School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Nathan Street


Children's Choir, Artistic Director, Community Music, Inclusivity, Cultural Responsiveness




Despite the number of studies related to community music in North America, very little research is available regarding children's choir artistic directors, specifically those in Ontario. This research project examined the philosophical and pedagogical teaching practices of children's choir artistic directors of south-central Ontario for a comparative study through a phenomenological qualitative approach. Guided by the research of notable conductors such as Doreen Rao, Helen Kemp, and Jean Ashworth Bartle, this study identified perspectives not yet explored and documented concerning teaching philosophies and practices of children's choir artistic directors in south-central Ontario. Emerging themes from the literature review included building community, healthy vocal tone production, and appropriate repertoire selection. To illustrate the various teaching philosophies and practices, rehearsal observations and interviews of participating children's choir artistic directors were documented from the following children's choirs: Toronto Children's Chorus, Young Voices Toronto, Bach Children's Chorus, Oakville Choir for Children and Youth, Hamilton Children's Choir, and Chorus Niagara Children's Choir. Additionally, a comparison was created depicting emerging themes in their stories. This work is essential because it provides a philosophical and pedagogical framework for the choirs of the south-central Ontario children's choir network serving as an example of various teaching practices for innovative research. Furthermore, this study could encourage continued research in developing a comprehensive and cohesive curriculum for the south-central Ontario children's choir network.

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