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Student leadership models - one time per week rehearsal

I'm looking to involve my high school students in leadership roles.  For those of you who have effective student leadership models in high school choirs, how do you achieve it?  What are your student officers, their duties, their privileges, and how do you select/elect these officers?  We are an all-girls community chorus that meets once per week.  
 
I know that this question has been asked before, but when I do a search for the topic, only the question comes up and no answers are shown.   I'd love to hear from anyone who has had real-life success with choral officers and/or leaders.  
on June 3, 2014 2:47am
In our high school music program, section leaders of the band, choir, and orchestra meet together before school at 6:45am every Friday, where our band dir./dept head teaches a leadership curriculum he has developed.  After a few weeks of talking about the importance of encouragment, and then having the students role play conversations about issues their section is having, the focus moves to meeting on a consistent basis with a younger student in your ensemble.  It is all voluntary.  Some students slowly stop coming to the meetings, some need a year or two to absorb the info before they act on it, and some students really embrace it.  It is neat to see students who were inspired by upperclassmen 2-3 years ago become those upper classmen and invest in the new generation of younger students.  I admit my choir is behind the band and orchestra in this process, but this format has been the main leadership focus in our dept. for a while.
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on June 14, 2014 8:25pm
I've been doing a lot of development over the last couple of years of my student leadership structure. There is no short answer, as your leadership model will to some extent have to organically fit your situation, your student culture, and your needs.
 
My student officers write a letter of application in the spring, so I can announce them (ideally at our awards banquet) and have the leadership in place going through the summer to help get the year started well. I have a president who runs the meetings, works with me to set the agenda, runs the car wash and talent show fund raisers, and who understands the higher purpose of what we're doing. We have a secretary who has a very important duty of taking weekly meeting minutes and disseminating the "who does what" information, so that things actually get done and not just talked about at meetings. We have a treasurer who helps record payments and works with the parents who do the box office. And then we have a few different V.P. positions whose jobs can sometimes change from year to year - Trip V.P., Events V.P., Publicity V.P., Hospitality V.P., Spirit V.P., etc. We don't always have all of these, and I would only fill them if the people were right.
 
I also have a lot of information stored on the cloud that helps them plan their work. For instance, we have a detailed manual written up for how the Talent Show gets produced. We also have a manual for how we do the car wash, what the different student job descriptions are, etc. I have found cloud computing to be an invaluable tool to make sure we're not reinventing the wheel every year. And every year, we debrief and make changes and additions to these manuals to improve upon it for next year.
 
I have found that although you can and should teach the mechanics of good leadership, you really can't turn anyone into a good leader who doesn't exhibit a lot of good leadership qualities already. It is very, very important that you get the right students with a good work ethic and who share your vision. That is why I insist that, even for those awesome students who are a shoo-in for a leadership position, that they write me a paper and include a resume in order to apply. A number of leadership wanna-bes don't want to bother with writing out a resume or a few paragraphs explaining their vision for choir. Well, that's OK, I just weeded out some students who aren't right for the role.
 
The go-to guy for music leadership programs is Scott Lang. If you can check out any of his workshops on leadership, or if you can get a chance to see him speak, do it! If you can't do that this summer, at the very least go get his Leadership Survival Guide. Be forewarned that your leadership program may take two or three years to really get going, but it will transform your program when it does.
 
 
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