The University of St. Thomas


Overlie, Julie

Overlie, Julie

Auditions and the Elementary School Choir: An Examination of the Views Expressed by Select Elementary Music Specialists
Julie M. Kivell Overlie

The elementary school choir is an opportunity for students to experience a choir, often for the first time. At many elementary schools, music educators must make the decision to have a choir that is either select or open to all students. When making this decision, choir directors will often look to research or other music educators for advice. Unfortunately, research on this topic is not found.

The purpose of this study was to obtain information from music educators on the issue of auditioning. Eight music educators from Minnesota were selected for the study. Through structured interviews, participants were asked to share their views on elementary school choirs and auditioning. The participants provided information on the purpose of the elementary school choir, the goals for elementary choir, their definitions of audition, and the use of auditions in their choirs.

From the data collected, three themes emerged on the elementary school choir - 1) singing opportunities; 2) group membership, and; 3) music for all. The participants in this study felt that the elementary school choir should be an opportunity for all students to participate in music. Through this experience, students can expand their knowledge of music skills, have opportunities for performance, learn to work as a team, gain self confidence, and enjoy themselves. The participants felt that students should not be denied this opportunity.

This qualitative research study provided information gathered through the process of structured interview. From these interviews, information was obtained about how Minnesota music educators view the issues around auditions in the elementary school. Further research may involve interviews or surveys on the views of auditions held by music educators throughout the country. It would also be interesting to research this topic from the view of the students to find out how they feel about auditioning at the elementary school level.

Thesis Advisor
Dr. Sheila J. Scott