The effects of gesture and movement training on the intonation and tone quality of children's choral singing
The main purpose of this study was to examine the effects of gesture and movement training for beginner children's choirs with regard to improving intonation and tone quality. A further aim was to determine whether movement training enhances gesture quality. This study also intended to explore the relationship between voice and gesture. Additionally, a series of teaching tools to train children with `effective' gestures and movements was developed. Fifty-three fifth grade students participated in the empirical investigations. They were randomly assigned into three groups: (1) Group 1- students who received no gesture and movement training; (2) Group 2- students who received gesture training, and (3) Group 3- students who received gesture and movement training. The instructional unit, consisting of two 40-minute sessions per week for 24 sessions, focused on vocal development. Each individual was pretested and posttested, and the three groups were pretested, mid-tested, and posttested. Three different groups each comprising of three experts were asked to judge both the children's individual and group performances in singing and gesture. Statistical analyses showed that the children who received gesture and/or movement training significantly performed better than those who did not both in `Intonation' and `Tone Quality'. Children who received movement training gained a significantly higher score on gesture quality. The results also showed that the relationship between voice and gesture was significantly correlated. In addition, the students sang significantly better with gesture. It was concluded that gesture training has a positive effect on improving children's intonation and tone quality. Furthermore, the combination of gesture and movement training could be a powerful teaching strategy in choral rehearsals.