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Moravian College

Joseph Hall ‘19

"Choral Village"

Major & Minor: Music Education
Hometown: Catasauqua, PA
Project Advisor(s): Dr. Joy Hirokawa

Tell us about your research. 

My research for the Choral Village was to investigate the effects of a multi-cultural music program on the attitudes of middle school aged youth.

How did it materialize? (E.g., did you pitch the idea and choose a faculty member, or did they come to you with an idea?)

This project was the brainchild of Dr. Hirokawa, professor of Music Education for over 3 years. She had presented the idea of having me join her in developing the research for the program. I was glad to take it on knowing that the endeavor would be a valuable experience for me to apply research skills in an educational investigation.

What was the best part about working with your faculty advisor? What valuable insights did they bring to the research process?

The best part about working with my faculty advisor was that the experience allowed me to work with a professional organization outside the college. This enlightened me about all the different administration aspects of planning and developing the program and research.

What was your biggest obstacle?

The biggest issue at stake for me was strategizing ideas to advertise the program in order to have enough participants for our program and research. Both the efficacy of the program and the research was dependent on a sizeable population group, so it was challenging to gain enough participants during the summer timeframe that we worked with.

What was your biggest takeaway from this experience?

I have learned that failure is the most effective learning tool of any endeavor. All my realized failures in every aspect of this research process were self-informing and helped me to achieve success by learning from them. The SOAR research concept allows students to make trials and errors in their research in order to unlock their greatest potential and produce their best work.

What was the result of your research? 

Being that the nature of my research is mostly a qualitative design, means that the results from my research are largely open-ended and conclusive based on interpretation. However my faculty advisor and I were able to justify from our current findings, that the “raw data” indicated a positive effect in the attitudes of the youth participants’ towards our program concept.

Now that SOAR is over, do you plan to expand upon your research? If so, where would you like to see it go? 

This research proved to be a very rewarding experience. My faculty advisor and I plan to showcase our research at an annual music educator’s conference called the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA). I am also interested in taking the concepts and tools gathered from the SOAR research and applying them for future graduate work.

In your own words, how do you feel about being rewarded this opportunity? Why should other students take advantage of the SOAR program? 

Moravian College’s SOAR program is truly an asset to any student’s learning. It is so neat to see the Moravian Faculty and staff be involved in the student research. I strongly encourage any student who is interested in exploring research to take advantage of this program, as it may just be the most valuable experience of their professional education.