Pedagogical similarities and differences in training the classical tenor and baritone at the collegiate level

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The purpose of this Delphi and semi-structured interview study was to develop understandings of how professional voice instructors approach teaching students of two different voice types. In particular, the classical tenor and baritone and at the collegiate level were examined. Using purposeful sampling, data were gathered from five participants. Four were male; one was female; all were tenured faculty who taught 11-32+ years at various universities which offer Music Performance as a degree in the Northeast and Midwest. There were several rounds of data collection in the Delphi portion of this study. In the first round, two open-ended questions were asked of the participants. Open-coding was used to find emerging themes and constructs in participant responses. This information became the base of 15 instructional statements which were sent back to participants to be measured for degrees of agreement or disagreement. Upon examination, it was found that there existed strong agreement among participants when tasked to consider four of the 15 instructional statements. In particular, there was strong agreement with statements which specified the importance of teaching both voice types specific skills. There was disagreement among participants when statements weighed a single skill as being more important for one voice type in comparison to the other. The semistructured interview deepened the quality of these results and made comment on repertoire selection. Overall, it was found that there are several skills deemed important for in the training of both the classical, collegiate tenor and baritone. Findings also suggested the importance of differentiated instruction and recognizing the uniqueness of teacher/student pairings.