Voice change and singing experiences of adolescent females

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand how undergraduate- and graduate-level choristers perceived the influence of adolescent female voice change on their singing experiences since the age of 11 years old. Data included individual and focus group interviews with 17 female collegiate choral singers enrolled in one of two women’s choirs at a large midwestern university. Three overarching themes emerged: perceptions of vocal development, teacher influence, and emotion. Findings revealed that participants’ perceptions of singing experiences since age 11 largely revolved around vocal challenges, fear, and insecurity and have remained mostly negative even after the passing of time. Experiences in choir were not necessarily positive, and participants perceived their individual vocal needs as secondary to the needs of the larger choral ensemble. Out of fear of hurting the larger choir, participants remained passive and did not self-advocate, resulting in additional challenges with self-confidence and struggles pertaining to singer identity development during adolescence and into adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-149
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • adolescent
  • choir
  • female
  • singing experiences
  • voice change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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