Date of Award

August 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Sheila J. Feay-Shaw

Committee Members

Jennifer C. Hutton, Zachary D. Durlam


choral music education, kinesthetics, movement, qualitative


Using movement activities, or kinesthetics, in the choral rehearsal is a studied and established teaching technique that some music educators regularly employ. The movement-based strategies have their roots in the work of Jaques-Dalcroze, Laban, and Kodály, as well as other choral pedagogues of the 20th century that have built on their foundation. However, upon literature review, few studies have been done to establish the student perspective regarding the use of movement in the choral rehearsal. Three research questions guided this qualitative, action research study: 1) Do students have a positive or negative perception of the use of kinesthetics during the choral rehearsal?; 2) Do students find the use of kinesthetics in the choral rehearsal beneficial to their vocal development?; and 3) Do students find that the use of kinesthetics impacts their understanding of the music they are learning? Student surveys, video recordings of rehearsals, and three semi-structured student interviews provided the data. Triangulation of data across these three data sources uncovered four themes: 1) active and engaged students, 2) growth in singing, 3) kinesthetic connections, and 4) occasional obstacles. While opinions were not unanimous, students generally viewed kinesthetics positively and beneficial to developing their voice. Many students also found movement helpful in their understanding of the music. Using movement activities in the choral rehearsal may not be for everyone, but they have power to transform the choral rehearsal experience into something more student-centered, engaging, and enjoyable.