Sight-Singing Instruction in the Choral Ensemble: Factors Related to Individual Performance

Steven M Demorest, William V. May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In this study, we examined individual sight-singing skills of choir members in relation to their private musical training, their choral experience, the difficulty of the melodic material, and the system used for group sight-singing instruction. The subjects (N=414) were drawn from both the first and second choirs of four Texas high schools. Two schools used the fixed-do system of sight-singing; the other two, the movable-do system. Subjects were randomly assigned to two melody conditions of varying difficulty. A multiple-regression analysis of musical background variables indicated that the number of years of school choir experience was the strongest predictor of individual success, followed by years of piano, instrumental, and vocal lessons, respectively. Scores for the more challenging Melody Condition B were significantly lower than those for Melody A. An analysis of covariance revealed that students in the movable-do groups scored significantly higher than did those in the fixed-do groups. However, this finding was tempered by the existence of other differences between the groups regarding private lessons, the consistency of method in the students' early solfege training, and the sight-singing assessment procedures used in each school district.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-167
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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