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Choral Caffeine: Every Choir is Full of Kids

At one of the colleges where I taught, the full faculty gathered once a month for a (usually incredibly long) meeting.  Of the many things I took away from those sessions was one item that has left an indelible mark:  once away from critical gaze of their students and left to their own devices a couple hundred college professors will behave like sugared-up four-year olds.
When you think about it, it’s perfectly logical.  Though it will never appear on anyone’s vita, we all had the same first job title . . . “Kid.”  In computer-ese, it’s our core programming, our default setting.
So, why should our thinking about rehearsal be any different?  I’m not suggesting boom-whackers in a collegiate choral rehearsal, but certainly what speaks to our inner kid can be an effective teaching tool.
That said, I dare ya – I double-dog dare ya! – to read Karen Sims’ article “Dynamic (and Effective) Teaching with Junior High/Middle School Singers.”  I’m willing to bet that those suggestions (modified, of course, to the demands of the literature) will be valuable and productive in ANY choral rehearsal environment – whether that be a school choral classroom, a church choir, the top choir at Ginormous State University, the stuffiest symphonic chorus, or Chanticleer.
Now, I’m gonna go put on my Converse All-Stars and chew some bubble gum . . .
(To access the full article, simply click the highlighted title. For additional articles on a dazzling array of choral topics, visit  ChorTeach.)
on September 22, 2011 2:00am
Whenever I run a singing workshop for adults and am faced with a sea of nervous faces before we even begin, I always tell everyone "This is your opportunity to be four-years-old for the day. Time off from your daily responsibilities. No need to get embarrassed as we're all in the same boat. Time to play!"
There aren't many activities in life that allow you to behave like that with permission and with other grown-ups. Once everyone has embraced the idea it's a joy to see responsibilities and "shoulds and oughts" shrugged off and the whole room becomes playful, alive and ready to learn and create.
It's the biggest joy with a room full of reserved business men or senior professors!!!!
Suffolk, UK