ISSN: 17526299
First published in 2008
3 issues per volume
Volume 1 Issue 3
Cover Date: March2009
Conductors' perspectives of Kansas prison choirs
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Authors:  Mary L. Cohen 
DOI: 10.1386/ijcm.1.3.319_1

choirs, prison, adult, community, social justice

The purpose of this investigation was to gather and examine prison choir conductors' (N = 9) perspectives on six Kansas prison choir programs to document current practices, assemble information to help prison choir conductors, and compare data to theories of prison choir participation. According to conductors, when inmate singers first joined their choruses, they generally had limited vocal skills and short attention spans. Conductors remarked that through consistent attendance at rehearsals, inmates improved their focus, built trust among the group, learned to use their bodies more efficiently for singing, and experienced a sense of accomplishment. Data indicated that inmates have opportunities for transformational change through interacting with other singers and audience members, preparing for choral performances, and developing a sense of group responsibility. In particular, these opportunities included paying attention to details, learning physical skills in order to sing, and singing particular texts.
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