Singing Accuracy Development and Music Participation

Singing is a foundational musical behavior and singing difficulties have been tied to self-perceptions of unmusicality or tone “deafness” that can inhibit one’s enjoyment of or participation in music activities. This research explores the development of accurate singing through the lifespan and the role of formal and informal musical experiences in singing development. The research has several goals including a) the development of a standardized measure of singing accuracy to aid teachers and researchers in identifying problems (funded by SRME & NAfME), b) exploring relationships between poor pitch singing, musical self-concept, and music participation, c) examining cultural expectations related to gender roles, singing quality and opportunity that can inhibit or enhance singing participation, and d) identifying strategies to help poor pitch singers of various ages overcome their difficulties and feel comfortable engaging in singing and other participatory musical activities.

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Related publications

Demorest, S.M., Nichols, B. & Pfordresher, P. Q. (in press). The effect of focused instruction on young children’s singing accuracy. Psychology of Music.

Demorest, S.M., Kelley, J., & Pfordresher, P.Q. (2017). Singing ability, musical self-concept, and future music participation. Journal of Research in Music Education, 65, 1-16. DOI: 10.1177/0022429416680096

Demorest, S.M. & Pfordresher, P. Q. (2015). Singing accuracy development from K-adult: A comparative study. Music Perception, 32, 293-302. DOI: 10.1525/MP.2015.32.3.293

Demorest, S.M., Pfordresher, P.Q., Dalla Bella, S., Hutchins, S., Loui, P., Rutkowski, J. & Welch, G.F. (2015). Methodological perspectives on singing accuracy: An introduction to the special issue on singing accuracy (part 2). Music Perception, 32, 266-271. DOI: 10.1525/MP.2015.32.3.266

Loui, P., Demorest, S.M., Pfordresher, P.Q., & Iyer, J. (2015) Neurological and developmental approaches to poor pitch perception and production. In The Neurosciences and Music V: Cognitive 
Stimulation and Rehabilitation, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1337, 263–271. DOI: 10.1111/nyas.12623

Pfordresher, P.Q., Demorest, S.M., Dalla Bella, S., Hutchins, S., Loui, P., Rutkowski, J. & Welch, G.F. (2015). Theoretical perspectives on singing accuracy: An introduction the special issue on singing accuracy (Part 1). Music Perception, 32, 227-231. DOI: 10.1525/MP.2015.32.3.227


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