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

End-of-year activities after concerts are done



Listers,
My original question was addressing end of the year activities after the
last concert. I my particular case, I have over 4 weeks to plan. This has
definately helped! Thank you to all for taking the time and effort aside.
If this format does not work for you, I have compiled this list in Word
format as well.

Jason Meissner

Waukesha-South High School
singin74(a)hotmail.com

Here's the compilation:

I am the accompanist for a high school choir that, like yours, has an end of
year concert a month before school is over. To fill out that time, the
teacher has the students all do performances. Every student has to do one,
but it can be in groups of up to 4. The students can choose what they want
to do, but it has to involve music. They can sing (no lip synching),
dance,play piano or an instrument. They have in class time to work on their
performances, then sign up for performance times for the last 2 or so weeks
of class.

Many of the students do songs from musicals, some do songs they have
composed themselves. Some sing unaccompanied, some have another student or
one of the teachers accompany them. Sometimes they wear costumes of one sort
or another. Some have done a musical video. In other words, there are many
different possibilities.

Over the years I have seen many wonderful performances. It's amazing what
the students can work up on their own. It seems to be a great learning
experience and a fun way to end the year.

Good luck,

Victoria Miner
Organist/choir director
First Presbyterian Church
Brockport, NY

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jason,
For the last seven years my students have prepared and then recorded a song
for the organization Songs of Love, which provides personalized songs for
chronically and terminally ill children. Generally we do this at the end of
the year, in part because it addresses the issue you raise and in part
because alums, who are off from college by then, want to come back and join
us.
SOL will provide a complete song and instrumental track (the ONLY time I
allow my groups to sing with a recording). We have a local recording studio
and they donate the recording time.
You can contact them through their web-site and you can contact me if you
have any other questions.

David Douglas
East Hampton HS
East Hampton, NY

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What about your Spring Choir Concert. We will perform our festival music
and then our fun costume music, which is Best of the Beach Boys, Best of the
girl groups 1960's, and my gospel choir will do a medley from "The
Preacher's Wife." Then always a theory written exam. Making sure they keep
up on their music reading fundamentals.

Heather Hargett
Mt. Miguel High
Dir. of choral Act.
Guitar/Bass/Piano
San Diego, CA

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hi, I do some sight singing usually of a master work. I try to borrow them
from local churches. Meanwhile I started doing 3 major concerts a year with
my high school groups, the last one being the first week of June so I don't
have soooooo long till the end of the school year. Hope this helps,
Cindy Howell

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jason,

I know exactly what you are talking about. To solve your problem....I
always make my choirs read through lots of easy music. It should be very
accesible, but also fun.
Of course you will have like at least five kids ask you "Why are we still
learning music after the concert?" or "Are we going to perform this
anytime."

They want to know if they are supposed to work by asking that... well tell
them whatever you need to... I typically get distracted by another student
when that happens. ha ha ha. Ya know whatever works.

So.... to answer your question... lots of reading.

Eric

Choir Director
Sumter High School
Sumter, SC

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I always do a recording of everything they have done for the year...this
takes hours upon hours!!!

Not only do I listen to each take to see what went wrong, but I also play
some for them so they can hear what they are doing. Telling the tenors they
are shouty or flat, or whatever is nothing like when they listen and react
to what they are doing.

I just use a mini-disc recorder with a condenser mic and then when they are
ready, I get someone professional to record. You always make money, its
worthwhile being educational and fun!

Good luck!

-brian dehn

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How about teaching them the basic conducting patterns and then letting them
take turns conducting the group? Or listen to a recording of the group's
latest concert together?

Alice Cavanaugh
Harrison, NY
In the past we have held a talent night. We have done a lip sync show. We
even held a dinner show. Because of time, we have done lighter music.

Good Luck !


Twenty years ago (!! Hell, I feel ancient!) I wrote an article for Music
Educators Journal (April, 1983) entitled "Between the Last Choral Concert
and Summer Vacation." It may contain some ideas of interest. With the
current interest in good-weather Renaissance "faires" in various states an
interdisciplinary project with English and history might make for some fun
times unless your colleagues are real grinds for final exam reviews.

David Tovey, PhD
Associate Professor of Music Education
Ohio State University


Find a local sports team (pro or not) that would allow your group to sing
the National Anthem at the start of a game. You may also look into doing a
couple of other numbers during a half-time or "7th inning stretch" if your
students already know the SSB.



Below are some activities I have done with MS, but could be adapted to HS:

creating and building an instrument and writing an ad for it,

researching a musician - contemporary or classical - and writing a
report/Powerpoint presentation/poster/brochure over their person or group,

Creating their own composition and using staff paper or a computer program
to write it

On days were lots of students were gone for other reasons I would have
students help me put away music, check items on my inventory, dust/vacuum my
room or the stage area.

I hope this helps!

Kelly Ballard
USD 349 Stafford Schools
Stafford KS



take a look at choral singing in other areas... such as musical theatre...
lots of opportunites to discuss styles... listen to recordings... watch
videos....

or the sightsinging thing is fun... throw in solfeg with the hand symbols...

do you have handbells, choir chimes, orff stuff or boomwhackers for the kids
to play? these things always help the kids have a more hands on experience
with tech stuff like note and rhythm reading. even using "found"
percussion, reading simple percussion ensemble music (or creating your own
with the kids) is a good concentration exercise.

i am pretty new at this stuff too... my suggestions are all based on the
things i have done this year with my k-5 groups... they have all worked...
even in the hellish situation i am in. after one year of this, i am going
back to teaching kindergarten next fall.....

i have learned one things this year... and unfortunately it has been to
almost hate music. those with the gift to be able to teach kids how to
appreciate music through a hands on approach deserve the highest of
praise.... i am not one of those folks. it's been a bad year for me too.

good luck... peace

phil

--
Phil Micheal
Director of Music
Jefferson Ave. Presbyterian Church
(A great place to be!)
Detroit, Michigan
church website: www.japc.org




I close my year out with two activities--
1) 20 minutes a day sight-reading
2) Doo-wop acappella. They enjoy it, and it makes them better musicians.
It's fun and they are honing their listening, pitch, and acappella skills.

One year each student had to write a letter to the arranger/composer of the
song they enjoyed the most throughout the year. We heard back from three of
them! These people don't often get feedback from students and enjoyed their
letters. I've also spent a week having the students create recruitment
posters to be hung around the school at the end of the week.

-Denise Baccadutre
Moriarty High School Choral Director
Moriarty, New Mexico




Why don't you try dividing the class up into small groups and have them
work on a "performance" project? In other words, have them work on sing a
song as a group, with soloists and back-up singers, etc., maybe allowing
them to do some sort of pop selection and then have a "recital" at the end
of the semester. We used to do this when I taught at an inner-city high
school in New Jersey. We allowed them to perform a pop song or any other
songwith certain rules: it had to be a group effort, they had to sing live,
they had to stage it (some choreography), etc. Then on a given day at the
end of the year we had class recitals and invited other classes to come and
be an audience. It was kind of like a series of daytime talent shows. The
good thing is that the students worked in groups during class time and my
role as the teacher was just to supervise them. They were graded on their
participation and the outcome of the final project. Where ever possible we
had live accompaniment, and the processs of rehearsing, singing, working on
intonation issues, etc., was very valuable. The students really got into it
and had to learn to work independently.

Patricia Corbin
Director of Choral Activities
Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville, AL



Dear Jason
I have them do class performance projects. They can choose to do a lip sync
solo, a real live solo,(some do Broadway or Art songs.) or this year I am
adding an American Idol portion. They must memorize their music, bring
their accompanist or sound track, where they can rotate into the judges
seats. If required they must costume. I do let them add others, but the
solo has got to be theirs. I film them, and then we watch them on the last
few days of school. The kids look forward to it. I do give them some class
time to look for music
and prepare.




Try a multi-media project. They can use video, art,poetry,music- either
original or not and have them pick one of say 3 song titles that you give
them. In the past I have used- winter wonderland ( seasonal,obviously),
Give peace a chance, Put little love in your heart..... you get the idea.
They can create anything they want of quality to depict the song title. I
have had collages, media-books, videos, original poetry..... it usually
works. Good luck



How about a unit on the history of jazz singers?




take the time to begin rehearsing some of the bigger stuff you have planned
for next year. that way those returning to your program will have a bit of
"prior
knowledge" and be able to greet the pieces as "old friends" in the fall. You
could also work on fixing any technical things you might not have had the
time to fix while under the pressure of upcoming performances...i would kill
for a time like that with my groups.




One I just thought of you might want to consider. You could have a
combination history/composition assignment. You could assign a familiar
song say twinkle, twinke little star to everyone and then divide them
into groups. Assign each group a time period to research. (you might
just want to provide handouts on each period with musical examples since
they are younger students, but that's your call) The assignment is to
learn about their assigned time period (or I suppose you could do
composer as well) and make twinkle twinkle sound like it came from that
time period. As far as the musical arrangement goes you could keep it
simple, just arrange the melody or more complex depending on the
needs/abilities of your students.

Then when the projects are complete each group can peform their
arrangement of twinkle, twinkle for the class.

You could also do basic theory WS - I can mail you a bunch of copies if
you want to go strictly theory. I use a combined sequence and exercises
from 3 different theory books and my own worksheets, but I usually don't
do these as end of the year activities, they are general assignments
throughout the year.

Or you could go strictly music history and base it all on the music
you've done throughout the year. Study the time periods & composers. I
usually give handouts about each period, style, or composer along with a
worksheet. I have the students complete these independently. Then
after they've been completed I have them work in groups and have them
compare and contrast periods, composers. (I give them a handout to help
them through this) I've also had them look for period, style, or
composer traits in the music that they have sung. Generally speaking
they like the group work.

Robbie Doelger
Choir Director
Bay Port High School

on June 11, 2003 10:00pm
You can:
Have a pops concert (kids bring their own sound track tapes or piano, guitar, etc.)
Or work on the song for Baccaluareate and/or graduation.
And, to keep reading skills current, read some things you are looking at for next year.
Virginia Volpe
Dripping Springs High School