Choir that won't rehearse
Date: March 14, 2013
I've hit the wall. My high school Chamber Choir will not get their music learned. They don't rehearse outside of class and anything that does get done on the music happens with me in front of the group. I'm super frustrated.
Here's a little "back story".
The group is made up of juniors and seniors. They are all auditioned and have all been in my program in previous years. The group generally produces a Madrigal Feaste prior to Christmas. I postponed it because they just could/would not learn their music. After Christmas break I cancelled it because they STILL were not learning their music. I "benched" a couple of kids for a performance away from school. That seemed to have about 2 weeks worth of value. We've had some just ugly performances and some that were pretty good.
I've concentrated on theory and sight singing believing that new found independence would help them practice and thus, retain. I've "dumbed down" the literature a bit and that has not netted better results. I've made rehearsal recordings. I've slowed the pace and extended the tme frame to learn the music. We've set benchmark dates for learning small sections, memorizing small sections and bringing things to a place of performance readiness.
I went to a session with Andre Thomas on "Positive Rehearsals" and came back ready to try it. I've turned disapprovals into instruction. The result? Kids feel better about rehearsals and are getting even less done. BUT, by golly, I am sticking to the positive plan!
This is year 24 for me and I feel like I have no answers. Two years ago this ensemble was singing at the All-NW NAfME Conference. I'm not one to give up . . . ever . . . So, any thoughts would be magnificent!
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