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Repertoire Research Question

Hello, I am a student at the Crane School of Music conducting some research on middle school repertoire. If you have some time, I would love your input on a few questions.
  1. Have you taught middle school choir?
  2. About how many students were in your choir?
  3. What resources do you use to find repertoire?
  4. Do you find SAB or SATB music to be more successful for middle school? Why?
  5. Have you ever started working on a piece and realized before the concert that it wasn’t the right choice for your choir?
  6. Do you ever find the students to be disappointed if a piece is not working out and it has to be cut?
  7. Have you ever altered or adjusted a piece of music when you noticed that it wasn’t working for your choir? How did you make the adjustment, and how did it work?
 
Thank you for your time!
Replies (4): Threaded | Chronological
on August 11, 2014 10:50pm
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on August 12, 2014 6:31am
1.Have you taught middle school choir?  - YES

2.About how many students were in your choir?  -  56 in mixed, 20 in boys.

3.What resources do you use to find repertoire?   -   School library, I compose, choralnet, JW Pepper, ask colleagues

4.Do you find SAB or SATB music to be more successful for middle school? Why?   -   SAB.  Most boys ranges haven't developed yet, so a homogenius range is best.  Plus, boys with recently changed voices often have a hard time matching pitch.  Better to put them all on the same part, vs. forcing them to sing independent parts. 

5.Have you ever started working on a piece and realized before the concert that it wasn’t the right choice for your choir?    -   YES.  It's taken me a few years to learn this lesson, but I have finally succumbed to the notion that you must pick appropriate literature for your choir - both that they can access, find success and joy in, and that challenges.

6.Do you ever find the students to be disappointed if a piece is not working out and it has to be cut?   -  YES.  In those cases, I explain that I often will program a piece for educational purposes, and although they are doing an awesome job on it, we don't have the time to polish it to perfection, and our time would be better spend polishing the rest of our music.  I thank them for being up for the challenge, and apologize that we won't be doing a piece they enjoyed.  We may bring it back next semester/year though!! 

7.Have you ever altered or adjusted a piece of music when you noticed that it wasn’t working for your choir? How did you make the adjustment, and how did it work?   -   YES.  I've cut entire voice parts to simplify things.  I've had piano play with the parts.  I've had sopranos sing another note in the chord if a high note was out of their range. 
 
 
Hope this helps Abigail! 
 
Andy
 
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