Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Cornelia Yarbrough


Beginning in 1941 with the inception of the Church Music Department of the Southern Baptist Convention and continuing through 1985 with the publication of a set of curriculum texts, this study presents a history of the Southern Baptist children's choir curricula by describing the background development and content of each of the curriculum books, periodicals, and supplementary materials published during these years. Following the history of the development of the curricula, influences of major music education trends upon the curricula are discussed. The history of the development of the curricula is organized by periods: the organizational years of the Southern Baptist children's choir curricula, 1941 through 1956; the years of unit development 1956 through 1970; and the years of the conceptual approach, 1970 through 1985. These periods provide the overall divisions for the discussion of the influences of major music education trends upon the curricula. The primary method of research was historical. Sources for materials were readings in books on church music education and music education, unpublished theses and dissertations, unpublished "Minutes of the Sunday School Boards," annuals and reports of the Southern Baptist Convention, personal and telephone interviews, personal correspondence, Southern Baptist church music documents, music education periodicals, and church music education periodicals concerning children's choirs. The content of the study revealed two conclusions. First, from 1941 through 1985, Southern Baptist church music educators met the challenge to construct a church music curriculum to improve music in Southern Baptist churches by seeking outstanding personnel and applying prominent methods and materials in the field of music education. Second, major music education trends did influence the children's choir curricula from 1941 through 1985. As the Church Music Department staff continues to produce excellent children's choir materials, future research projects should seek to measure the curricula's effectiveness in teaching music to preschoolers and children.