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MUED 376: Choral Music, Materials & Techniques (M2 & T)

Developing Choral Excellence Through Teaching and Performance:

(Use the back to list/graph: What is involved (musical elements and
learning outcomes that we discussed in class) in what order, and what
degree of IMPORTANCE?)

NAME Kathryn Bailey

CHOIR: (REAL OR IMAGINARY)________________________________
Weighting Order Tasks (Strong, med,

Strong 10 artistic performance by musically independent choir,


Strong 9 life-long learning

Strong 8 critical thinking

Strong 7 blend/tuning/vowels

Strong 6 meaning

Strong 5 notes and rhythms in our repertoire

Strong 4 sight reading, literacy

Strong 3 rhythm

Strong 2 solfege
Strong 1 pitch matching/tone

I listed the sequence in this way, marking all as strong, because I truly believe that

each of these components are extremely important to successful rehearsals, and

successful performances. It is a matter of when you bring each of these elements into the

rehearsal. I ordered them in this way because I believe that the bottom 5 (1-5) are the bare

minimum of what need to be covered in order to access the top 5. I would spend a little

over half of my rehearsals primarily going through notes and rhythms, while consistently

working on sight-reading, and solfege skills. Then once those have become comfortable

to the choir, it is more natural to weave in deeper level elements of music such as

meaning, interpretation, critical thinking, concert ready independence, which includes

memorization, and life-long learning. This creates Flow in the classroom: when students

are able to read, learn, and sing music that is accessibly challenging for them, and the

meaning and interpretation speaks to them in some way. As a teacher, it is important to

choose repertoire that could be relevant and culturally engaging to them, which will only

aid in these elements of music. It is well known that it is easier to teach music that your

students like than it is to teach them music that they (or you!) don’t like.

In doing all of this, your concerts will be more meaningful to the students, and the

audiences that they sing for. I also find that choirs that memorize their music are more

engaged, with the music, with the conductor, and with the audience. I love watching

choirs sing that know their music so well that they are able to interact with it in ways that

they are hindered if they have a big folder in front of them blocking the energy of

themselves from the conductor and the audience. The stage presence automatically
improves, and the music becomes more meaningful, because as a teacher, you have

already planted the history, context, culture, and meaning of the piece into their heads.