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Janet Galván, Therees Hibbard and Sandra Snow are well-known choral pedagogues who have made significant contributions to the field of choral music and movement through their research and conducting engagements. They regularly incorporate movement into their rehearsals. Through their use of movement and their research, each of these conductors has developed a movement-based approach to the choral rehearsal. The purpose of this study was to document each conductor's use of bodily movement in the choral rehearsal and provide a history of each conductor's contributions to the field of movement in the choral rehearsal. This study determined: (1) each conductor's philosophical basis for using movement in rehearsal; (2) the movement-based activities that each conductor used in order to improve the choral ensemble; (3) why each conductor uses movement; (4) how effective the conductors perceive movement to be and how effective their students perceive movement to be; and (5) specific gestures used by all three conductors and how they could be codified. Galván, Hibbard and Snow engaged their singers in a whole-body approach to the music-making process. Movement allowed the conductors to quickly connect the singers to their bodies and to the musical ideas they were presenting. Movement was one rehearsal technique that each conductor used to affect the choral ensemble and the individual singers in a positive way. While it was not the only technique that any of these conductors used, movement was an efficient and effective rehearsal tool. Students singing in each of Galván, Hibbard and Snow's choirs perceived movement to be an effective rehearsal technique that improved their individual sound and the sound of the ensemble. Students had a greater understanding of the music and its relationship to style and culture, due in part to the fact that they had moved in rehearsal. Students agreed that movement engaged them in the music-making process, connected them to the music and to one another, and improved the overall sound of the ensemble.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Kevin Fenton, Professor Directing Dissertation; Matthew Shaftel, University Representative; André J. Thomas, Committee Member; Judy Bowers, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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