Help! Instrumentalist dealing with attitudes
Date: September 24, 2013
This is my second year as a choral music educator, having graduated from college with an emphasis on instrumental (mostly band) music. Last year I taught at a middle school, and this year, I'm teaching middle school AND high school in a district with a rather well-established program.
Middle school is great, and the high schoolers have been (for the most part) pretty welcoming. However, I have one girl who thinks she knows everything about music. Today, she raised her hand in the middle of class and asked, "When are you actually going to teach us about tone like Mr. Jones would? Half the people in here don't know how to sing and we sound like a bunch of 5-year-olds." True, I haven't sat them down and had a lecture about how to sing. It's a 9-12 choir, so there's a variety of abilities. We've been slowly learning our music by rote while reviewing/learning how to sight-read and use solfege for a small time everyday. When we sing, I often give demonstrations of how to use tall vowels, use enough space in the mouth, head voice vs. chest voice, etc. I figured we can fix tone as we go along, especially since we don't have a lot of time to learn the three pieces before the fall concert.
My question is this: is there something I should be telling them that I'm not? Should I actually sit them down and lecture about "good vocal technique?" Is there something I'm missing here?
Replies (11): Threaded | Chronological