A descriptive study of vocal maturation among male adolescent vocalists and instrumentalists.

Janice Killian, John Wayman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This descriptive study examined middle school adolescent boys’ singing voices (N= 104) comprised of volunteers enrolled in band (n=72) or choir (n-32). We sought to confirm possible earlier voice change, to compare vocal characteristics among frequent (choir) and infrequent (band) singers, and to determine use of falsetto during each voice stage. To examine falsetto without defining it, participants viewed and then imitated a segment of Shrek (2001), in which characters speak in falsetto and bass. Students then spoke a line at high, medium and low pitches. They then self-selected their highest and lowest singing pitches, sustaining them as long as possible. Following Cooksey (1977) procedures, we identified the boys’ speaking pitch and guided them to their highest and lowest pitches. Data consisted of demographic information, changing voice stages, high, medium & low speaking contrasts, highest and lowest sung pitches (both self-selected and instructor-guided), number of seconds pitch
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-19
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Falsetto
  • Instrumental
  • Male adolescent voice
  • Vocal
  • Vocal maturation


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