In May of 2023, American Choral Directors dedicated an issue of their “Choral Journal” to Gender Inequity in Choral Music. The Research Report in this issue was penned by Dr. Melissa Baughman from the University of Oklahoma. In the article, she summarizes the current state of research on the topic of Women in Conducting careers. We learned that most of the existing research in this area exists in the instrumental world as well as learning that the choral world has a concentration of Women in the middle and high school levels with major disparities at the collegiate level. In this episode, Melissa and I dissect the issues that come up in the research related to gender stereotypes, gender bias, as well as the “messy problem” of trying to make improvements of access as well as in our understanding of why the disparities exist in the first place. (Hint: it’s never just ONE thing.) Tune in for this nuanced conversation where we go “beyond the memes” and dig in to the heart of an important issue.
Dr. Melissa Baughman is an Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at the
University of Oklahoma where she supervises student teachers and instructs
undergraduate and graduate courses in choral methods, conducting, and vocal pedagogy. She is dedicated to promoting student wellness and leads a wellness initiative for the OU
School of Music called Breathe OUt. She also serves as a co-facilitator for the Music
Teacher Health and Wellness Area for Strategic Planning and Action for the Society of
Music Teacher Education (SMTE). Prior to joining the faculty at OU, Dr. Baughman
taught at Middle Tennessee State University, Central Methodist University (MO), and
was the director of middle and high school vocal music in Montpelier, Ohio.
As a researcher and advocate for wellness and equity in music, Melissa has presented at
state, national, and international conferences sponsored by the International Society for
Music Education (ISME), the European Association for Music in Schools (EAS), the
National Association for Teachers of Singing (NATS), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE), the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), the Oklahoma Music Educator’s Association (OkMEA), and the Missouri Music Educator’s Association (MMEA). Her research has been published in the Journal of Music Teacher Education, International
Journal of Music Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education,
Journal of Singing, Choral Journal, and Missouri Journal of Research in Music
Education. Her essay, “Nevertheless, She Sings: Empowering Women in Choral Music”
is published in the book, Relevance in the Choral Art, edited by Tim Sharp.
Praised as an “illustrious soprano,” Melissa’s performance highlights include singing the
soprano solos for Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G Major, Haydn’s Kleine Orgelmesse,
Vivaldi’s Gloria, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore. She is currently a guest artist with the American chamber choir, Vox Nova,
who received The American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of
American Music–Community Ensemble Division in 2018. As a graduate student, she
received first place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and
Missouri Music Teachers Association (MMTA) voice competitions and was named an
Emerging Artist at MU.
Dr. Baughman earned her PhD in music education with an emphasis on vocal pedagogy
and choral conducting and a MM (voice performance) from the University of Missouri.
She also earned a bachelor’s degree in music education (magna cum laude) and a
master’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University.