Area of Study
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Vocalists are the only music students whose instruments are their bodies. As a result, “finding a voice” is an incredibly sensitive process shaped by systems of education. Based on twelve semi-structured interviews with University of Puget Sound choir and voice alumni from the 1990s, this research examines the effects of collegiate music education on the musical identity negotiation of undergraduate vocalists, specifically concerning the effects of gender conceptions embedded in classical music cultures. Interview analysis revealed the salience of gender in mediating choral belonging, the importance of body image in shaping singer identities, the impact of masculine music theory education on vocalists, and the effects of gendered musical hierarchies. Educational discourses in the Puget Sound School of Music in the 1990s reinforced female sexualization, gender binarism, and heteronormativity, valuing masculine-coded traits and activities over those coded as feminine and devaluing the embodied musicianship of vocalists, especially those who did not fit into hierarchical gender expectations.
Greger, Liana, "Gender, Self-Identity, and Vocal Music Education: Student Experiences at the University of Puget Sound in the 1990s" (2023). Summer Research. 461.
University of Puget Sound