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This paper reports a study designed to identify the understandings and perceptions of boys enrolled at the London Oratory School about the male adolescent voice change, singing, and choral pedagogy. The study took place on the twentieth anniversary of researcher John Cooksey’s 1992—1994 study concerning the vocal development of boys at the London Oratory School. A secondary goal of the study was to determine any long-term impact of Cooksey’s work at the school itself. Twelve boys aged 12-18, representing continuous and non-continuous singers, participated in individual interviews. Interviews focused on boys' knowledge of their changing voices, the perceived effects of the voice change on singing and musical (vocal) self-efficacy, attitudes toward vocal rest during the voice change, and recommendations for teachers and conductors. Analysis revealed that even experienced choristers sense a loss of control and autonomy during the voice change process. Results indicate a negligible ongoing influence of Cooksey's work.


Author accepted manuscript version of an article published in:

Freer, P. K. (2016). The Changing Voices of Male Choristers: An Enigma . . . To Them. Music Education Research, 18(1), 74-90. doi:

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