It never failed. Late November into December, when my performing groups were approaching the final stages of concert preparation, one or more students would ask me, “Can you help me prepare a piece for my audition?” Most of the time it was for an early college audition, or an audition for a musical. “When is your audition, and what are you planning to sing?” were my first questions. The answer was predictable: “I’m not sure when it is, and I was hoping you could help me choose a song!”
Are you a band director yet you find yourself teaching chorus? In Part 1: Preparing Your Singers I discussed setting up and managing the choral room, breathing and warm-ups, and reading music. Now you’re ready for
Part 2: Choosing Music
When deciding which music to choose, consider the following questions:
Part 1: Preparing Your Singers
During my teaching career, I noticed that there were many music teachers who would have liked to have known more about teaching both band and chorus – perhaps in order to be considered for more job opportunities, but sometimes simply in order to DO or KEEP their current job.
One of the most frustrating experiences a music teacher or director can have is a concert audience that is disrespectful. Whether it is cell phones ringing during the performance, shouts from family members to their children on stage, slamming doors or crying infants, all of us have experienced people behaving badly in a concert setting.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
— Abraham Lincoln
“Now, go home and practice!” How many times have we as music teachers voiced those words to our students?
Much has been written about recruitment and retention for music programs. With the uptick in access to social media, there are even more opportunities to share and acquire new ideas every day.
Now that you have found some potential pieces and they fit the “who, what, when, where and why” of your practical considerations, what now? Consider the following additional questions:
In Part 1 we discussed practical considerations in choosing repertoire, such as the makeup of your performing group and the expectations of your intended audience. Now we’ll look at how to find appropriate literature:
Of the responsibilities that music teachers have, perhaps one of the most challenging is that of finding and choosing quality repertoire. With the amount of literature available for all types of ensembles, the task of selecting the best music for student ensembles has become somewhat daunting. Not only do we need to keep the capabilities and interests of our students in mind, but also our audiences; both parents and administrators alike!