more music lessons for observation. Other scheduled contacts were either teacher-supervisor consultations, or were supervisor demonstrations int he classrooms, prepared in response to the teacher's requests and needs. More and more supervision time was spent in an effort to help the teacher to teach music, rather than in helping the pupils to sing.
This shift of responsibility for teaching the general music program, from the supervisor to the classroom teacher, fostered many problems. Most of these problems were consequence are commented upon in this study.
The problem of the "low-singer" crossed classroom and school boundaries and seemed to reflect the values of the whole social climate rather than poor teaching in any one area. Pressures which placed value on little boys as prospective athletes also seemed to push them into shamed avoidance of their soprano child's voice. Boys reached for deep, adult bass tones with avid dedication and ignored the demands of the melody and whatever harm they were doing to their ability to hear and to sing accurately.
Some school-room factors seemed to aggravate this problem; teachers and administrators observed accurate singers become progressively more offended by the quality of music made by groups which included out-of-tune singers. When musically oriented pupils began to take private piano lessons, they seemed to realize that they would learn all about music through regular practice on their instrument, and soon abandoned all but token participation in the classroom music period. They pretended to be bass singers, joined the out-of-tuners, and encouraged other boys to do the same. This process accelerated under an idealized man teacher, who was able to sing in a comfortable low voice, or under musically permissive teachers who did not know what musical standards to expect or how to achieve them.
Beecher, Amelia M., "Elementary Music Supervision in the Logan City Schools: Its Relationship to the General Music Program in its Historical Settings" (1966). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 4008.
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