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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Middle School and Junior High Choral Music

Dear ChoralNet Friends:
My 2 beginning choirs (6th grade) have been moved to the Auditorium to accommodate an extra band class and an extra orchestra class brought about by my district's change from JH to MS.  My older auditioned choirs still get to rehearse in my room.  So, I'll be teaching choir on the go.  I'm interested in advice in the following areas:
1.  Efficient way to maintain 2 rehearsal spaces.
2.  Management techniques most useful for 11-year-old singers rehearsing in an auditorium.
3.  Benefits of everyday rehearsal in an auditiorium.
4.  Additional equipment necessary to teach successfully in an auditorium.
Thanks for your help!
Gretchen Harrison
What kind of interest would there be for a JH/MS Summit or Conference in 2012?  Early brainstorming would offer these ideas:
  • Performances by real-life JH/MS choirs;
  • Composition competition for JH/MS-focused pieces with an emphasis on the cambiata voice range for changing-voice boys;
  • Honor choir or massed choir performance of the winning composition of the composition competition;
  • Time to build relationships and develop mutually supportive groups;
  • Round-table discussions and interest sessions presented by "big names" in our field including discussions about the following:
  1. Psychology of the early adolscent and it's impact on classroom managment as it applies to the choral rehearsal and excellent performance;
  2. Voice development;
  3. Repertoire (reading sessions, how to choose quality and appropriate music, etc.);
  4. Conducting Master-Class (titles would be available in advance for preparation);
  5. Musicality and Artistry: Connecting the Moments for the JH/MS Singer
What are your thoughts?  
Would you come?  
Would you submit an application CD/mp3 for your choir to sing?
Is this something our area needs?
Send your comments.  This would be YOUR conference!
  • Recharge:  The first week of summer break is one long nap---I may not be sleeping, but my brain is in "nap mode".  Of course, I may be sleeping.....
  • Restore:  After the "nap" is over, I clean up from the year----empty files, delete unnecessary information, file papers and music, etc.  I also begin projects that interested me during the year, but that I just didn't get to start during the hurry/flurry of a busy year.
  • Reinvent:  I begin renewing my brain for a new year by attending conferences, looking for new music, hanging out with my dear family, chatting with friends and colleagues, relaxing with important people in my life, etc.
  • Spring into Life:  My best defense is a good offense!  I PLAN, PLAN, PLAN for the next year so nothing "sneaks up" on me! (Or so that the surprise attacks are isolated!)  I plan my musical year in August.  I mean that I really choose all my music in August!  Sometimes the plan changes, but more often than not, I'm good to go!  I create online music orders and save them so that when I'm ready to order music, I can press "send" or I can edit quickly.  I have to make the best use of my time when I have the time.  I put dates into my iPhone calendar---including audition dates, honor choir preparation rehearsals, etc.
  • NOTE:  I posted my Literature Selection Graph in the Library on this site.  As I find music that will meet and grow the musical, emotional, developmental and artistic of my choirs, I fill in the boxes with the song title/publisher info/etc.  I can make sure that I've given my students the balanced musical diets they need from a balanced choral music program.
I know that my summer isn't 10 weeks of nothing, but because I do a little every day, my school year is MUCH more manageable.