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The purpose of this study was to examine world music usage within the high school choirs of Georgia. Of interest were the amount of world music used with advanced choirs, which areas of the world were represented, and reasons for its inclusion in the curriculum. Relationships between convention attendance and world music usage were studied, as well as city population size and world music usage. Further, barriers that prohibit teachers from incorporating world music were also examined. After obtaining email addresses for the population, 312 high school choral teachers, a questionnaire containing 13 questions regarding personal and professional demographics, world music programming in the choral curriculum, and issues affecting world music programming was sent out using Survey Monkey. Questions were either single response, based on a 5-point Likert scale, or free response. Upon close of the questionnaire, participants total (N=124) represented a 40% return rate. Results provided further understanding of current programming trends among high school choral directors. When examining relationships between convention attendance and use of world music, results indicated a very weak correlation. However, this correlation corresponds to the main barriers participants find in programming world music. Barriers included lack of experience, exposure and access to world music, and free responses revealed a desire for more sessions at conventions. City population size was also related to world music programming, where participants in metropolis areas tended to program more world music than those in rural areas. Participants indicated diversity in choral music programming by world regions. They most often programmed world music from Africa, followed by music from Latin and South America. Music from the regions South and Southeast Asia and Oceana were rarely programmed. Although participants used music from around the world, the majority did not select music based on their own students' ethnicity. However, free responses indicated they programmed world music so students could understand different cultures. Finally, participants indicated barriers that prevented world music programming. The greatest barrier was a lack of experience, followed closely by a lack of opportunity to learn about world music. Free responses confirmed this finding with a desire for more convention sessions focused on world music. The need for additional sessions corroborates the lack of access expressed by participants. Few teachers lacked interest in world music and funding was not a strong barrier in programming.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Judy K. Bowers, Professor Directing Dissertation; Wanda Brister-Rachwal, University Representative; André J. Thomas, Committee Member; Kevin Fenton, Committee Member; Alice-Ann Darrow, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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