Document Type



Doctor of Education



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Fred Willman, PhD


Carole Murphy

Kathleen Brown

John Hylton


This investigation is an in-depth examination of Alice Parker's philosophy of music in relation to choral teaching, arranging, and composing. The researcher proposes that within the context of multi-cultural American music, Alice Parker's unique approach to music making and how it is manifested within her choral compositions, arrangements, and teaching techniques is a significant and valuable area of study for music educators and students. Further, it is beneficial to administrators and the general public, as well.

Within the literature review, Alice Parker's unique and effective approach to music making is related to the need for a philosophy of music, educational philosophies in general, the history of music education in American public education, and current trends in choral education, arranging, and composing.

The scope of the study includes a detailed analysis and explanation of Alice Parker's philosophy of music, a process that begins with the text and the melody, within three of her diverse choral compositions and arrangements. Her unique method of song leading, known as a SING, is thoroughly examined, utilizing the April 6, 2004, SING, hosted by the researcher, as an example.

In addition to positive feedback from participants in Alice Parker's workshops and SINGs, the constructive results of the researcher's own implementation of Ms. Parker's teaching techniques are scrutinized. The appendices include a complete 'annotated works' list of Alice Parker's choral arrangements and compositions, two CDs of an interview with Ms. Parker, conducted by the researcher, and a DVD of one of her SINGs.

The research concludes with a discussion of the significance of Alice Parker's theory of text and melody as the basis for successful music making and how music arranging, composing and teaching can be interwoven within the process. The researcher suggests that Ms. Parker's multi-faceted approach to music making prompts questions for further research into more comprehensive-based, rather than strictly performance-oriented, music education programs.

Additional Files

Interview1.mp3 (29088 kB)
Interview2.mp3 (29116 kB)
Interview3.mp3 (29116 kB)
Interview4.mp3 (29262 kB)

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