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Items by Dale Duncan

Results: 95
Title Author Date
Resource: S-Cubed Successful Sight Singing for Middle School Beginners A 21st Century Resource
Classified ad: Free S-Cubed Middle School Sight Singing Download until Sunday Nov. 30th
Lesson 1-Forbidden Pattern, the foundation of S-Cubed Middle School Sight Singing Program, is free until Sunday, November 30th.  Go here to download: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/S-Cubed-Lesson-1-The-Game-Successful-Sight-Singing-for-Middle-School-826815   January is the perfect t...
Classified ad: Sight Singing in Middle School S-Cubed
The new year is coming soon, and that is the perfect time to start S-Cubed (Middle School Sight Singing Program for Beginners).  The price has been slashed to $129 for one week starting now.   Here is the link:  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/S-Cubed-Complete-Bundle-How-to-Teach-Si...
Comment: Re: Students don't want to sing
Hello!   One week ago, I started a five-part blog series called "Why Won't My Middle School Choir Sing?"  I have published reasons 1 and 2 in two posts.  The remaining reasons will be published in coming days.     Here is a link to the first post: http://inthemiddlewithmrd1.blogspot.com/20...
Comment: Re: Student sings consistently way too high
Hello Anne!   Awaking the brains of our middle school beginning singers is a tricky process that requires tenacity and a multi-pronged approach.     Here is a link to one of the exercises I do with my middle school beginners:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94rxOLxqksE   There are man...
Comment: Re: Need a Winter/Christmas song for boys grades 6, 7 , & 8
My boys love African Noel! http://www.jwpepper.com/African-Noel/10006231.item#.VFP_8ovF9xs   Dale Duncan Creator of S-Cubed Middle School Sight Singing Program https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOuGGCixhfg  
Comment: Re: Middle school choir - Help needed!
Sounds difficult!  I've put together a YouTube Channel and blog with some ideas for teachers.  Here are a couple of samples, but there is MUCH more there...including some classroom management tips.  In the "search" area, type "classroom Management" to access those.   https://www.youtube.com/wa...
Comment: Re: Beginning Chorus
Hello Chase,   My students are unauditioned as well.  Most of my sixth graders arrive with little or no ability to listen.  Here the things that have worked for me:   1)  Solfege.  You get to work on vowel formation/tall mouth, etc.  We have to awaken their brains using all learning modal...
Comment: Re: Fostering facial expression
Let's pretend they are singing a traditional spiritual.   Our goal has to be to drive them toward truth and honesty in their performance. Internal motivation results in an authentic, moving and meaningful performance. The eyes, the eyebrows, the forehead and all the rest of the facial muscles wi...
Comment: Re: Anti Bullying music
Thought of another work that you should look at:  "I Am Harvey Milk" by Andrew Lippa.   Check out "Sticks and Stones".  https://loudr.fm/release/i-am-harvey-milk/Khrqb   It is very heavy and extremely powerful.  I helped prepare the 11 year old child for the role of "Young Harvey" for the ...
Comment: Re: Method Book(s) for Elementary Level Choir? (4th-6th Grade)
I created this method specifically for my 6th graders and made it available for other teachers earlier this year.  I did so specifically for the reasons you described above...the rest move way too fast for true, young beginners.  Success and engagement are the goals, and my children weren't exper...
Comment: Re: easy two part christmas pieces secular and sacred for middle school choirs.... SUGGESTIONS
http://www.jwpepper.com/Deck-the-Hall-and-Decorate/3193596.item#.VDUSkildVxs   Fun and easy!  "Deck the Hall and Decorate", Ruth Elaine Schram   Dale Duncan My YouTube Channel with Sight Singing Tips and Classroom Management tips:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuSvE1y-FTytuFfndvTVUtQ ...
Comment: Re: Anti Bullying music
Check out this resource:   http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/I-Am-Bullyproof-Music   You can contact her directly with questions, and she will get back to you!   Good luck! Dale Duncan Creator of S-Cubed! Successful Sight Singing for Middle School Teachers and their Beginners http...
Comment: Re: They're Singing it Wrong!
When I have mistakes with rhythm, I use staccato singing as a tool to fix it.  (Staccato on the words...staccato on "di"...staccato on "ta"...staccato alone...staccato in two-parts....etc.)  Once you've taught young singers about why we do that (to find rhythm mistakes and correct them), they enjo...
Comment: Re: Music Theory Curriculum for Committed Middle School Choir
I finished creating S-Cubed:  Successful Sight Singing for Middle School Teachers and their Students in April of this year and teachers seem to be having lots of success with it.  Here is a link with video descriptions, written descriptions, numerous links directing you to more information as well...
Comment: Re: Disrespected and Frustrated
Hang in there Kristin.     About a year ago, I started on a journey to support teachers just like you.  I, too, was absolutely a failure in the beginning.  I struggled to figure it all out.   There is not enough support for teachers like you who want to be great.   I made these two videos...
Comment: Re: Teaching 8th-Grade Choir Harmony
For the long-term, consider working toward getting your administrators to support having your boys in a separate class in 7th grade if possible.  I did this years ago, and it changed everything.  You can spend the year teaching them about their new voices.  They absolutely LOVE being "special" at...
Comment: Re: Middle School Choir- Rehearsal Help
Teach them team work. Try this game with them.  It's called "Cup Up".   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcJYVIYbFIA It's all about team work.  There are TONS of lessons you can teach using that game about teamwork, carrying your load, how much more successful we are when we work together, etc....
Comment: Re: Middle School Musical Suggestions
"Once on this Island" is beautiful.  Great story...super sweet.  The kids LOVE it!     Dale Duncan Creator of S-Cubed:  Successful Sight Singing Program for Middle School Teachers and their Students http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/S-Cubed-Complete-Bundle-How-to-Teach-Sight-Singin...
Comment: Re: Middle School Musical Suggestions
"Once on this Island" is beautiful.  Great story...super sweet.  The kids LOVE it!     Dale Duncan Creator of S-Cubed:  Successful Sight Singing Program for Middle School Teachers and their Students http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/S-Cubed-Complete-Bundle-How-to-Teach-Sight-Singin...
Comment: Re: Your thoughts on Middle School Boys?
We all need to do what works best for us as individuals.  I've taught this age group for 23 years.  Everything changed for me in the quality of my choirs when I split by gender in 7th grade.  I put them back together in 8th grade, and the Mixed Choir that results is something I feel great about! ...
Comment: Re: Classroom Management: Dicipline
I write a blog with several ideas for discipline in middle school choral classrooms.   Here are a couple of links: http://inthemiddlewithmrd1.blogspot.com/2014/04/classroom-management-in-middle-school.html http://inthemiddlewithmrd1.blogspot.com/2014/04/classroom-management.html   I also have...
Comment: Re: Advice/Tips for a Brand New Choral Teacher (Junior/Senior High)
Thank you Michael!  I struggled so much teaching sight singing to my middle school beginners in the early days.  Once I figured out something that worked, I decided to share it in hopes of helping some other frustrated teachers!  Books didn't work for me...Thank goodness for modern technology.  ...
Comment: Re: Advice/Tips for a Brand New Choral Teacher (Junior/Senior High)
Congrats on your new position!  The first year is exciting and daunting!   I write a blog specifically aimed at new and struggling choral music teachers.  Here is the link:  http://inthemiddlewithmrd1.blogspot.com/ I've written about some classroom management ideas on there among other things...
Comment: Re: The first few minutes of rehearsal/class: what are your secrets to success?
I use written "bell ringers" related to sight singing, and then we do sight singing. Here is a link with some more details:   http://inthemiddlewithmrd1.blogspot.com/2014/07/warm-up-activities-and-grading-with-s.html   Dale Duncan My YouTube Channel with classroom management tips and sight s...
Comment: Re: Arrangers for the Middle School Choir
Greg Gilpin for fun stuff that is easily singable.  My kids can't get enough of his music. Linda Spevacek if you want more challenging vocal lines, etc.  Great for festival. Roger Emerson for some great spirituals!   Dale Duncan Why Teach Middle School...blog post..Click below! http://inthe...
Comment: Re: Grading Choirs
Hello Chris,   Here are some ideas:   Number one:  Because you see your middle school students for such a limited amount of time, you must have your daily rituals well-established in order to make the most of every minute. I would make sure that the traffic patterns in my room lend themselv...
Comment: Re: Listening Journals - Middle School Choir Students
Hi Bradley!  Congrats on your new position.     This blog post that I've posted below is one that discusses how I use folders and bell ringer activities in my classroom.  It may give you some ideas on how to get your children to keep folders of their own to document their work.  Based on yo...
Comment: Re: After School Middle School Choir
Congratulations on your new job!   Here is the approach that I would take: 1)  I would set a personal goal of getting my adminstrators to allow me to have a choir during the school day within three years.  Having a goal like that helps me work a bit more diligently on after school activities li...
Comment: Re: Book of Rounds for middle school
Congratulations on this new adventure and welcome to the forum! I've taught middle school for 22 years, and here are my three favorite books for rounds and choral warm ups: This is the "round" book I like the most.  I like it because it uses music through which you can teach good choral technique...
Comment: Re: Books and materials
I have just finished creating and sharing every secret I've learned in teaching Sight Singing to Middle School Students in a program called S-Cubed:  Successful Sight Singing for Middle School Teachers and their Students.  My goal in the offering was to go from "0" to "100" in 8 months with my mid...
Comment: Re: Middle School Choir Curriculum
Congrats Bradley!  Great advice above!   Thank you, Tina, for the "shout out" on the S-Cubed Sight Singing course that I developed.  I am going to place the links to the materials at the bottom of this post for you to check out.  The best thing about this sight singing course is that, if you ...
Comment: Re: Large increase in enrollment numbers
 I teach between 290-320 daily each year, so I have a few ideas on how to help!  Here are a couple of blog posts I've created to help with large numbers.  Dealing with folders is always tricky: http://inthemiddlewithmrd1.blogspot.com/2014/01/folder-care-for-chorus-teachers.html Some ideas on c...
Comment: Re: Building a program from the ground up
Congratulations on your new job!     I created my sight singing program originally for use in the middle school general music classroom because I was searching for ways to have fun and get them to sing while they became literate.  Now, I am using it with my choirs because I don't teach general ...
Comment: Re: End-of-Year Choir Games
Try this fun solfege game!  They love beating the teacher, and it's a great focus game.  Here is a video description: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoO6R4OHSIY Here is the entire lesson: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/S-Cubed-Lesson-1-Forbidden-Pattern-Sight-Singing-Course-for-Age...
Comment: Re: middle school vocal music
Congratulations!  Middle school children are unique to teach!   1) Top three priorities for middle school choir:   a)  Fun.  If we are boring, they tune us out. b)  Gender separation.  If possible, separate by gender in 7th grade and/or 8th grade.  I prefer doing this in 7th grade becaus...
Comment: Re: Conference Morsel: True Inclusion
Thank you for sharing this.   Dale Duncan http://inthemiddlewithmrd1.blogspot.com/
Comment: Re: Rotator cuff (shoulder) problems and Rocktape
Use it!   I am a Choral Music Educator, former competitive gymnast, trainer of gymnasts and certified group fitness trainer as well.  I have taped up many of my athletes over the years to help them get through competitions, and this tape is of great help.     Having damaged my own shoulders...
Comment: Re: Selling original choral works online
Hello, Have you tried TeachersPayTeachers?  The seller in the link below offers her original music online through the site as do many other musicians. http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/I-Am-Bullyproof-Music I am sure that if you contact her, she will share what she does regarding reproduc...
Comment: Re: How To Keep Kids In Choral Program?
Here are a few ideas on retention for your middle school choral program:   1)  Reward often with praise.               Catch a student doing something right and praise them publicly with total positive energy.  I also use Starburst candy on occasion.  If I see a child          ...
Comment: Re: Conference Morsel: Choral Sight-singing
So much of what James Bowyer says above is accurate!   I've been teaching middle school since 1989, and I looked for years to find something that would be appropriate for my beginners.  I failed to find anything.  It all progressed too quickly and left them frustrated.  I kept hoping for that...
Comment: Re: Mixed level all boys choir vs. same level mixed gender choir in middle school
Congratulations on getting permission to do this!  That indicates a wonderful level of administrative support!  I've separated by gender for several years, and once I did it, everything changed.  Boys now flock to chorus in ways I couldn't have imagined.  Of my 300 children in chorus, almost 1/3...
Comment: Re: Last minute issues
Laura, Two ideas that might help in your immediate situation: 1)  Record the choir and let them hear themselves.  Say nothing.  When you play it for them for the first time, simply ask them to silently listen.   I often ask them to silently raise a hand when they hear the sharping begin, but t...
Comment: Re: large choir management
Congrats on the growth!  That's awesome!  ....and daunting!  I teach 300 middle school children, and out of necessity, I've created lots of processes to help things run smoothly.  I suggest a written communication system that they are required to check twice weekly (website/email or something si...
Comment: Re: Conference Morsel: Sight Singing as Literacy
This is spot on!  The amount of brain power (visual/aural and kinesthetic) required for a beginner to successfully sight sing a two or three-part exercise with dotted-quarter/eighth rhythms and skips and steps combined is enormous.  We have to carefully and methodically teach our young singers w...
Comment: Re: Trouble with decrescendos
I had the same issues you described above with my middle school students.  I was able to solve the issue when I started using visual aids with the kids while teaching this important technique.   To address the intonation issues, I use a "Bullseye" with labels on it that include the words "shar...
Comment: Re: How to get middle school boys interested in singing?
Aria,   My choral program has 300 students.  80 of them are boys.  I have had years where I had too many boys for proper vocal balance when singing SAB.  Great problem to have, for sure, and I am grateful.  It wasn't always like that, though.  I worked a variety of different angles to help g...
Comment: Re: What are some of your favorite warm ups?
I teach middle school, so from one day to the next, I can have students who are absolutely dead to the world, or they can be so wired I have to calm them in the way Jan described above.     Warm up exercises need to be purposeful.   To increase energy, we do physical things (massage/back chop...
Comment: Re: Appropriate? Use of sign language to augment music
I use it every year during the holidays on a beautiful version of Silent Night.  My students love it, and so do the audiences who see it.  I had a professional interpreter teach us and check our work.  It's a great way to teach rhythm using a lyrical approach and is great for kinesthetic learners...
Comment: Re: Ways to increase the number of choir members we have
Liz and Elizabeth pretty much nailed it! Middle school years are unique.  They have to want to sing.   It is our job to inspire them to do so. Here are a couple of more ideas to guide you as you develop your teaching style: 1)  Use your personality to engage them.  2)  Laugh every single d...