Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Music Education and Music Therapy (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Stephen F. Zdzinski

Second Committee Member

Don D. Coffman

Third Committee Member

Carlos Abril

Fourth Committee Member

Margaret A. Donaghue

Fifth Committee Member

Jill Kaplan


The purpose of this study was to investigate predictors of self-labeled singers and non-singers’ beliefs about singing, with the additional goal of exploring a conceptualization of singing perceptions. A researcher-created Singing Perception and Participation survey was used to collect information about the singing perceptions of university students (N = 171). A factor analysis was run to determine if singing identity, singing self-efficacy, and singing attitudes of students were factors of singing perceptions. To examine common participant singing perceptions, descriptive analyses were also conducted. A multiple regression was used to determine if the independent variables of home environment, music learning environment, social comparisons, age, gender, ethnicity, and singing experiences were predictors of singing perceptions. The common levels of singing participation were reported and an ANOVA was performed to determine if singing perceptions differed due to singing experiences. Finally, open response items examined reasons for participant singing identity. Survey results revealed that the majority of participants identified themselves as non-singers (n =151) with medium to low levels of self-efficacy, but overall positive attitudes toward singing. Open response items were analyzed for content and several categories emerged, with the most frequent responses referencing participant singing self-efficacy, singing experiences, and comments about the definition of the term singer. A factor analysis found singing perceptions had two components: singing self-efficacy and singing attitude. Home environment and singing experiences were found to be significant predictors of singing perceptions. Finally, singing experiences were normally distributed across the sample, but singing perceptions differed based on the level of singing participation.


singing perception; identity; self-efficacy; participation; home environment; tone deaf