Engaging Upper Elementary Students in Singing: A Content Analysis of Related Research and Published Curricula

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Research findings indicate that upper elementary students have decreased interest in singing than younger elementary students. However, prior research has identified strategies that may help to engage upper elementary students in singing lessons. The purpose of this study was to identify research-based strategies that engage upper elementary students in singing and the extent to which these strategies are utilized in published curricula. The research questions for this study were: 1) What have music researchers determined about the level of interest in singing in upper elementary grades?; 2) What research-based strategies might impact interest in singing among upper elementary students?; and, 3) To what extent do published elementary curricula align with research-based practices pertaining to singing in the upper elementary grades? I conducted the first phase of the research through a review of literature to determine the level of interest in singing among upper elementary students and what research strategies might impact their interest. The second phase of the research comprised a content analysis of four published elementary school curricula. Findings suggest that, although there are some research-based strategies that are only minimally used in published curricula, on the whole, many of the research-based strategies from related research are included in the analyzed curricula. Since the published curricula largely include these research-based strategies, the final conclusion of this study indicates a need for more research in this area to determine other possible causes for the disengagement from singing among upper elementary students.
Music -- Instruction and Study, Singing, Elementary school teaching