Aiming for the singing teacher: An applied study on preservice kindergarten teachers' singing skills development within a music methods course
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This study examined the effects of a music methods course offered at a Cypriot university on the singing skills of 33 female preservice kindergarten teachers. To systematically measure and analyze student progress, the research design was both experimental and descriptive. As an applied study which was carried out in situ, the normal procedures of the course were not altered. The methods course incorporated singing instruction in 24 lectures and two 10-minute private singing tutorials at the beginning and middle of the semester. Students' singing ability was measured before and after the course with a Singing Skills Assessment which required pitch matching and whole-song singing tasks. At the onset of the course 52% of participants could not echo sing accurately la-sol-mi patterns, 58% made several melodic mistakes when singing the criterion songs and only 36% could sing above A4. T test comparisons showed that by the end of the semester participants improved their singing skills significantly in the areas of pitch-matching melodic fragments (p <.001), singing simple children's songs (p <.001), and highest pitch (p <.001). It is proposed that music methods instructors include some private vocal tuition in their courses, in addition to learning children's songs, training in melodic patterns and simple vocal exercises.