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This report centers on the words of six boys about their experiences in school choral music. The narrative excerpts are drawn from the stories of boys enrolled at a private school in the southeastern United States. The study sampled three types of boys: those who have sung continuously, those who sang but later withdrew from choral music, and those who did not sing at all. Analysis of the boys’ broad narratives revealed allusions to components of optimal ‘flow’ experiences identified by Csikszentmihalyi (1990) and others. Such ‘flow’ experiences are characterized by high levels of both perceived challenge and perceived skill, a clarity of goals, deep personal involvement and concentration, self-directedness, self-awareness, the receiving of immediate feedback, and a lack of awareness concerning time constraints. The report concludes with implications for choral music educators who seek to design pedagogy and rehearsal techniques that enable the emergence of these optimal experiences.


Author accepted manuscript version of an article published as:

Freer, P. K. (2009). Boys’ Descriptions of Their Experiences in Choral Music. Research Studies in Music Education, 31, 142-160. doi: 10.1177/1321103X09344382

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