The Effect of Attentional Focus on Singing Voice Quality: Towards the Interdisciplinary Experimental Investigation of Singing Pedagogy
Hewitt, Michael P
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Instructional methods employed by teachers of singing are mostly drawn from personal experience, personal reflections, and methods encountered in their own voice training (Welch & Howard, 2005). Even in Academia, singing pedagogy is one of the few disciplines in which research of teaching/learning practice efficacy has not been established (Crocco, et al., 2016). This dissertation argues the reason for this deficit is a lack of operationalization of constructs in singing, which, to date has not been undertaken. The researcher addresses issues of paradigm, epistemology, and methodology to suggest an appropriate model of experimental research towards the assessment of teaching/learning practice efficacy. A study was conducted adapting attentional focus research methodologies to test the effect of attentional focus on singing voice quality in adult novice singers. Based on previous attentional focus studies, it was hypothesized that external focus conditions would result in superior singing voice quality than internal focus conditions. While the hypothesis was partially supported by the data, the researcher welcomed refinement of the suggested research model. It is hoped that new research methodologies will emerge to investigate singing phenomena, yielding data that may be used towards the development of evidence-based frameworks for singing training.