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

Is it feasible to teach middle school choir without any piano skills?

   Is it feasible to teach middle school choir without any piano skills?
   I am an elementary music specialist fresh out of graduate school, getting a little desperate for a job.
   I have an interview for a position that is at three schools, 4-6 General Music/Choir, 4-6 General Music/Choir, and 7-8 Choir. I turned down the interview at first-- I told the principal I have no piano skills and limited ensemble experience because of my K-5 background. But the principal was really positive he wanted me to interview, and seemed very willing to help in terms of hiring pianist at concerts and using recordings. He especially requested I interview, so that will be happening soon.
   While I have the musicanship skills (I'm Orff and Kodaly trained) and the classroom skills to teach 4-8, I truly can't play piano because of a chronic-pain issue. Is possible to teach choir without piano? I don't want to get over my head, but I also would like to work, even if it's not the K-5 position I'd feel more prepared for.
Replies (10): Threaded | Chronological
on July 24, 2012 8:03am
Kasey,
 
I agree with everything Steve says.  I am a pianist who has been teaching middle school music for 33 years, and I have to really work to stay away from the piano that "gives all the answers" to the students.  Many of the student teachers I have worked with did not have strong piano skills.  Principals who call for job references are concerned about this and I always explain that if hired, their choirs will be stronger because they won't be "leaning" on the piano.  Once you develop a plan you are comfortable with, you will be fine.  Go for it!
 
Suzanne
  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.