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A Classroom in Perfect Harmony: The Educator’s Role in Promoting Student Wellbeing in the Vocal Music Classroom

By Elise Eggleston

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NafME Chapter 92, concert band, marching band, and cantilena women’s choir.  When she was presented with a research opportunity through the McNairy Library music research fellows program, Elise was eager to expand her knowledge in the area of student wellbeing in the music classroom and the role of responsive teaching in creating an environment that promotes student well-being.  Her methodology consists of oral history interviews with music educators in order to provide opportunities for educators to reflect on how they contribute to a learning environment that promotes student wellbeing.  In addition, her research consisted of gathering information from scholarly articles and journals in the subjects of psychology, music education, and singing’s effects on psychological, physiological, and social wellbeing.  Throughout her literature review, Elise was fascinated by Edward Deci’s self-determination theory, a macro theory of human motivation and personality that concerns people’s inherent growth tendencies and innate psychological needs.  The goal for her project is to provide future music educators with teaching strategies that promote student wellbeing by acknowledging the three innate psychological needs, autonomy, competence, and relatedness.  Eggleston says, “I hope to implement my findings and apply all I have learned  in my own classroom one day, and I find great joy in sharing my research with future educators.”

Elise Eggleston is a sophomore music education and vocal performance dual major at the Tell School of Music at Millersville University.  She aspires to teach elementary vocal/general music upon completion of her undergraduate in K-12 music education with Kodály certification along with a Bachelor of Arts in vocal performance in the spring of 2023.  She serves as the president of Millersville University’s American Choral Directors Association student chapter and the secretary of the Tell School Chorale. Additionally, she is a member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education,

Author's Note: 

I have no known conflict of interest to disclose.

Thank you to my advisor, Dr. Marilyn Parrish, for all your support during this project.  

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Elise A. Eggleston at

Keywords:  music education, psychology, wellbeing, singing and wellbeing, benefits of choral singing, Self-Determination Theory, autonomy, competence, relatedness, vocal music instruction, choral education, responsive teaching strategies

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