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The effect of pacing and organization on rehearsal time in a high school choir

1 January 1999


This research project attempted to answer the following questions: (a) How does the pacing of a choral rehearsal affect time on task? (b) Do the needs of pacing differ in a ninety minute modified block rehearsal as compared to a forty-five minute rehearsal? (c) How do effective teachers minimize the amount of time spent on non-musical interruptions such as fund raising, attendance and planning tour details? (d) How much time do effective teachers spend on warm ups and the teaching of music fundamentals? The majority of the research required for this study was collected at seven AAAA high schools. The participants in this study were the advanced SATB performing choirs. Information for this study was gathered by means of direct observation, teacher interviews and written surveys. To protect the rights to privacy of the participants no names were used in the study. Data were collected by myself and by high school students who were trained in the procedure. Collection methods were in the form of direct observation, teacher interviews, students interviews, and survey results. Findings indicated that the pacing of a choral rehearsal greatly affects student time on task. Also indicated is that the ninety minute rehearsal is not preferable but that careful organization and planning can minimize the negative aspects of not seeing the students every day. Further findings indicate that the director must prepare and present rehearsals which are varied and well paced, and must minimize the amount of time spent on nonmusical activities by using students to do specific tasks.


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