Choral Caffeine: Rehearsal Accountability
Date: February 12, 2014
In an age when digital “friends” have replaced genuine friendships, when texts take the place of face-to-face communications, and perception is valued more than truth, it should come as no surprise that our students are utterly blind to the concept of accountability. Then again, how could they understand when pernicious helicopter mommies and daddies confront faculty every time their little darlings earns a bad grade?
There are, however, those in our profession fighting the good fight. In her article. “Rehearsal Strategies and Rubrics for Choirs” (California Cantate, Vol.24, No.1), Genevieve Tep outlines four rehearsal concepts for her students that while simple to most of us may be retaliatory to the “everyone gets a trophy” crowd.
Responsibility in rehearsal is putting your music in order, having your pencil, being on time and practicing sections of your music that need work.
Responsiveness means that you watch and listen to the conductor so you can respond to different conducting gestures. This is how choirs make music.
3. Active participation
Active participation means you are always working on your music during rehearsal. If the director is addressing the needs of another section, you are listening and taking notes in your score or looking over a section you need to master, or you are audiating your part. If discussion is taking place during rehearsal, you listen to all questions and responses since much, if not all of it, will apply to you.
4. Goal setting
Always have a choral goal for each day for each piece of music we rehearse. What goals do you need to set as a singer to make the group goal happen? Do you need to work on specific intervals, modify your tone, improve your posture, breathe more deeply? The choir cannot move forward without each singer setting individual goals. What do you need to do to make the music come alive?
(For additional articles on a dazzling array of choral topics, visit ChorTeach.)