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Directors' Toolbox

Preparing Students for Auditions

December 4, 2018

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!”

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Directors' Toolbox

Teaching Concert Etiquette

November 9, 2015

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.

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Directors' Toolbox

The Process of Practicing

October 9, 2015

“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?

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Directors' Toolbox

Repertoire – Choosing Quality Choral Music, Part 1

January 31, 2014

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!

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