That number one inhibitor I identified is not funding, or literature, or attitude, or culture, or any of the other culprits that seem to pepper our debates. That inhibitor is not reading sessions, worship wars, lack of appreciation, music publication, “the man”, music literacy, or lack of interest.
The primary demon I hear across the country related to our efforts to advance the love and benefits of choral music education and performance is the problem of communication. Communication challenges include connecting to others, channeling our advocacy efforts, and helping people understand why choral music participation is inherent to American culture.
This time next week the national leadership of the American Choral Directors Association will meet in Chicago, IL, to focus on ACDA’s mission. The purpose of our Leadership Conference is to think about our work in the 21st century and how we plan to continue to make our mission relevant. The second purpose of our Leadership Conference is to learn how to use the tools we need to help us do our job, and those tools relate to communciation. Our leaders are made up of the current ACDA state presidents and treasurers, ACDA division presidents and/or president-elects, the ACDA Executive Committee, our Standing Committee Chairs, and the ACDA National Leadership Board.
In addition to our ACDA representatives, we will host leaders from other organizations such as Music Teachers National Association, American Guild of Organists, National Association of Pastoral Musicians, Chorus America, Music Educators National Association, and Choristers Guild, and others with similar interests and overlapping music education and choral purposes, as we think about the strategic imperative of collaboration. We chose Chicago for our Conference this year due to the fact that Chicago will host our 2011 ACDA National Conference next March 9-12.
As a result of ACDA’s focused effort at collaboration, ChoralNet and the American Choral Directors Association merged our efforts within the last year specifically due to the need to address the topic of communication.The tool we will focus on in Chicago with the ACDA Leadership Conference is the communication concept of “Communities” through ACDA ChoralNet. You can read more about our work on this new communication tool at http://bit.ly/9GnQpN, and learn from Jim Feiszli how this new tool developed at https://www.choralnet.org/view/258642. I hope you will make ACDA ChoralNet a daily part of your choral life as our communication goal is pursued and realized.