Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

C. Michael Robinson

Second Supervisor

Susan Vickers


This qualitative phenomenological study investigated why ninth-grade boys choose to participate in high school choral music utilizing two focus groups. Focus Group 1 consisted of boys who continued choir in high school and Focus Group 2 consisted of boys who discontinued choir in high school. Research included an analysis of the state of affairs of choral music in public schools, gender identity, male participation – Why students stay or leave, and what music does for the learner. The results of the focus groups revealed four main categories including priorities, social constructs, external influences, and respect for choir. The themes that evolved from the categories included conflicts, amount of time, after school activities, family, teachers, peers, difficulty of music, no prerequisites, negative rhetoric, and financial investment. Findings indicated that the ability to prioritize choir was difficult for the ninth-grade male students. The findings also showed how the participants felt the respect they received in band and orchestra should be consistent with choir. Finally, the research study unveiled a false belief that quality vocal singing occurs naturally when in actuality, instruction is needed to master the vocal instrument. Further study of why students never start singing, when they are first afforded a choral experience, is recommended.

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