Date of Award

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM) in Music Education


This action research was based on an empirical, descriptive design using survey technique. The aim of this investigation was to determine the perceptions of high school choral students taught by the researcher in the Inland Northwest of the USA on their use of technology in their independent choral practice habits. All 45 choral students who provided signed consent forms were given a survey with open- ended questions. Data were analyzed using emergent thematic categories. The researcher asked students to reflect on background questions regarding the general nature of their practicing and, more specifically, on the role technology plays in their practicing. The results of the analysis determined that the use of technology (specifically the playback of recordings) is helpful in independent choral practice. Most students reported practicing 1 to 3 times a week (34.8%) for 10 to 30 minutes (61.9%) at a time. Many students identified practice venues (21.8%), time constraints (12.7%) and a lack of ability to play a keyboard instrument (14.5%) as being challenging factors to independent rehearsal. Through the use of individual vocal part recordings and full choir performance recordings, students reported being able to practice their parts with clear models of performance expectations (44.2%). Most students referred to the ease of practicing with the part recordings and their role in helping them practice (88.6%). The recordings were mostly played back on their cell phones (77.8%) or personal computers (44.4%). Overall, students reported positive attitudes towards having access to the technology and to using it on a regular basis. The results of this action research have been valuable in informing the researcher’s further decisions regarding the use of vocal part recordings and full choir performance recordings. The researcher was also able to use the background practicing information to help guide parents and guardians in supporting individual student practice environments, such as ensuring quiet, private spaces to rehearse. The researcher also looked at ways in which the school may provide practice venues for those unable to do so in the home.