ChorTeach is ACDA’s quarterly online publication, designed for those who work with singers of all levels. A full annotated ChorTeach index is available online at acda.org/chorteach. Over 160 articles are organized into seventeen categories. For submission information, to view the index, or to read the latest issue, visit acda.org/chorteach.
Volume 11, issue 2 contains the following five articles.
• A Conductor’s Greatest Untapped Resource
William Hienz, University of Louisiana-Lafayette and Conservatory of Music, Lawrence University, previously
“While many practitioners have not had the opportunity to study with virtuoso conductors or even excellent teachers, we can now study the traits and styles of conductors of our choosing. We can be inspired by observing the best of the best. Whether we are beginners or professionals, conducting large or small ensembles, choral or instrumental focus, young singers or a town and gown community chorus performing major oratorios, we can learn by watching both the good and the bad. With that in mind, consider three overarching areas where the plethora of videos available provide valuable instruction: knowledge of the score, baton technique, and stage deportment.”
• A Community Divided: Gendered Discourse in the Ensemble Classroom
Eric Rubinstein, Queens College, Melville, New York
“In a world where “boys will be boys” and “you _______ like a girl,” we often do not realize the negative impact our words and actions have on adolescent males and females. Many of our teaching practices tend to reflect our implicit and perceived sex and gender biases. Based on my experiences in both secondary and higher education, I find that discussions regarding diversity in education focus more on socio-economic status and cultural identity and less on gender discourse. In this article, I hope to show that despite our ongoing work to promote gender equality, we may actually be making it worse.
“In our attempts to treat all students equitably, we might also be encouraging more divisiveness (whether we are aware of it or not). I also wonder if this is a never ending cycle. Are we really doing anything different or are we talking about diversity just to check off a box? Outlined below, I challenge all choral directors to decide whether their repertoire choices, ensemble structures, curricula, and pedagogy are fair and equitable for all students, male and female alike.”
• The Unique Attributes of a Collegiate Ensemble Director
Sarin Williams, University of Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Ohio
“As an aspiring college professor, there are a variety of positions one might consider for the future. Collegiate music faculty generally fall into three main categories: academic instructors, applied music instructors, and ensemble directors. Not only are these very different types of positions with radically different daily duties, but within each position, applications can vary greatly.
“How, then, does a student make an informed decision about which jobs to apply for and what type of career they would most enjoy? One answer is to seek advice from knowledgeable faculty already in these positions as to the positive and negative aspects of every job and institution. This article attempts to aid in such a search by sharing the wisdom of six collegiate ensemble conductor/teachers and their insights into the diff erent world their positions occupy.”
• Asking Facebook Colleagues What Enhances Choral Sound – A Pilot Study
Derrick Thompson, Staunton River Middle & High School, Lynchburg, Virginia
“During the school year, conductors introduce many methods and approaches to help their students recognize the importance of proper singing technique and singing together as a group. These approaches can be presented through warm-ups, the repertoire chosen, or by listening to other high-quality performing ensembles. But the question is, what does choral and vocal pedagogy look and feel like, in action, in the classroom? What are we choral directors doing to enhance the sound of their choir and help our singers grow?”
• Sight Singing for Others at Your School
Lindsay Brazell, Chesnee High School, Duncan, South Carolina
“Sight reading is often something we practice in the comfort of our own classrooms. Maybe once or twice a year, we sight read at a festival or at an adjudicated event. That is all well and good, but I’d like to challenge you to do something that might make you a little uncomfortable—sight read in front of an audience. Not in front of judges or other choirs, but in front of non-choir folk, or as I like to call them, regular people.”