Honored by the Council for Research in Music Education for research on voice use by elementary music teachers.
Anne Sears
Dr. Sharon Morrow

Dr. Sharon Morrow

Assistant Professor of Music Education Sharon Morrow has been awarded the Council for Research in Music Education’s Outstanding Dissertation Award in Music Education.

The prestigious award recognizes dissertations written by recent graduates of doctoral programs in music education. Nominations are made by university faculty and reviewed by members of the journal's advisory committee and other reviewers selected by the editor. Based on their recommendations, the editor and a select panel of judges choose the winner.

Dr. Morrow’s dissertation was "Voices Not Heard: Voice-Use Profiles of Elementary Music Teachers, the Effects of Voice Amplification on Vocal Load, and Perceptions of Issues Surrounding Voice Use.”

“Teachers rely heavily on their voice as a primary tool of their trade,” she says about the dissertation’s focus. “They are at greater risk than non-teachers to incur voice problems as a direct result of their job.  Music teachers are roughly four times more likely to experience voice problems than classroom teachers, putting them at ultra-high risk of experiencing voice problems.  Unfortunately, prior to this research, limited data existed concerning the voice-use parameters and subsequent vocal load amounts for music teachers that might explain this discrepancy.”

Dr. Morrow’s research was the first to quantify the differences in voice-use profiles between elementary classroom teachers and elementary music teachers in the work setting.  It also looked at how effective voice amplification was for music teachers in reducing vocal load and investigated how music teachers perceived issues surrounding job-related voice use.

Sharon Morrow received her Master of Music Education and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her public school teaching experience has included work with students from K-12 in choral music, general music and string instruction in California, Montana and Wisconsin. She has completed Levels training in Orff-Schulwerk at University of Montana and University of St. Thomas, and she brings an eclectic pedagogical approach to teaching that includes Critical Pedagogy, Comprehensive Musicianship, Orff, Kodály, Dalcroze, and Suzuki and emphasizes active music-making at all levels.