To explore possible changes in educators’ self-reported strategies used to accommodate changing
voices, we replicated survey data collected between 1998-2000 (Killian, 2003). The original survey,
developed from strategies of 47 experienced directors, consisted of a checklist of accommodations (treble singers only, rewrite parts, sing an octave lower, assign non-singing responsibilities, separate choirs by TB or Treble) and voicings (2-part Treble, 3-part Mixed, SAB, SATB) as well as numbers of boys taught in grades 4-9. Additional questions included challenges of teaching changing voices and needs for more information.
To examine possible changes over twenty years, we made two modifications to the survey: we
added “Sing Falsetto” to accommodation strategies (Wayman, 2018) and “Unison” and “TB” to voicing options. Participants (N = 186) included attendees at music education conferences (n = 98 in Texas and New Mexico MEA, and Southwestern ACDA), and online respondents (n = 88 music
educators primarily from Dallas and Fort Worth Independent School Districts). Comparisons of
2020 and 1998-2000 revealed changes between “Sing an Octave Lower” (original: 39.9%; 2020:
19.9%), “Separate Choirs” (14.8%; 21.9%), and “Rewrite Parts” (35.5%; 22.4%). Comparisons of voicings revealed differences in 2-Part Treble (original: 36.5%; 2020: 13.7%), TTB (10.0%; 15.2%), and in 3-Part Mixed (28.9%; 6.2%). Current directors desired more information about the changing voice. They seemed to recognize that information was available, but, like their counterparts 20 years earlier, seemed challenged with the task of translating information into effective teaching strategies. Discussion included implications for future research and dissemination to choral practitioners.