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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Coimbra, D., Davidson, J.W. & Kokotsaki, D. (2001). Investigating the Assessment of Singers in a Music College Setting: The Students' Perspective. Research Studies in Music Education 16(1): 15-32.

Author(s) from Durham


This article examines the singing assessment context, first in relation to the assessors, evaluation procedures and, second, in relation to the students, anxiety levels, gender and developmental stage. The primary intention is to explore the psychological processes used by the performers themselves for the effective projection of their skills in a natural performance situation. The study was conducted at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where twenty-one second year and twenty-two third year vocal studies students were being assessed during their mid-year examinations. The analysis is based on the collection of qualitative data after the completion of open-ended questionnaires by the students. Findings show clear evidence of the singers objective to make their presence attract the attention of the audience by meticulously planning and working on their physical, musical and mental states for the effective projection of their intentions and acquired skills. Inter-group comparisons on development and ability revealed traits of independence and self-sufficiency for the most able singing students and those that are higher in state of development.

School of Education