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Choral music teachers simultaneously work toward two potentially competing goals: the quality of the musical performance and the quality of the education they provide for students. Is either goal preeminent, or can both exist in an ever-shifting balance? This paper highlights how this conundrum has existed since the emergence of North American choral music education nearly a century ago. The problem is explored as a paradox, with examples drawn from the author’s personal experience. A proposed resolution supports the validity of both goals, with suggestion that teachers need to increase awareness of how their goals affect decisions concerning policy, pedagogy, and musical practice.


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Freer, P. K. (2011). The Performance-Pedagogy Paradox in Choral Music Teaching. Philosophy of Music Education Review, 19(2), 164-178.

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