Transformational leadership in a high school choral program
Williams, Owen Brian
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The purpose of this study was to examine a high school choral program to discover how the leadership behaviors of the teacher contributed to the success of the program. The teacher's leadership behaviors were examined through the framework of Transformational Leadership. Criteria for the selection of this program included a recent performance at a state music conference, consistent high ratings at choral performance evaluations, and the inclusion of one chorus where students continued to sing but did not audition into the top chorus. Primary participants included student members in the three choruses and their director. Secondary participants included the orchestra director and the choral director from the feeder middle school. Data were collected through interviews, observations ofrehearsals and concerts, and artifacts during one academic year of instruction. Data were coded and analyzed and primary themes included: (a) a supportive classroom atmosphere; (b) repertoire selection; (c) developing independent musicians; and (d) creating a chorus community. Results ofthis study indicate that the director demonstrated numerous leadership behaviors that intersect with those found in Transformational Leadership. These included: setting clear, challenging goals; holding high expectations for music reading and performance; providing support in a friendly classroom environment; establishing a sense of community in the chorus; and, genuinely caring for the needs of students. These transformative leadership behaviors led to students who demonstrated musical independence. Suggestions for the profession include implementing transformational leadership behaviors into undergraduate music education courses, which can provide opportunities for preservice teachers to reflect upon and develop their leadership skills to a higher level before they enter the profession.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University