Becoming a Choral Music Teacher

August 8, 2017 | Author: Ed Cota | Category: Conducting, Singing, Music Education, Choir, Pop Culture
Share Embed Donate

Short Description

Download Becoming a Choral Music Teacher...


Becoming a Choral Music Teacher Becoming a Choral Music Teacher is a practical yet innovative textbook for Choral Methods and Materials. It is intended to prepare Music Education majors and Choral Conducting majors to be effective middle school and high school choral music teachers by: • giving students the opportunity to explore course content immediately through engaging workbook assignments; • fully integrating the choral field experience, taking each chapter’s content into a secondary choral classroom for hands-on learning and reflection; • starting with middle school before moving to high school choral teaching in order to understand the logical evolution of the adolescent voice and person; • immersing each student in extended field experiences; • allowing the student to spend more time observing and teaching the book’s principles than reading lengthy and detailed textbook theories; • impressing upon the choral methods student the importance of strong score preparation, piano and conducting skills; • presenting research findings on effective ways to teach choral music. In addition, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher covers the essentials of vocal development, auditions, literature, rehearsal planning, classroom management, specialized ensembles, and practical matters. It also includes numerous “brainteaser” assignments in every chapter. Patrice Madura Ward-Steinman is a Professor of Music (Education) at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she teaches choral and research methods. She has presented workshops on vocal jazz improvisation and creative thinking at conferences nationally and internationally. Publications include Getting Started with Voc al Improvisation, and articles in Teaching Music in the Urban Classroom, Journal of Research in Music Education, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, and Journal of Historical Research in Music Education.

Becoming a Choral Music Teacher A Field Experience Workbook


First published 2010 by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 Simultaneously published in the UK by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2009. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to

© 2010 Taylor & Francis All rights reserved. The purchase of this copyright material confers the right on the purchaser to photocopy pages 18, 37, 51–3, 77, 82, 91, 113–15, 137 and 171 only. No other part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Madura, Patrice D. Becoming a choral music teacher : a field experience workbook / by Patrice Madura Ward-Steinman. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. 1. Choral singing—Instruction and study. 2. Choruses—Bibliography. I. Title. MT930.M33 2010 782.5071—dc22 2009019649 ISBN 0-203-86842-0 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN 10: 0–415–99841–7 (pbk) ISBN 10: 0–203–86842–0 (ebk) ISBN 13: 978–0–415–99841–3 (pbk) ISBN 13: 978–0–203–86842–3 (ebk)

For David, my beloved husband


List of Illustrations



xix xxiii

Acknowledgments 1




Characteristics of the Inspirational Teacher The Voice Teacher The Error Detector The Sight-Singer The Memorizer The Arranger/Composer/Improviser The Scholar The Manager The Leader The Teacher The Mentor The Advocate and Philosopher The Pianist/Accompanist Warm-Up Skills 7


1 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 6



Score-Reading 8 Technique 9 Accompanying 9 The Conductor Beat Patterns 10 The Left Hand 13 Preparatory Beats 13 Off-Beat Cues 14 Fermatas 15 Conducting from the Piano 16 Brainteasers 1-1: Practicing Piano and Conducting Skills 17 1-2: Securing the Field Placement 17 1-3: Organizing Course Materials 19 1-4: My Choral Experience and Philosophy 19 1-5: My Action Plan 19 2





Managing the Stages of Vocal Change Managing the Stages of Physical and Psychological Change Procedures and Rules 30 Consequences 31 Brainteasers 2-1: Observing the Middle School Choir Rehearsal 32 2-2: Interviewing the Middle School Choir Teacher 33 2-3: Creating Procedures, Rules and Consequences 33 3






Vocal Ranges and the Changing Voice Audition Strategies and Seating Brainteaser 3-1: Auditioning the Middle School Singer 39 Effective Vocal Warm-Ups for Changing Voices Preparing the Body for Singing 43 Respiration 43 Phonation 44 Resonance 44

34 35



22 28




Registration 45 Agility and Expression 46 Range Extension 46 Diction 47 Brainteasers 3-2: Creating Middle School Warm-Ups 50 3-3: Observing Middle School Warm-Ups 50 3-4: Conducting Middle School Warm-Ups 50 4











Guidelines for Middle School Repertoire Selection Graded Choral Repertoire for Middle School Selected Repertoire for Middle School Choirs Beginning Middle School Choirs: Treble Chorus 61 Beginning Middle School Choirs: Male Chorus 61 Beginning Middle School Choirs: Mixed Chorus 61 Advanced Middle School Choirs: Treble Chorus 62 Advanced Middle School Choirs: Male Chorus 62 Advanced Middle School Choirs: Mixed Chorus 62 Brainteaser 4-1: Attending Choral Music Conferences 63 Score Analysis and Preparation Brainteaser 4-2: Analyzing and Marking the Choral Score 64 Photocopying Choral Music and the Copyright Law Choral Resources via the Internet Brainteaser 4-3: Searching the Internet for Middle School Choral Music 67

55 60 61




Recruiting and Retaining Middle School Singers Pounding the Pavement 68 Single-Gender Ensembles 69 Nothing Succeeds like Success 70 Musical Skills and Standards for Middle School Singers Teaching Strategies Long-Term Curriculum and Unit Planning 73


64 65



70 73




Brainteasers 5-1: Creating a Middle School Choral Curriculum 76 5-2: Applying the National Standards 76 Lesson Planning 78 Brainteaser 5-3: Writing a Rehearsal Plan 79 Assessment and Grading Brainteasers 5-4: Creating a Rubric 84 5-5: Observing the Middle School Choral Rehearsal 84 5-6: Creating a Grading Plan 84 Final Thoughts






Vocal Ranges Auditions Audition Procedures 89 Tessitura 90 Voice Timbre 90 Pitch and Tonal Memory 92 Sight-Singing 92 Solo 93 Brainteaser 6-1: Auditioning High School Voices 94 Choir Seating Brainteaser 6-2: Exploring Singer Placement 95 Values and Challenges Age Proximity 95 Recruitment 96 Brainteasers 6-3: Recruiting Singers 98 6-4: Observing a High School Choir 98 6-5: Interviewing the High School Music Teacher 98 6-6: Developing High School Rules and Consequences 99 7




Vocal Curriculum for 9th and 10th Grades Relaxation and Respiration 102 Phonation and Registration 102


81 84

86 88

94 95







Resonance 103 Diction 103 Expression 104 Vocal Curriculum for 11th and 12th Grades Relaxation and Respiration 104 Phonation and Registration 105 Resonance 105 Intonation 106 Articulation 106 Range Expansion and Velocity 109 Diction 109 Expression 110 Summary of the Vocal Curriculum Brainteasers 7-1: Creating High School Warm-Ups 112 7-2: Observing High School Warm-Ups 112 7-3: Conducting and Self-Evaluating High School Warm-Ups 112 Vocal Health








Mixed Choir Music Women’s Choir Music Men’s Choir Music Sacred Music in the Public Schools Score Analysis Diction Analysis Performance Practice Renaissance 128 Baroque 129 Classical 129 Romantic 129 20th-Century 130 Brainteasers 8-1: Analyzing and Marking the Choral Score 130 8-2: Attending a High School Choral Concert 130 8-3: Collecting and Annotating Choral Scores 131 8-4: Creating a Performance Practice Chart 131


111 112

118 122 123 125 126 128 128


xii 9




The High School Ensemble Curriculum 132 Effective Rehearsals 133 Daily Rehearsal Planning 133 Literature-Based Warm-Ups 133 Sight-Singing 134 Brainteasers 136 9-1: Observing Robert Shaw’s Count-Singing Approach 136 9-2: Creating a Sight-Singing Lesson Plan 136 Essential Skills and Knowledge 136 138 Brainteasers 9-3: Comparing and Contrasting Choral Curriculum Guides 138 9-4: Developing a Curriculum Unit Plan 139 139 Effective Teaching Strategies The Complete Teaching Cycle 139 Brainteaser 9-5: Practicing the Complete Teaching Cycle 140 Conductor Magnitude 140 Brainteaser 9-6: Practicing Conductor Magnitude 141 Teacher Talk 141 Brainteaser 9-7: Practicing “Seven Words or Less” 142 Assessment and Evaluation 142 Brainteaser 9-8: Developing Evaluation Criteria 143 143 Classroom Management 10 VOCAL JAZZ



Vocal Jazz Ensembles Roots 146 Repertoire 147 Performance Practice 149 Brainteaser 10-1: Listening to Vocal Jazz 154 Madrigal Ensembles Repertoire 154 Madrigal Dinners 155 Brainteaser 10-2: Attending a Madrigal Dinner 157 Gospel Choir







Performance Practice 158 Brainteaser 10-3: Attending a Gospel Choir Performance 160 Multicultural Music 160 Repertoire 160 Performance Practice 161 Brainteaser 10-4: Learning World Music 162 162 A Cappella Groups Barbershop and Sweet Adelines 162 Contemporary A Cappella 163 Show Choir 163 Brainteaser 10-5: Attending a Show Choir Concert 165 Musical Theater 165 Brainteaser 10-6: Attending a High School Musical Theater Production 166 11 CHECKLISTS






Concert Programming and Planning Pro gramming Principles 167 Long-Term Concert Planning 168 Short-Term Concert Planning 169 The Final Warm-Up 169 Brainteaser 11-1: Creating a Choral Concert and Pro gram 170 Choir Festivals and Travel Honor Choirs 176 Festivals, Contests, Competitions, and Clinics 176 Adjudication 177 Travel 178 Voice Care 179 Fund-raising and Budgets First-Year Teacher Challenges and Mentoring Time Management 180 Other Challenges 181 Mentoring 182 Finale 182




179 180





A: The International Phonetic Alphabet and Word Stress B: Score Excerpts for Practice C: The Mission and Purposes of ACDA D: MENC Mission Statement E: U.S. Copyright Law, Individual Chapter and Appendix Titles

183 185 195 198 200









1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 3.1 3.2 7.1 10.1 10.2 10.3 11.1 11.2 11.3

Proper Conducting Stance, Beat 1 Proper Conducting Stance, Beat 2 Proper Conducting Stance, Beat 3 Proper Conducting Stance, Beat 4 Left Hand Independence Preparatory Gesture and Facial Expression Conducting from the Piano Personal Data Audition Form Middle School Warm-Up High School Warm-Up Vocal Jazz Ensemble Gospel Choir Light in the Piazza Concert Program Cover Concert Program, pages 2–3 Concert Program, back cover

11 11 12 12 13 14 17 37 51 113 145 157 165 172 173 175




1.1 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 6.1 8.1 9.1 11.1 A.1

Rating Scales for Performance Skills Curriculum Unit Example Middle School Curriculum Framework My Rehearsal Plan Sample Rubric for Sight-Singing Assessment Sample High School Choir Audition Form Structural Memorization Chart Sight-Singing Lesson Plan Concert Planning Grid IPA and Word Stress

18 74 77 82 84 91 127 137 171 183


1.1 2.1 2.2 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4

Adoramus Te by Palestrina Middle School Vocal Ranges and Tessituras Middle School Vocal Common Tones Middle School Simplified Ranges Sight-Singing Example for Trebles/Tenors Sight-Singing Example for Cambiatas/Baritones Musical Memory Examples Vowel Exercise Diction Exercise Diction Exercise Ranges for Siyahamba Ranges for W ho Can Sail? Ranges for Good News! Ranges for Keep Your Lamps! High School SSAATTBB Ranges and Tessituras High School SATB Beginning Ranges and Tessituras High School SATB Advanced Ranges and Tessituras Melodic Imitation Audition Example Moderately Easy Sight-Singing Example Difficult Sight-Singing Example Pitched Laughing Syllables for Phonation Consistency of Registers Exercise Resonance Exercise Intonation Exercise

21 27 27 35 38 38 39 48 49 49 58 59 59 60 87 88 88 92 93 93 103 105 106 106


7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 10.1 10.2 B.1 B.2 B.3 B.4

Sostenuto Exercise Portamento Exercise Vocal Tract Freedom Exercises Messa di Voce Exercise Swing Rhythm 12-Bar Blues Arpeggiated Chords Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart A Virgin Most Pure, arr. Wood Da Pac em by Gounod All Lust und Freud by Hassler


107 108 110 111 149 151 186 188 190 193


Frank: “The most indispensable element of this class was field experience. At first, I saw this component as an unnecessary burden. However, I never imagined the professional opportunities that would develop as a result.” Kayla: “I did not realize that in order to gain the respect and attention of the students, I needed to command their respect and attention. This aspect of teaching has a lot to do with conductor magnitude, moving around the room, making eye contact, speaking loudly, and giving instructions in ‘seven words or less.’ It really interested me that I could learn so much from just the act of doing.” W hitaker: “Working with the same class for many weeks has allowed me to see the overall progression of a middle school choir class. At the beginning of my observations, the students were just learning the pieces, and by the end, they were performing them all the way through. I had never before been with a specific group long enough to see the complete progression.” Rebecc a: “Working with the middle school and high school choirs taught me so much about my capabilities as a teacher and future choral director. And in our class I learned so much from others speaking about their experiences in the field. I was highly interested in rehearsal tactics and different teacher models—observing the two different choral directors was in itself a great experience.”



Michael: “After taking choral methods and spending almost 50 hours observing and teaching at the middle school and high school, the thing that I feel is most important is having the teaching material and music prepared and memorized. Having the score memorized gave me the flexibility to get up from the piano, walk around and listen to the students sing and pinpoint trouble areas. Having the material for a lesson or score memorized also gave me a strong sense of confidence when teaching and I was able to provide a better teaching experience.” These are the responses from the undergraduate choral music education majors who tested this book in its draft form during the fall of 2008. I am pleased that what they found most beneficial about the course were those things that I have thought about for the last 18 years and were the foundation for this book. Having taught choral methods more than a dozen times with several of the fine textbooks over the years, and having conducted choirs of all kinds from elementary school through college, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do differently in this book. My goals were to write a book that: • gives students the opportunity to explore course content immediately through engaging workbook assignments; • fully integrates the choral field experience by taking each chapter’s content into a secondary choral classroom for hands-on learning and reflection; • starts with middle school and moves to high school choral teaching to make logical the evolution of the adolescent voice and person; • immerses each student in extended field experiences with just one or two middle schools and later one or two high schools. These extended placements make it possible for the singers, choral methods students and public school teachers to develop knowledgeable, trusting, and mentoring relationships, unlike the individual observations and teaching stints that rarely resemble the actual teaching experience; • allows the student to spend more time observing and teaching the book’s principles than reading lengthy and detailed textbook theories; • impresses upon the choral methods student the importance of strong score preparation, piano and conducting skills; and



• presents research findings on effective ways to teach choral music. These characteristics make this book distinctly different from all of the other secondary choral methods texts, yet, in addition, it covers the essentials of vocal development, auditions, literature, rehearsal planning, classroom management, specialized ensembles, and practical matters. Although some teachers may choose to supplement this workbook with another text, it can certainly stand alone as the textbook for a choral methods course for undergraduates. This book is very accessible to the undergraduate student, and each chapter includes numerous “brainteaser” assignments from which the instructor may choose. I hope you enjoy and value this new approach to Becoming a Choral Music Teacher. To the Instructor: Teaching a student to become a choral music teacher is no easy task, as you know. The complexities of the required skills and knowledge create a challenge for the choral methods instructor. When teaching this course on a yearly basis, I often felt frustrated trying to balance the wealth of knowledge presented in textbooks with applications of that knowledge into tangible skill. Because there is rarely time for both, I chose in this workbook to 1) simplify the content to the essential points that often get lost in too much narrative, 2) then ask the student to actively explore each chapter’s topics through workbook exercises, and 3) finally explore each topic in a real secondary choral rehearsal. These secondary field experiences enable the student to apply the workbook content in many ways ranging from structured observations and teacher interviews to actual teaching when the choral teacher is amenable. The quotations at the beginning of this section provide evidence of the impact of this approach. The choral methods instructor will find the workbook easy to use, with multiple “brainteaser” assignments from which to choose, and extensive resources for further reading. The workbook approach is realistic and practical, yet supported by the best and most current research in our field. Clear presentations of adolescent vocal ranges, developmental warm-ups, the International Phonetic Alphabet, rehearsal planning and assessment, and repertoire of multiple styles and performance practices are highlighted. Piano and conducting skills are



emphasized throughout the workbook, with sample scores for practice provided. The organization of field experiences should not be a deterrent to the instructor. Although public school settings are most beneficial, the choral methods student can gain equally valuable experience in private school choral rehearsals, as well as with community groups. Some choral teachers are even willing to mentor more than one undergraduate student. By involving and investing the community of choral teachers in the development of our future choral directors, good will and support for each other’s work is enhanced. To the Student: As you re-read the quotations from my undergraduate choral methods students at the beginning of this section, you will see that this book, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher: A Field Experience Workbook, will actively involve you in the essentials of choral music teaching. This workbook provides numerous projects (“brainteasers”) that you will explore in real choral classrooms with live middle school and high school students. You will explore each topic (adolescent ranges, warm-ups, diction, rehearsal strategies, assessment, repertoire, diverse ensembles, programming concerts, and more) through experience. There is no substitute for experience in learning to become a choral music teacher. I hope you enjoy the learning experiences that I have crafted for you in the form of this workbook. I have confidence that the knowledge and skills emphasized in this book will serve you well. Enjoy! Patrice Madura Ward-Steinman Professor of Music Indiana University, Bloomington March 2009


First, thanks are due to my Choral Methods students at Indiana University, whose nature it is to intelligently question, rather than indiscriminately accept, the words of their professor. While exploring each chapter in conjunction with their field experiences during the Fall 2008 trial semester of this book, they found that “theory” often did not match their day-to-day experience with secondary choral singers, and provided insights into how future choral teachers might interpret aspects of the text. These students deserve credit for providing constructive feedback for refining the final version of this book: Whitaker Blackall, Clyde Copeland, Sherrie Howard, Michael Potuck, Rebecca Schatz, Kayla Smith, and Frank Van Atta. Additionally, my graduate class in Advanced Choral Methods provided experienced and sophisticated viewpoints that further refined this book, and the following people also deserve thanks: Elizabeth Barth, Monica Harper, Andrew Hohman, Robin Smith, and Jennifer Vincent. The students in these two classes also served as models for the book’s photographs. Thanks are also due to the following choir teachers in and near Bloomington, Indiana who allowed each of my undergraduate students to spend 15 hours in their rehearsals for valuable field experiences, and ended up being significant mentors to them: Dan Andersen, Joel Brainard, Mark Doerries, Kathy Gorr, John Leonard, Kenneth



Upchurch, Gwen Witten Upchurch, Louise Wohlafka, and Lisa Yozviak. My sincerest thanks also goes out to the Routledge–Taylor and Francis Group, especially to Constance Ditzel, Editor for Music Acquisitions, whose invitation and steady persistence are the reasons my dream became a published reality; to her senior editorial assistant, Denny Tek; to the Production Editor Sarah Stone; to the external copy editor Sophie Cox; and to the anonymous reviewers; all of whose gracious help and critical suggestions have made this final product immeasurably better. And, finally, I am deeply grateful to David Ward-Steinman for his unwavering love, understanding, humor, and support during the many months of long, isolated and focused hours required to create this work.


Choral music teaching is a joyful profession. While it is timeconsuming and work-intensive, there are few professions better than making music with others. If you are a music major, you already have solid musical skills, and therefore are well on your way to fulfilling your dream of a rewarding professional life as a choral music teacher. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INSPIRATIONAL TEACHER

You probably had a choral music teacher who inspired you to love choral music, to become a better choral musician, and to consider a career in music. No doubt you would like to be as effective and inspiring to students as your choral director was to you. Take time right now to reflect on the qualities of your most inspiring choral teachers, and list them here: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ You may have listed some of the following characteristics: passionate, caring, high standards, humorous, organized, and dedicated. As you continue to think about the qualities of effective choral music teachers, consider other musical and teaching skills, and decide how important you think they are. Essential musical skills might include knowledge of how the voice develops in middle school and high school singers, ability to play vocal



parts on the piano, conducting skills, ability to hear errors in individual vocal parts when the whole choir is singing, memorization of the choral score, knowledge of choral music repertory that is effective for secondary school students, how to achieve a beautiful choral tone and excellent diction, and knowledge of music theory and history. Essential teaching characteristics might include: commitment to musical excellence, commitment to student growth, knowledge of effective rehearsal strategies, organization, good classroom management and discipline skills, the ability to engage and work with people (students, parents, other teachers, etc.), and experience directing a choir. The most essential personal skill is the desire to be a choral music teacher. If you love choral music and the idea of sharing that enthusiasm with your students, you have the right motivation for developing the personal skills required to teach. Any commitment requires hard work, but the desire to do what you love makes it a labor of love. Take the time right now to reflect on the musical, teaching, and personal skills identified above (and feel free to add more) that you already possess, and those that will need focused attention as you continue to work toward your professional goal. List your strengths as well as areas that you are aware need additional knowledge or improvement. Strengths Weaknesses ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Take another moment to reflect on your most memorable choral experiences and consider what made them so. Think back on those choral performances that were peak experiences for you. What were those choral compositions, and what made them so special? Name the piece(s) that made you feel that way. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Can you put your finger on why you felt that wonderful, profound feeling? Was it the occasion, the ensemble, the conductor, the location, the



musical composition, or a combination of two or more of these factors? Certainly, music has the power to move humans in extraordinary ways, and some pieces are more powerful than others in providing moving and beautiful experiences that make a difference in our lives. Once we have had such an aesthetic experience through music, we spend our lives seeking those experiences for ourselves and for our students. We can do that best by preparing ourselves as outstanding musicians, educators, and human beings so that we can well execute and express the choral music of masterful composers. Choral music teaching is an honorable life’s work, and demands commitment to excellence in order to give youth important and rich musical experiences. THE VOICE TEACHER

As a secondary school choral teacher, you will be the only voice teacher that the majority of your students will ever have. Therefore, you need to be able to teach them to use their voices in healthy and beautiful ways through vocal warm-up exercises, appropriately sequenced repertory, awareness of vocal misuse, vocal modeling, and clear explanations. A vocal pedagogy course, particularly if it focuses on the adolescent voice, would be an important course before your student teaching semester. Even if you have taken voice lessons, this does not ensure that you know how to teach voice. If your degree does not require or offer such a course, this text will provide multiple ideas and resources to significantly boost your knowledge and skill in this area. THE ERROR DETECTOR

Although every music major practices error detection in music theory, ear-training, and conducting courses, it is often difficult for the choral methods student to identify specific wrong notes in a choral sound when simultaneously involved in the multi-tasks of conducting, reading the score, and communicating visually. This is where the conductor’s preparation is key. With a fully prepared and learned score (more easily said than done), the choral teacher has set the stage for hearing and identifying sung errors. One way to practice this aural skill is to sing chorales and other homophonic pieces vertically, from the bottom to top of each chord.




Good sight-reading skills assist the choral teacher in learning scores more quickly, but knowledge of the pedagogy of sight-singing is also necessary. Think of the success your students will have in future choral and other musical experiences if they learn to sight-read in your choir classes. And consider how satisfying your future choral rehearsals will be when your students become better sight-readers and music learning comes more quickly. No one likes to “pound notes.” A sequential approach to teaching sight-singing in the choral rehearsal will be presented in this textbook. THE MEMORIZER

What are the benefits of memorizing the choral score? In short, it means that the music has been internalized. The more the teacher’s and students’ eyes are out of the music, the more they can experience and communicate the music. THE ARRANGER/COMPOSER/IMPROVISER

The choral music teacher often needs to re-arrange a choral score for the particular voices in the ensemble, arrange the school’s theme song for choral voices, or assist interested students in the musical skills of composition and improvisation. Coursework should have prepared the music education major for these skills, but if not, teachers will find that they have enough musical knowledge and resources to explore the possibilities of arranging, composing or improvising on their own; and can plan to take advantage of future conference sessions, summer workshops or graduate courses in these creative musical skills. THE SCHOLAR

Those music history and theory classes really do matter when the time comes to prepare a choral score for teaching. It is the teacher’s responsibility to know the history and theory of every piece taught to engage the choir student in the richness of the music, and to perform according to historical performance practice. This type of preparation involves searching for information about the piece, the composer, the text, the



performance period, the language, and recordings. This information reveals deeper meanings of the music, and provides for a richer and more enjoyable musical experience for the conductor and the students. It also makes interconnections to similar pieces evident, which enhances the learning experience. THE MANAGER

A choral music teacher needs to be organized. There are many details that the choral teacher must handle, or delegate to others when possible, for a successful program. These include the choral music curriculum, the choral music budget, score study, choral library organization, concert programming, concert dates, concert dress, tours, festivals, parent relations, classroom management policy, grading, fund-raising, and so much more. Many new teachers complain more about the non-musical demands of their jobs than the musical. On the other hand, the organized teacher can get off to a good start, and this book will help you do that. THE LEADER

Leaders influence others. They improve the lives of others through “vision, trust, teaching, persuasion and character” (Wis, 2007, p. xvii). Your vision is your unique view of how you will make your singers’ lives better; your trustworthiness will make your singers feel safe in your choir; your persuasiveness will help your singers reach levels of achievement they didn’t know they were capable of; and your character will inspire you to use your core values to permeate all that you do and provide you with your life’s mission. To learn to develop these leadership qualities in yourself, study The Conductor as Leader by Ramona M. Wis. THE TEACHER

Without knowledge of how to effectively teach students about music and to be musicians, all of the musical skills identified above are worth little to them. While the musical skills are a prerequisite to success as a choral teacher, it is the knowledge of effective rehearsal strategies and



repertory choices that complete the picture. How does one learn to be a good teacher? Is someone “born” a natural teacher, or can it be taught? Obviously music education professors believe it can be taught, although there is a natural inclination and desire to teach that is a prerequisite. Effective teaching strategies fill this textbook. THE MENTOR

Adolescents participate in choirs not only because they enjoy performing and learning about music, but also for the social aspect—the connection with people. This connection includes the mentorship by the choir teacher. The teacher cares not only about music, but also about the students. The choral experience is an emotionally and socially bonding experience, and the choir teacher is the one who provides a safe, structured, and healthy environment for adolescents to thrive. Most students will remember their school choral experience forever, so your attitudes toward them, and your enthusiasm for the music, matter! THE ADVOCATE AND PHILOSOPHER

In some teaching situations you will find yourself comfortably supported by an arts-loving administration, and if so, keep that job! Other situations are less supportive, and music teachers find themselves in the position of having to lobby and convince those in power that the arts should have a central place in the curriculum. For this reason, it is important that the choral music teacher has a firm belief in the value of choral music education, not only from a personal standpoint (although that will often communicate the most passion) but also with current statistics on the value of music study. Researchers will continue to examine the benefits of music study, and the National Association for Music Education (MENC) will continue to make efforts to publicize new research findings for teachers to use in their advocacy statements for the arts. THE PIANIST/ACCOMPANIST

The pianist interested in conducting choirs has a distinct advantage in the rehearsal because the luxury of having one’s own accompanist is



rare. A choir teacher’s professional life is greatly benefited by strong piano skills. It is not unusual for vocal music education majors to have beautiful voices but weak piano skills, and they must do everything in their power to rectify this weakness. There is only one answer, and that is the discipline of daily piano practice of choral music with a metronome, even after the required piano classes and tests (e.g., Piano Proficiency Exam, Upper Divisional Exam) are completed. Any choral score can be used for practice, and you can download them free of charge and legally from the Choral Public Domain Library (http:// A sample of pieces found on CPDL and appropriate for piano practice can be found in Appendix B of this book. A sequential approach to developing the needed piano skills is listed below. However, it is not only the practice of choral pieces that will make your score study and rehearsals go more efficiently, but also the ability to accompany vocal warm-ups complete with modulations to all keys. Your practice should start today. Warm-Up Skills

The choral director rarely has an accompanist available for all choral warm-up exercises, and therefore needs to be able to function at the piano with regard to establishing tonality and key centers for each warm-up. Because warm-ups are often transposed up and down chromatically, or by whole tones, the teacher needs to be able to give at least the chord in the new key during the singers’ quick breaths between transpositions. 1. Practice playing all major and minor triads, transposing up and down by half and whole steps on every 4th beat of the metronome as a starting point. If you are limited by being able to play only one hand at a time, be sure to practice both the right and left hands equally; and move to both hands as soon as possible. Be sure to keep an accurate sense of time with the metronome; if errors in time are made, slow the metronome down to an achievable tempo, and later increase the tempo incrementally. 2. The next step in practice would be to sing the desired warmup and play the appropriate chord during the breaths between



key changes. This should alternate with playing the entire warm-up. It should be mentioned here, however, that choral singers do not need all of the warm-up played for them while they sing because it detracts from their ability to hear themselves, which in turn makes them more dependent on the piano. The phrase “less is more” often applies to piano accompanying on warm-ups. It should also be mentioned here that the upright pianos found in most rehearsal rooms are particularly loud because the strings and soundboard face the singers, which is not as apparent to the pianist on the other side. Score-Reading

The choir director needs to be able to play choral parts at the piano, and therefore this is a skill that needs to be honed well before the student-teaching semester. Every future choral teacher should achieve the following steps: 1. For 15 to 30 minutes every day (starting today), practice playing at least two parts of a choral score at the piano; then try singing one line and playing one other and then two others; and always use a metronome set at any tempo at which you can keep from missing the beat. Slow tempos are perfectly acceptable if the beat is kept steady, but pausing between beats is not. Keep your eyes on the score, not the keys; and cover the keys if you must, because much time is wasted by looking back and forth from the music to the keys. It is possible to play the piano without looking at the keys (think Ray Charles, George Shearing and Stevie Wonder). 2. When that step is achieved (according to an objective source!), repeat it, but play the piano in a vocally expressive way. Shape phrases as a singer would, complete with lifting of the hands at breath marks. 3. When those steps have been achieved, practice three to four parts at the piano, with a steady metronomic tempo. Begin very slowly if necessary, but push yourself to increase the metronome setting incrementally. Remember to play expressively and breathe!



4. Practice steps 1 to 3 every day with different pieces of choral music. 5. If you are unable to achieve the goal of playing multiple voice parts on the piano, it is important to stress that you will need to be able to sing all vocal parts for all pieces, on solfege or scale degrees, with pitch and rhythmic accuracy. While it may seem preferable for the choristers to hear the pitches modeled by the voice rather than the piano, they need to hear the way two or more parts sound together. It is also important to know that some school employers choose to hire applicants with piano skills over those without, and have been known to ask applicants to play the piano at the job interview (advice: practice!) Technique

Piano technique exercises train and strengthen the fingers for everything from warm-ups to accompaniments. The choral teacher should continue to practice exercises learned in piano classes, with metronome, including: 1. major and minor scales (four octaves); 2. major and minor arpeggios (four octaves); 3. chord progressions using primary and secondary triads and secondary dominants in major and minor keys; 4. seventh chords; and 5. modes (Uszler, Gordon, & Mach, 1991). Accompanying

The choir director should be able to play simple accompaniments, but is not necessarily expected to play more elaborate ones unless he or she is a skilled pianist who chooses to conduct from the piano. In most cases, if there are no funds to hire an accompanist, there are piano students available who will enjoy and learn much from the experience of working with a conductor and collaborating with a choir. However, the choral conductor should continue to practice accompaniments for when the need arises.




Choral conductors need to have mastered the basic skills of conducting, which include all types of beat patterns, preparatory beats, cut-offs, and fermatas, as well as independence of the left hand, so they can communicate the music to the singers without excessive verbal explanations or distracting gestures. A sequential approach for developing these essential conducting skills is presented below. Palestrina’s Adoramus Te is presented at the end of this chapter (see Example 1.1) for practicing these skills, along with conducting resources for additional study. Beat Patterns

For your choral methods teacher, conduct simple songs in various time signatures, such as Ode to Joy in 4/4; America in 3/4; Camptown Ladies in 2/4; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear in a slow 6/8; and W hen Johnny Comes Marching Home Again in a quick 6/8. Examples of relatively well-known songs in unusual meters are Take Five in 5/4, and the popular 7/8 arrangement of Deck the Halls. Pay close attention to the following points (see Figures 1.1 to 1.4): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Confident posture, feet “planted.” Comfortably low conducting plane. Clarity of the downbeat. Bounce of each beat on the conducting plane (no dipping below!). 5. Left and right positions are truly left and right of the downbeat. 6. No left-hand “mirroring” of the beat (lefties should conduct right-handed). 7. Use or imagine a baton to find correct palm-down hand position.


Figure 1.1 Proper Conducting Stance, Beat 1

Figure 1.2 Proper Conducting Stance, Beat 2




Figure 1.3 Proper Conducting Stance, Beat 3

Figure 1.4 Proper Conducting Stance, Beat 4

Edited by Foxit Reader byE NFoxit T H E C H O I R T E A C H E RCopyright(C) AS COMPREH S I V ECorporation,2005-2010 MUSICIAN 1 3 For Evaluation Only.

The Left Hand


Use the left hand to do what the right hand cannot do, such as cue outside of the beat pattern or dynamics for a subgroup, or page turns; or to reinforce the right hand by emphasizing important musical elements (see Figure 1.5). Practice developing an independent left hand by conducting a steady beat in the right hand while the left hand performs other duties, both musical and non-musical (McElheran, 1989). Preparatory Beats

No aspect of conducting technique is more important than a clear preparatory beat. In your choral methods class, conduct a preparatory beat on all possible beats (as a preparation for beat 1, for beat 2, for beat 3, for beat 4, for beat 5, for 6, etc.). Have the class sing a pitch on the desired beat to assess the clarity of your preparatory gesture. Memorize these points:

Figure 1.5 Left Hand Independence



Figure 1.6 Preparatory Gesture and Facial Expression

1. Use only one preparatory beat with no verbal counting. 2. Always inhale (quietly) with the singers on the preparatory beat. 3. Have eye contact with the singers at all times, but especially on the preparatory beat and downbeat. 4. Communicate the desired dynamic, tempo, and expression in the preparatory gesture (see Figure 1.6). It is also important to practice the preparatory beat to a cut-off, followed by a clean beat and eye contact on the cut-off. This is more effective than the unnecessary movement that goes into curly-cue, finger-tip, or mouth-worded cut-offs (McElheran, 1989). Off-Beat Cues

A cue or entrance that occurs on an off-beat should not be communicated by subdividing the preparatory beats, despite the temptation to



do so. In the case of off-beat cues and entrances, the conductor should give two preparatory beats—the second of which should have a bit more rebound (as in a “hot stove”) so that the singers will sing on its off-beat (McElheran, 1989, p. 51). This gesture is sometimes referred to as the “Gesture of Syncopation” (Green & Gibson, 2004, p. 48). Practice “psychological conducting” (p. 238) with your choral methods class until you can effectively get them to sing on an off-beat without any extra motion besides the right hand’s two preparatory beats, the last of which has more of a bounce. When this is accomplished, experiment with different tempos and dynamic levels. Off-beat entrances occur frequently in music, so opportunities to practice this gesture can be easily found. One example is in measure 11 of Palestrina’s Adoramus Te at the end of this chapter. Fermatas

The beginning choral conductor often stumbles over fermatas, and needs to gain confidence in executing the three different types of fermatas: no break, short break, long break. The fermata itself is not difficult to conduct; it just requires the conductor to hold the hand (or baton) still as long as desired (McElheran, 1989), or move it slightly while sustaining (Green & Gibson, 2004). It is the end of the fermata that deserves special attention. All three types may be practiced using Palestrina’s Adoramus Te. No Break

After holding the fermata at the bottom or bounce level of the beat for the desired length of time, move the hand on to the next beat without a breath. For example, if the fermata falls on beat 2, the conductor should hold the right hand steady on beat 2 for a brief duration, and then move it to beat 3 without a breath. The left hand may be used to indicate no breath (McElheran, 1989). Semi-Pause and Breathe

The short-pause fermata is begun identically to the no-break fermata in that it is held still (or slightly moving) at the bounce level of the beat



for the desired length of time. Then, however, the conductor must rebeat that beat, the second time as a combined cut-off and preparatory breath to the next beat of entrance. This is the most common type of fermata (McElheran, 1989), and because the cut-off and preparatory gesture are one and the same, the rhythmic momentum of the musical line continues (Green & Gibson, 2004). Grand Pause and Start Again

This type of fermata is usually indicated by a caesura (//) and requires a complete cut-off and pause before resuming. Again, the fermata is held at the bottom or bounce level of the beat for as long as desired, followed by a cut-off. Then a preparatory gesture to begin again is given (McElheran, 1989). Conducting from the Piano

It is not unusual for a secondary school choral teacher to lead the choir from the piano. This is not ideal, however, from many perspectives: first, the teacher’s hands and eyes are occupied with the piano and page turns, and her or his body is partially hidden and limited in movement around the classroom, which is not conducive to many middle school and high school behavior environments. Nevertheless, for the teacher who occasionally must or wants to work from the piano, he or she should practice the following (see Figure 1.7): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Stand while playing the piano and leading the choir. Play the piano with one hand and conduct with the other. Develop preparatory head gestures. Keep your eyes on the singers. Be careful not to play so loudly that the singers cannot hear themselves.

Without these five skills in place (and you may think of others), conducting from the piano will not produce desired musical or behavioral results.



Figure 1.7 Conducting from the Piano

BRAINTEASER 1-1: PRACTICING PIANO AND CONDUCTING SKILLS Practice all the piano, singing, and conducting skills described in this chapter, using pieces from your field experience or those found at the end of this chapter or in Appendix B. Prepare to play and conduct at least one middle school and one high school choral piece for your professor at midterm and final, using the Rating Scales for Performance Skills set out in Table 1.1 as your practice guide.

BRAINTEASER 1-2: SECURING THE FIELD PLACEMENT Prepare a copy of your semester class and work schedule for your choral methods professor, so that field experiences with middle school and high school students can be arranged. Turn this in at your next class meeting so that your professor can arrange a middle school choir field placement (for the first half of this semester) and a high school choir

Table 1.1 Rating Scales for Performance Skills CONDUCTING 5= DISTINGUISHED







Preparedness Beat Patterns Left Hand Prep. Beats Cues Cut-Offs Fermatas Knows Score Hears Errors Eye Contact Modeling Speaking Expressiveness Confidence Pacing Makes Progress




Plays 2 parts Plays 3 parts Plays 4 parts Plays 1 part, sings another Sings all parts Plays M/m chromatic chords Plays M/m scales & arpeggios Performance Grade:

© 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.



field placement (for the second half of this semester). It is not always possible, particularly in rural areas where there are few schools, to find model or perfect situations, but upperclassmen often report that they learn what to do from good models and what not to do from poor models. Plan to spend approximately two to three hours per week there (depending on your school’s field experience requirements), observing at first, and later assisting the music teacher.

BRAINTEASER 1-3: ORGANIZING COURSE MATERIALS Prepare a Choral Resources three-ring binder with tabs for textbook chapter topics. Keep all assignments, including reflective journal entries in your notebook. Include manuscript paper, a pencil, and a blank videotape.

BRAINTEASER 1-4: MY CHORAL EXPERIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY Write a two- to three-page detailed summary of all of your experiences in choral music, and in your final paragraph(s) explain why these experiences have led you to the point of studying choral music education at your college/university. Submit at your next class meeting.

BRAINTEASER 1-5: MY ACTION PLAN With your choral methods professor and peers, list and discuss the essential skills and knowledge of an extraordinary choral music teacher. Then consider areas of concern for the majority of students in your class, and find ways to remedy those areas. Possible remedies follow: Your professor may decide to spend more time on certain course topics than originally planned, such as choral score reading at the piano or vocal pedagogy. Or classmates may commit to practicing or studying together which will make motivation easier. If your particular strengths and weaknesses are different from most others in the class, decide how you will work to improve your readiness for the choral teaching profession. For example, if your piano skills are not strong, decide if additional private study is in order, or if 30 minutes of practice per day should be fitted into your schedule. Or if you have had very little experience conducting choirs, start now to look for ways to assist the local children’s choir or a church choir.



Outline an action plan for strengthening your weaker areas, beginning today. Ask your choral methods professor for advice as she or he had to do similar preparation for a choral career and has first-hand knowledge that can assist you. Submit your action plan at the next class meeting. Include ways to check that you will meet your goals, such as a practice record book, or peer assessment. Use the following form as a guide, or create your own. Be specific, realistic, and committed.

A Plan for Action! Area of Study

Action Plan

Time Line


________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ With this plan in place, you can be confident that you will grow in the musical skills necessary to succeed as a secondary choral music teacher. Essential teaching skills and knowledge, including best methods and materials for teaching and directing middle school and high school choirs, are presented in this book, with multiple opportunities for you to practice and master them throughout this course of study. It is only through the experience of practicing teaching that we become master teachers, and directing choirs is no different.

Congratulations on seeking an important career, and may you stand strong in your conviction, whether you are facing your very first class of 60 rowdy middle school “singers” or your final dress rehearsal with your finest high school choir ever! Sit up straight, with a confident conductor’s posture, close your eyes, and imagine your ideal choir and their sound.

Example 1.1 Adoramus Te by Palestrina


One of the biggest challenges of choral music teaching is working with middle school students. Between grades four and nine, students change from children to adolescents to adults, and all at different rates of change. It is essential to study and understand these changes in order to have a rehearsal and an ensemble that foster positive musical growth. Adolescence is the result of a rapid increase in both growth hormones and sex hormones, and this period is marked by physical, psychological, emotional and cognitive changes, usually earlier in girls than in boys (Collins, 1999). A classroom full of hormonally changing students may appear unmanageable and chaotic, and while there may be some truth to the often-heard statement that “some people are born middle school teachers,” it is really a weak excuse in many respects. As committed educators, we owe it to the children to understand them and structure our teaching to maximize the potential of their adolescent energy. And we owe it to ourselves to enter that classroom of adolescents armed with knowledge and understanding, rather than fear of the unknown. Nevertheless, there is no substitute for experience, and so very soon you will be making your own observations of middle school choirs in preparation for your success in years to come. MANAGING THE STAGES OF VOCAL CHANGE

Consider this scenario: A rehearsal room full of middle school students is assembled and you are excited to begin teaching what you have spent your lifetime learning to master—the music! You decide to ask the newly assembled choir to sing in unison a simple tune that they



probably know, such as Row, Row, Row Your Boat. You give them a starting pitch in the key of F Major, along with your well-trained conducting preparatory beat, and you hear a vocal sound that disturbs your musically trained ears. You think that perhaps a different key will help them. You try again in the key of C and the results are no better. You think, “How could this be happening when the music is so simple? Something is terribly wrong! I must have chosen the wrong profession!” The scenario above is not unrealistic. In fact, most music teachers have been there and done that at some point, and some have even changed professions! But do not fear—knowledge of the adolescent voice through study and practice will prepare you to achieve success with this age group. In the scenario above, the persistent teacher found that unison singing of a song with an octave range was not the way to produce a successful middle school choral sound, due to the varying and often limited ranges of the boys’ changing voices. There are many theories, labels, textbooks, courses and opinions on the boys’ changing voice. Some of the most important scholars on the topic (and their associated label for the changing voice) are Duncan McKenzie (the “alto-tenor”), Irvin Cooper (the “cambiata”), Frederick Swanson (the “adolescent bass”), John Cooksey (the “eclectic theory”), Anthony Barresi (the “adolescent voice”), as well as those of Henry Leck (the “high road”), Sally Herman (the “road map”), Lynne Gackle (the girls’ changing voice), and others including the American Boychoir, and Kenneth Phillips, author of Teaching Kids to Sing (1992). Despite the many theories of the adolescent changing voice, the bottom line is that puberty causes the lengthening, widening, and thickening of the larynx (“voice box”) and vocal folds (“vocal cords”) along with the growth spurt of the rest of the maturing body. Although both girls and boys have treble ranges of more than a tenth above middle C in the elementary school years, both boys’ and girls’ vocal ranges begin to lower in the middle school years, and sometimes as early as the 4th grade. Voices are typically unstable from three months to a year, with the peak of voice change considered to be the 8th grade (Sataloff, 2000). The growth of the larynx from front to back as evidenced by the “Adam’s apple,” combined with the lengthening of the vocal folds, causes boys’ voices to drop approximately an octave in pitch at the peak of the change. Girls’ voices change in adolescence as well,



but in more subtle ways with regard to range and quality (Phillips, 2004). Vocal development nears maturity by age 16, making high school choirs much more stable than middle school choirs (Sataloff & Spiegel, 1989). The challenge with the changing voice is that in a classroom of 7th and 8th grade boys, no two change at the same rate or at the same age, despite research that suggests that boys progress from one predictable stage of lowered voice change to another (Killian, 1999). Most middle school choir teachers find that their singers are a unique group each school year. Some male voices may change from soprano to baritone over summer vacation, while others may change little by little throughout the school year (Sataloff & Spiegel, 1989). Some adolescent boys may experience embarrassing “cracks” when they speak or sing, while others barely notice the gradually lowering voice. A demonstration by the American Boychoir at Indiana University revealed that some boys completely lose their ability to sing except for a few high and low pitches, while others lose their high and low pitches and have only a middle range, and still others will continue to sing with ease throughout the change. Some can sing in the alto range at the beginning of the semester, but by the holiday concert can barely sing at all, and by the spring concert can sing a few baritone notes (Leck, 2001). This creates a challenge when trying to select singable repertoire and when working to balance and teach voice parts in preparation for concerts. An additional challenge is the embarrassment and/or discouragement many boys feel when they can no longer sing as easily as they did in the 5th grade, or the avoidance of middle school choir altogether because of these difficulties. How do we keep our middle school choirs balanced with male and female voices when this happens, and more importantly, how do we keep boys interested in high school or lifelong choir singing if they become disenchanted with it during the critical middle school years? Fortunately, there are many practical solutions to all of these problems, and the old view that boys should not sing during the voice change is no longer a valid one due to the evolution of knowledge regarding the benefits of training the voice during puberty (Cooksey, 1977). Duncan McKenzie, Frederick Swanson and Irvin Cooper were pioneers in the development of the “new” view during the mid-1900s.



First, • it is important to listen to the boys’ voices, individually or in small groups, approximately every six weeks to note any changes in range, quality, and ease of production; • octave displacement is often utilized to limit a song’s range or intervals; and • the teacher may have to put arranging skills to work to create parts that the boys can sing with ease, even if it is a limited note vocal ostinato at times. While it may not be easy to listen to individuals frequently, or to rearrange compositions and voice parts, especially as the concert date approaches, it is important to keep the boys singing comfortably and contributing to the choir’s sound. Second, • it is often beneficial to plan to have separate gender choirs, so that the boys can experience their vocal change in the privacy of other boys who are and will experience the phenomenon, and without the pressure of the possibility of being laughed at by the girls. A separate girls’ choir can be beneficial as well to help them work through their developing registers without the distraction of the opposite sex during rehearsals. The separate gender choirs work best if there are enough boys and girls involved in each choir to make a substantial choral sound. Another solution is to bring the two separate choirs (or “sectionals” if you wish) together for mixed choir repertoire. In order to avoid the assumption of gender-biased groups, labels for these groups may be “treble chorus” and “bass-clef chorus” (Swanson, 1973). Third, • role models are important to all of us as we go through life, and that is no exception for middle school boy singers. Male choral music education majors would be wise to consider student teaching and then teaching for a few years at the middle school level, and later decide if they want to move on to teaching at the high school level. Middle school boys often value having a male choir teacher who validates the fact that choral music needs male voices, and learn best from a male vocal model who can sing in their range and has first-hand



understanding and experience of the adolescent voice change (Barham & Nelson, 1991). Female choir directors may invite male colleagues into the middle school choir to inspire the young males, or play recordings of the many truly extraordinary male choral ensembles, such as the American Boychoir, Chanticleer, Take Six, and so many others. Lastly, • another successful approach is to keep the boys singing in their high range throughout the voice change. In Henry Leck’s Indianapolis Children’s Choir, boys continue to use their high voice (head voice) throughout the voice change in order to keep it. Many boys choose to continue to sing soprano or alto during the voice change, even after their voice settles into the tenor or baritone range. As we will discuss later, warm-ups and vocalises that start in the head voice and move downward, including vocal sighs, are helpful in making the transition throughout the range. Leck’s video, The Boy’s Changing Voice: Take the High Road (2001), is a helpful demonstration for teachers of middle school singers. Ken Phillips, along with the other changing voice theorists, agrees that vocalizing from the high voice downward is effective for assisting with the registration problems experienced by adolescent boys. In fact, Phillips (1992) and Sally Herman (1988) suggest that a key to developing a high school tenor is to vocalize the middle school boys in the upper register. Specific warm-ups for the changing voice are presented in the next chapter. A visual explanation of why unison singing is ill-advised for a middle school choir with changing and changed voices is presented in Example 2.1, with half notes indicating the range of each voice part, and quarter notes indicating the tessitura. Considering only the unchanged (treble) and tenor voices, one can see that the only overlap in unison range is a major sixth from b-flat to g1, but when considering the tessitura (the notes that can be sung easily), the common tones are almost non-existent. Similarly, among the baritone/bass voices there is an overlap of only a minor third (d to f ) in range and no overlap of tessitura. When combining all possible middle school voice parts, how many common tones can be found among the six voice ranges and tessituras identified by Phillips in Example 2.2?

Example 2.1 Middle School Vocal Ranges and Tessituras (Phillips, 1992)

Example 2.2 Middle School Vocal Common Tones



A careful examination of Example 2.2 shows that there are no unison pitches that all singers in a choir with these six voice parts would be able to sing, which explains the frustrating scenario described at the beginning of this chapter. However, the three lower voice parts have ranges that are similar to the three upper voices, and thus could sing an octave lower. But this range is limited to approximately a perfect fifth, which also illustrates why the octave range of Row, Row, Row Your Boat resulted in the undesirable tone found in our scenario. Of course it is important to note that these ranges may vary dramatically based on individual singers and their previous (or lack of ) vocal training. However, the awareness of the theoretical ranges for middle school singers is basic knowledge of the middle school voice. While the various ranges create challenges for the choir director, there are numerous solutions to creating an effective and rewarding choral experience for your singers. Fortunately, the published repertoire for the middle school mixed choir is becoming increasingly desirable. Music that is termed “three-part” often has a part that is singable by everyone, but may necessitate octave displacement. Compositions for SAB and SACB (C 5 “Cambiata” or “Changing Voice”) may also work well. SATB is often not appropriate for this age because of the limited number of true (changed) tenors and basses. There are many outstanding choral arrangements and compositions for middle school singers that can greatly assist the choral music teacher in planning a sound curriculum. We will examine them in a coming chapter. MANAGING THE STAGES OF PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CHANGE

Solving the vocal problem is only half the challenge with middle school students. Their hormonal changes are making everything else change too, from physical size to emotions, while their cognitive understanding of these changes lags behind. This stage is often accompanied by clumsiness, aggressiveness, independence, self-consciousness, and tears. Emotions often run high, and sometimes in reaction to the music and the music teacher. The sensitive teacher must learn to refrain from taking their negative comments personally and try to understand the frustrations of adolescence. Many tense situations can be resolved



through positive reinforcement, humor, and reference to some of their non-musical pursuits, such as sports and trips, to show sincere interest in them as human beings. A teacher needs a very business-like manner to ensure an orderly environment conducive for learning, but also needs to show the students their humorous and caring side at appropriate times. One of the best things a choral music teacher can do to harness the energies of this age group is to make the rehearsal an active and challenging one. By keeping adolescents singing choral music that is expressive of their emotions, it is possible to provide an extremely positive environment that can keep them involved in music for a lifetime. Fortunately, the choral teacher who provides structure through rehearsal expectations and routines, and enforces them consistently, fairly and with appropriate consequences, can enjoy a well-managed choral rehearsal and program. This type of environment is needed for teaching and learning, and we owe it to ourselves and our students to be prepared for middle school behavior management. The first day of class matters, and the behavior of the students on that first day will be indicative of their behavior throughout the school year. The first day and week of rehearsal should be carefully planned to provide clear organization and structure to the students. As soon as they enter your classroom: • greet the students individually and by name, if possible; • address the group as “Singers,” “Ladies and Gentlemen,” or other respectful term, but not “Boys and Girls,” nor simply “Guys” for both sexes combined; • assign each student a seat and a numbered slot in the music folder cabinet; • instruct them to be in their seats with music folders and pencils when the bell rings. When the bell rings at the start of the period, clear expectations should be communicated to the students in the following ways: • • • •

Begin class on time. Begin promptly with a physical and vocal warm-up. Keep the pace quick. Use good eye contact.



• Keep “teacher talk” to a minimum. • Work gradually to calm the body through stretches and breathing, and to train the ears to listen. • Direct the students to note the rehearsal order on the board. • Move quickly to the first piece of music, one that engages their minds, bodies, voices and imaginations. • Sing small sections of diverse works and make every effort to keep all students engaged in the music in some way. • When students achieve something musical as a group, congratulate them or thank them for their hard work. • Ask them to sit quietly. • After having a focusing musical experience, take a few moments for announcements. Procedures and Rules

Set high standards for behavior. During the first week of class, explain these three management issues: • Procedures • Rules • Consequences. For example, students need to know the procedures of what to do in the following situations: • • • • • • • •

If they feel sick If they need to use the restroom If they have a question If a visitor enters the classroom If there is a fire drill When another person is speaking When to be absolutely quiet and when talking is allowed When they are dismissed at the end of class, and more.

While procedures illustrate the manner in which the rehearsal will run smoothly, there must also be rules which clarify unacceptable behaviors. Five unacceptable behaviors are: • Aggressiveness • Dishonesty



• Defiance • Disruptiveness • Uncooperativeness (Collins, 1999). The expectations that singers will abide by the rehearsal room procedures and rules need to be organized by the teacher in advance of the beginning of the school year, and may be printed in a choir handbook given to all students, may be written into a contract signed by the students and parents, and/or may be posted in the choir room. Consequences

When expectations are clearly communicated, as well the consequences for failing to meet those expectations, the stage is set for productivity. The consequences should be carefully planned, and might include several of the following levels, depending upon the seriousness of the infraction: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Warning to the individual (everyone deserves a second chance). Penalty such as demerits toward the class grade. Detention. One-on-one talk with the student outside of class. Phone call to the student’s parents (the teacher should assume a non-threatening tone in order to find support from the parents). 6. Dismissal to the principal’s office. It should be mentioned that even with a carefully executed management plan, some students will act out for reasons that are beyond the teacher’s control. At the early signs of this, it would be to the teacher’s advantage to speak with the school counselor to see if there is a history of problems with the student. It may be that there are challenges that have nothing to do with you or your class, and may include family, medical, or psychological problems. The school counselor can inform you of effective strategies for working with these individuals. Teachers are as different from one another as students are, and they have different tolerances for acceptable behaviors. Some want absolute quiet and others tolerate a low level of noise.



Your Tolerances:

Think about your own tolerances and preferences, and list here five specific procedures (“Do . . .”) and rules (“Don’t . . .”) that you would expect in your middle school choral rehearsal. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ The middle school choir rehearsal is by its very nature alive with boundless energy that the music teacher is expected to harness into disciplined singing. Engaging the students in the music and in their roles as members of a fine ensemble is key to good classroom management. For brand new teachers, it is often not easy to achieve the desired attentiveness until they have the opportunity to explore what works for their own personalities with the students in a particular school and ensemble. But if the teacher finds music that the students enjoy, involves them in the classroom rules and procedures, provides a balance of focused singing with short “wiggle” or humor breaks, and lets them experience success in performance, the students will want to cooperate. While it is human nature to focus on the misbehaving students, it does wonders for the teacher to keep the focus on the music and to express enthusiasm and praise for the behaving ones! These suggestions are easier said than done, but are important keys to a well-run and enjoyable rehearsal. Other effective rehearsal strategies are detailed in a later chapter.

BRAINTEASER 2-1: OBSERVING THE MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIR REHEARSAL At your first middle school field visit, write a reflective observation report regarding the middle school singers’ voices and behavior. Notice how the rehearsal is structured—how does it begin and end? Do the students appear to know what is expected of them? Does this music teacher keep the choir on-task through active involvement and a positive approach? How many minutes are spent on music-making, and how many on other



important matters, unimportant matters, and behavior control? How much noise does the teacher tolerate? Are you personally comfortable with the behavioral environment? What would you do differently if that was your choir rehearsal? Listen carefully to the voices, and make note of the ranges and qualities of the voices. Are the singers making an acceptable sound? What do you like about the sound and what would you like to change?

BRAINTEASER 2-2: INTERVIEWING THE MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIR TEACHER Ask the middle school music teacher when would be a good time for you to interview him or her, and if he or she would allow you to record the interview. Prepare questions in advance of the interview, to possibly include: Why did you choose to teach middle school music? What other teaching and performance experiences have you had? How long have you taught at this school, and overall? What do you enjoy most about teaching middle school choir? What have you learned from teaching middle school choir? Do you have a school-wide and/or choir discipline policy? Do you have a copy you could share with me? Do you find it effective? How would you describe the boys’ changing voice? What works for you when teaching boys with changing voices? What advice do you have for me as I prepare for my first choral teaching job? How can I assist you during my time here at your school? May I help with auditions and warm-ups in the coming weeks?

BRAINTEASER 2-3: CREATING PROCEDURES, RULES AND CONSEQUENCES Read your interview transcript to your choral methods class, and after all students have shared their interviews, discuss commonalities and differences among the middle school teachers. Share with one another lingering questions and insights. Together develop a set of middle school choir behavior rules and consequences, and then revise it to fit your personality and create a miniature sign for your course notebook as an example to post in your own middle school rehearsal room.



In the last chapter it was discussed that the adolescent boy’s voice is becoming lower in range, but changing at a different rate and in different ways from the other boys’ voices. Scholars (e.g., Irvin Cooper, Duncan McKenzie, Frederick Swanson, John Cooksey, Don Collins, Lynne Gackle, Ken Phillips) have specified voice ranges to assist in identifying voice parts, vocalizing, and selecting repertoire for middle school singers. But while the theories tend to agree that there are stages of voice change, they disagree on the number of stages and on the singable ranges during those stages. And to complicate matters, every teacher knows that her or his ensemble is somewhat different from the textbook versions; and in fact, differs from year to year. However, a starting point is necessary, and so the ranges found in Example 3.1 are based on a simplified combination of the various theories in order to aid in the auditions, warm-ups, and repertoire selection. • • • •

Treble refers to all unchanged voices (girls and boys) Cambiata refers to boys in the first stage of voice change Tenor refers to boys in the second stage of voice change Baritone refers to changed voices.

It can be seen that optimally each voice part has the range of approximately a tenth, and the tessitura, or richest notes and most easily produced pitches of each part, is the middle fifth of each range, except



Example 3.1 Middle School Simplified Ranges

for the trebles who understandably continue to have a larger range and tessitura than the changing voices. Many voices will not have a range of a tenth without significant training and/or a naturally smooth transition through the change. Many boys will experience areas of silence in the voice, where they may be able to hear the pitch, but be unable to produce it due to lack of knowledge of how to “place” the pitch, with regard to registration (Phillips, 1992). Girls will also experience some difficulty in making transitions to their upper and lower registers despite a very gradual increase in vocal range at puberty, both at the bottom and at the top (Gackle, 1991). AUDITION STRATEGIES AND SEATING

The audition for middle school part singing and sectional seating should determine the tessitura of each singer, which includes those pitches that sound easiest and richest by each singer. Because the tessitura is generally the middle fifth of the vocal range, an audition that uses a song with a range of a fifth which can be transposed to different keys can work well. Irvin Cooper and Karl Kuersteiner (1970) developed a large group audition that can place approximately eight singers at a time, which is very efficient when the middle school teacher does not have the luxury of individual audition time. The audition procedure is this:



• Have small groups of students sing the first phrase of America (“My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing”) in the key of G, giving the starting pitch in octaves, listening carefully to the octave in which the students choose to sing. • Ask those boys who sang the lower octave to temporarily stand together in the “Changing Voice” category. • Have the remaining singers in the small group sing the same phrase in the key of B-flat, giving the starting pitch in octaves. • Place those who sing the higher octave in the Treble I category • Place those girls who sang the lower octave into Treble II • Place those who sing the lower octave in the Tenor category. • Finally, have the “Changing Voice” singers sing the phrase again in the key of C. • Place those who sing the upper octave in the Cambiata category • Place those who sing the lower octave in the Baritone part. This audition can be done quickly in small groups while the other students in the class are completing the top of their personal data cards, requiring name, age, sex, and previous music experience (see Figure 3.1). The small groups are less inhibited when they have the opportunity to sing with others during the audition, and they often enjoy having a label assigned to the vocal range (particularly when they learn that treble boys’ voices are at their most brilliant, and changing or changed voices indicate that they are becoming men). Within the first class meeting, you can determine all voice parts; and by the second meeting you can have seats assigned and music in their assigned folders. This “quick and dirty” audition process works well for getting started with an ensemble quickly, but does not preclude regular checking of the boys’ voices as they continually mature and change. You may use the personal data card to record range and quality changes over time, as well as other musical characteristics, such as sight-reading, pitch memory, intonation, and use of the head voice. If and when you have the luxury of time, and depending on the level of the choir, each singer should be auditioned individually to not only

Personal Data Audition Form Name: Age:


Previous Choir and Instrumental Experience:

Range and Tessitura: (Notate on the staff below)

Part Assigned (circle one): Unchanged Treble I or II Cambiata (or Alto) Tenor Baritone Describe Tone Quality: Rate Pitch Memory:






Rate Rhythmic Memory:






Rate Sight-Reading:






Rating Scale: 5 = All Correct, 4 = Mostly Correct, 3 = About Half Correct, 2 = Mostly Incorrect, 1 = All Incorrect Figure 3.1 Personal Data Audition Form © 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.



get a thorough check of the voice range and tessitura, but also to assess musical aptitude, including pitch and rhythm memory, sight-reading, and tone quality within a 10-minute time frame. Sight-singing is a valuable audition tool only if the singer has had some previous musical experience, and even then a very simple melody of repeated tones, steps and chord tones combined with simple rhythms of quarter notes and eighth notes is sufficient under the stress of an audition (see Examples 3.2 and 3.3). Without previous musical experience, testing for sightsinging ability is a waste of time. However, musical memory tests are useful tools because they are indicative of musical potential—if someone has good musical “ears.” Some tests would include simple pitch matching in their range, as well as three to five short (four-beat) melodies and rhythms to imitate, progressing from very simple to more complex (see Example 3.4). You may come up with your own test items based on these guidelines or use the following examples which are transposed to the tessituras of each voice part. Regarding sectional seating, it is generally considered beneficial to seat the boy trebles on the ends of their sections so that they may be next to other boys and not appear to the audience as if they are singing “the girls’ part.”

Example 3.2 Sight-Singing Example for Trebles/Tenors

Example 3.3 Sight-Singing Example for Cambiatas/Baritones



Example 3.4 Musical Memory Examples

BRAINTEASER 3-1: AUDITIONING THE MIDDLE SCHOOL SINGER Individually or in teams of two, arrange to conduct or assist with auditions at your local middle school. Depending on the music teacher’s preference, administer either the “quick and dirty” group vocal audition as described in this chapter, or the 10-minute private auditions. Prepare the necessary number of vocal audition or personal data forms in advance of your visit. If the choral director wants you to include specific sight-reading and/or ear-training examples in the audition, ask for a copy to share with your choral methods class, as well as any other audition procedures. Using copies of the Personal Data Audition Form provided in Figure 3.1, administer auditions on two sequential dates, and record your reflections of the experience after each audition. Procedure: • Greet students warmly. • Have a short conversation to help them feel at ease and to hear the pitch of their speaking voices. The speaking voice is generally two to three half steps above the lowest singable pitch, which will help you determine not only if the voice is unchanged or changed, but also the range and voice part to assign (Killian, 1999).



• Position the student so that the keyboard is not visible to eliminate “fear” of high notes. • In teams of two, one choral methods student may sit at the piano and the other stand (modeling good singer’s posture) and take brief notes on the audition form. • At first you may find it difficult to complete each individual voice check in 10 minutes, but work quickly to achieve that goal.

Class Activity: Share your experience and personal data forms (with names deleted for privacy) with your choral methods class. Keep all paperwork for further reference.


The warm-up period of the rehearsal is an important one not only to get the students mentally and musically focused, but also to assist in the development of the voice. Most students have no voice teacher other than their choir director in their entire lives, and one of the music teacher’s responsibilities is to teach proper and healthy use of the voice. Essential things to consider as you create warm-ups for your middle school choir are the known characteristics of the developing adolescent voice of both boys and girls, which include a lack of control and difficulty with: • • • • • •

Agility Articulation Large intervals Dynamics Register change Clarity of tone.

Girls tend to sound breathy at this stage, and boys may sound husky. All of these vocal challenges can inspire creativity on the part of the choral teacher to help the young singers. One of the critical aspects of a warm-up session is that the teacher stays aware of the ranges of the singers, and avoids forcing students too high or too low when uncomfortable. Watch for signs of vocal strain



which include lifting of the chin to reach high pitches, tension in the upper body, or a grimace on the face. As Henry Leck stated in a conference session, “70% of what you hear is what you see,” indicating that you can see vocal tension in the body (Leck, 2009). If you have not memorized the ranges of the middle school choir as described earlier, stop now to do that. Notate them again, find them on the piano, sing them, and internalize them visually, aurally and kinesthetically. There are a multitude of vocal warm-up books available for secondary choral teachers, and Ken Phillips’ (1992) vocal technique curriculum is especially useful because of its clear structure, objectives, and guidelines for achieving the objectives and assessment. He presents an instructional sequence for the middle school choral program. He provides 30 warm-ups per school year that teach five main aspects of singing: Respiration, Phonation, Resonance, Diction, and Expression. Respiration exercises teach: • Posture development • Breathing motion • Breath management. Phonation exercises teach: • Lower and upper adjustment • Lower and upper coordination. Resonance exercises teach: • Vocal resonance and coordination • Uniform vowel colors. Diction exercises teach: • Vocal-tract freedom • Word pronunciation • Consonant articulation. Expression exercises teach: • • • •

Phrasing Dynamics Tempo Agility.



For the complete curriculum, see Phillips’ Teaching Kids to Sing, or create your own with other resources that meet the 14 key objectives just outlined. Another clear and concise vocal skill building curriculum designed for use in secondary choral rehearsals is James Jordan’s The Choral Warm-Up (2005). He presents a sequence for teaching that is “nonnegotiable . . . and must be taught in that order in every warm-up . . . each time” (p. 29) which includes: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Relaxation Body awareness and alignment Relaxation of the vocal tract Creating space Breathing Exhalation and inhalation Support Resonance Vowels Register consistency.

He identified the following additional vocal principles as essential, but does not specify a non-negotiable schedule for teaching them: • • • • • • • •

Dynamics Crescendo/Decrescendo Range extension Leaps Legato Staccato Martellato Diction.

These two vocal pedagogy curricula ( Jordan, 2005; Phillips, 1992) are especially useful because they provide comprehensive and sequential, rather than haphazard, approaches to teaching singing to adolescents. What follows is a merging of the two pedagogies in an attempt to provide the aspiring choral teacher with a solid base upon which to build warm-ups, with additional suggestions gleaned from other expert teachers.



Preparing the Body for Singing

None of the warm-ups in this category involves phonation or vocalization; and in fact, silence should be nurtured (Leck, 2009). • Always begin with stretches and/or shoulder massages to relax the body. • Insist on alignment of the hips, head, pelvis, shoulders, knees and feet ( Jordan, 2005). Posture development exercises include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Spinal stretches Shoulder rolls Neck relaxation Knee flexes Side stretches Shrugs Head nods and shakes Heel marches Torso twists Shoulder flexes Neck stretches Model posturing Diving board spring position Sitting tall Standing tall (Phillips, 1992).


Breathing motion exercises include: • • • • •

Abdominal breathing on the floor Filling up with air like a balloon Slowly sipping air as through a straw Quickly gasping for a quick breath Breathing as in a deep yawn.

For breath management exercises, changing voice expert Dan Andersen of Indiana’s Center Grove Middle School advocates:



• inhaling for two beats and exhaling on a hiss for 12 beats; • then inhaling for two beats and exhaling on a hiss for 16 beats. Students enjoy the competition of who can exhale the longest. Henry Leck (2009) uses: • four-beat echoed rhythm patterns with consonants “s,” “sh,” and “f ”; • rhythms of known songs with consonants “s,” “sh,” and “f.” Inhalation should be quiet, and both inhalation and exhalation should be accompanied by a feeling of the spine lengthening. Phonation

Many adolescents speak in their low voice and need help finding their high singing voice. One of the best phonation exercises is the sigh from high to low on the vowel sound “oo.” It is essential that the lips be rounded, the soft palate slightly raised as in a yawn, and the jaw slightly lowered ( Jordan, 2005). This can be done once or twice every day. The feeling of breath support combined with phonation is sometimes called “singing on the breath.” Having students use circular hand motions to represent the spinning energy, or an extended pointed finger to represent the “drive” of the breath-supported sound, can make a difference between a weak and vital sound ( Jordan, 2005). Resonance

Middle school singers can begin to discover vocal resonance through the following procedure: • Students hum the pitch g1 (the g above middle C), except for changed baritones who will sing one octave lower • with lips closed but slightly protruded, and • with teeth slightly parted until a tingle in the lips is felt. • Keeping that feeling, students drop the jaw approximately one finger’s width and open up to an “oo.” • The teacher models the desired choral tone, which should be rather light and unforced.



• Students then sing the “ee” vowel while • lips remain slightly rounded, and • the tip of the tongue touches the bottom front teeth ( Jordan, 2005). • There should be much space in the mouth for proper resonance, resulting in “maximum sound with minimal effort” (Collins, 1999, p. 217). • Visual imagery can be very effective, so asking the singers to feel as if they have a golf ball or the Astrodome in their mouth can create the optimal resonant space for singing. Registration

Once the high voice is found and placed, adolescents can practice and become aware of going between their high and low registers. As in the previous exercise, have the students sing g1, with vowels “oo” and “ee,” and the same mouth position, then do the following: • Sing descending legato five-note patterns • Sing short call-and-response patterns. To assist in smoothing out the register break, ask the young men to open the throat and push more air as they feel the approaching break. Instruct students to sing as they are able—to drop out when uncomfortable but to join back in as soon as possible. To help singers learn to feel the difference in singing in their upper (head voice), middle (combined) and lower (chest voice) registers: • move the previous exercise to c1 (middle C), with changed voices an octave lower, and • then to c2 and an octave lower. • The “ah” and “oh” vowels should be added (Phillips, 1992). Listen carefully for students who struggle with matching pitch and finding their different registers. With practice, the voices will become easier to manage, so it is important for the teacher to remain encouraging, patient, and resourceful. Two important strategies are to keep them singing in their head voices despite the voice changes, and if all else fails, find the pitches they c an sing, match those, and begin to work



outward from there. They will hear the difference between those matched and unmatched pitches. Agility and Expression

Staccato, marcato, rapid tempos and dynamic control are some of the challenges of the changing and changed voices. The following exercise and guidelines are particularly helpful: • Sing descending patterns from the head voice (keeping above middle C for changing voices) (Phillips, 1992). • Create space in the mouth with open vowels that allow the sound to resonate. • Imagine the sound spinning forward toward the cheekbones and forehead, using hand gestures to reinforce the spinning and energized tone ( Jordan, 2005). Because there are few common tones among the various ranges in the middle school choir, once warm-ups leave the head voice area, it is essential to keep in mind the common notes among the ranges. What are the common tones? If you cannot answer this question, please go back and look at Example 2.2. Commit them to memory. Range Extension

As girls mature they develop an expanded range and need to be using it in order to keep it flexible (Gackle, 1991). For girls and boys, it is important to warm up the entire range, paying special attention to taking the head voice quality down into the chest voice range, rather than vice versa. Most students will be afraid of their rarely used head voice until its use becomes a regular routine in choir. This is essential to good voice production and good choral tone, even if the sound is very light and breathy at the start. Good posture, good breath support, good vowel unification with a dropped jaw, and dynamic exercises will improve the tone dramatically with time and instruction. • For ascending range extension vocalises, chord tones sung on open vowels (e.g., “oh” and “ah”) taken at fast tempos are best. • For descending range extension vocalises, stepwise exercises sung on resonant vowels (e.g., “ee”) taken at slow tempos are best ( Jordan, 2005).




Diction exercises are essential not only for making text intelligible, but the production of pure and uniform vowels make beautiful choral tone possible, and clean and crisp consonants provide rhythmic impetus. Put more artistically, the soul of choral singing is in the vowels, but the passion is in the consonants. Put more technically, vowels are sung “on the breath” with the vocal cords in vibration, while consonants obstruct the breath stream, either partially or fully, and the vocal cords may or may not be in vibration (Moriarty, 1975). At the middle school level the diction curriculum should stress the following consonants: • • • • •

Final consonants Voiced (b, d, g, j) plosives Voiceless (p, t, k, ch) plosives Nasal n (for building legato) Fricative v (for developing high resonance) (Phillips, 1992).

The vowel hierarchy for practice uses the following five primary vowels: • • • • •

oo oh ah eh ee

The choral conductor needs to be familiar with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) for these sounds which can be found in every language:

[u o ɑ ε i] The pure vowel sound “oh” [o] should not be sung as the diphthong it is in the English language and will be discussed later. Most music education curricula are too full to include a course in diction, yet it is one of the most important aspects of choral singing. Even the youngest choristers can be taught to sing beautiful uniform vowels which make the difference between a fine choir and a mediocre one. Therefore, attention to diction principles and the IPA is necessary. What follows are guidelines for learning to sing the basic vowel sounds.



• Practice singing the lip vowels [u] (as in noon) and [o] (as in gold) with rounded and projected lips (“fish mouth”) and a slightly dropped jaw. • When forming tongue vowels, practice singing: • • • •

[i] (as in meet), [ε] (as in met), and [ɑ] (as in father). Note that the tongue and jaw gradually lower in the progression of these three vowel sounds (Moriarty, 1975).

• Form the mouth position for the vowel during inhalation before singing. • Sing five-note descending patterns for each vowel, beginning on c2 and not descending below middle C (see Example 3.5). • Sing five-note patterns on enjoyable combinations of vowels such as “doo-bee-doo-bee-doo” and “so-fa-mi-re-do”. Tongue-twisters are very effective in improving choral diction. Try “Double Bubble Gum,” as seen in Example 3.6, using increasing tempos and minor tonality for extra challenge and fun. “Red Leather Yellow Leather” (see Example 3.7) is another challenging tongue-twister that can be adapted to fit a number of five-note patterns.

Example 3.5 Vowel Exercise



Example 3.6 Diction Exercise

Example 3.7 Diction Exercise

Warm-ups should occur at every rehearsal because they teach the students how to sing well. By keeping the pace quick, the entire warmup sequence can be accomplished within 10 minutes with practice on the part of the teacher. These exercises may be gleaned from warm-up textbooks, from the literature to be rehearsed, or created by you, but stretch yourself to come up with warm-ups that you have never tried before. Adding movement will keep the students engaged, and is very highly recommended. Jordan’s (2005) The Choral Warm-Up includes several chapters detailing physical gestures and kinesthetic exercises to reinforce vocal principles. There are many published warm-up books for adolescents that are easy for the middle school teacher to use, but it is most important that



you know what you want to accomplish in your warm-up period, why it is important, and how to best carry it out. It is now time for you to create your first middle school warm-up sequence from scratch, using all of the information given in Chapters 2 and 3 of this textbook. Keep in mind the differences and similarities in ranges among voice parts, the vocal concepts that need to be taught in order to learn to achieve a good tone, and an overall energetic pace to engage the adolescent. In order to avoid waning attention spans, don’t plan to spend too much time on any one warm-up. Make note of how many minutes each exercise should take. BRAINTEASER 3-2: CREATING MIDDLE SCHOOL WARM-UPS Create your first middle school warm-up sequence, selecting several vocal objectives indicated in Figure 3.2. You may use the vocal warm-ups suggested in this chapter, refer to additional resources listed in References and Further Reading, or others recommended by your professor, being sure to cite your sources. Script actual directions you will give to the students, and add clef signs to the five-line staves provided.

BRAINTEASER 3-3: OBSERVING MIDDLE SCHOOL WARM-UPS Observe warm-ups at your local middle school, and notate them in your reflection journal, including the apparent objective of each and if you think it was achieved. Include what worked and why, and what you might do differently.

BRAINTEASER 3-4: CONDUCTING MIDDLE SCHOOL WARM-UPS Conduct your warm-ups in the local middle school. You may team-teach with another choral methods student who will serve as your accompanist, and vice versa. Note the following keys to success: • • • • •

Memorize your warm-ups. Time your warm-up sequence carefully. Move quickly from one warm-up to the next. Be energetic. Include movement, such as shaping phrases with the arms or stepping to the beat.

Middle School Warm-Up Relaxation and Alignment: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Minutes:

Respiration: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Minutes:

Phonation: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Vowel/Syllable Used: Range: Minutes:

Resonance: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Vowel/Syllable Used: Range: Minutes: © 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.

Registration: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Vowel/Syllable Used: Range: Minutes:

Agility and Expression: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Vowel/Syllable Used: Range: Minutes:

Range Extension: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Vowel/Syllable Used: Range: Minutes:

© 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.

Diction: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Minutes:

Figure 3.2 Middle School Warm-Up © 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.



• Keep your own “teacher talk” to a minimum. • Keep vocal ranges in mind. • Listen to hear if the individual warm-up objective is being met. Arrange to do the following: 1. Video-record your warm-up sequence in the field. 2. Watch the recording and evaluate your teaching for five strengths and five areas of needed improvement. 3. Revise. 4. Apply your revised warm-ups in the field, if possible. 5. Submit your tape, written warm-ups and reflections to your professor. 6. Watch peers’ videotapes in your choral methods class. Discuss what you have learned, and compile a list of best vocal warm-ups for middle school choirs with copies for everyone in the class to place in their choral teaching portfolios. Proceed to conduct warm-ups at every opportunity, always with specific goals and ranges in mind; and practice conducting from the piano as well as with an accompanist. Both are necessary skills.



When selecting music for middle school choirs, some of the essential considerations include: • • • • •

appropriate vocal ranges and tessituras for the singers; vocal development objectives; musical learning objectives; appropriate texts; “quality” music.

“Quality” is an elusive term that means that it is worth learning. Aim for high quality music and the rewards will be so much greater than from music of little value. Quality music is available for all ages in all styles. Although the term is difficult to define, it is generally assumed that if something lasts, it has value. Trite music becomes boring with repeated rehearsal. Music that continues to uncover layers of meaning, musical or otherwise, is worth considering. There are a variety of resources that can aid the choral director in finding literature that meets these criteria, the first being the stateapproved list of music for contests. For example, the Indiana State School Music Association ( publishes a yearly list of required and recommended choral ensemble compositions, graded by difficulty level and voicing, ranging from junior level 3 (for the beginning choir in middle school) to senior level 1 (for the most advanced high school level). The junior and senior levels are broken down by the



following voicings: mixed choir, treble or women’s choir, and male or men’s choir. Here the choir director will find repertory that is approved and appropriate for the middle school choir. The American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) publications are a valuable resource for repertoire. One source provides a complete list of pieces that have been performed by middle school choirs at ACDA regional and national conventions between 1960 and 2000 (Schmidt, 2002). Those pieces that have been performed multiple times over the years obviously work, and are excellent indicators of “quality” music for middle school choirs. The Choral Journal is a useful aid in literature selection for any level, as well as state, regional and national MENC ( and ACDA ( conferences that feature reading sessions of

Middle School Choir Repertoire Resources Buchanan, Heather J. & Mehaffey, Matthew W. (2005). Teaching Music through Performance in Choir; Volume I. Chicago: GIA. (See Levels 1 and 2, pages 89–180.) Butler, Abby & Lind, Vicki (2005). Renaissance Repertoire for Middle School Choirs. Choral Journal, 46(1), 37–41. Hower, Eileen (2006). Designing a New Paradigm for Selecting Music for the Middle School Choir. Choral Journal, 47(5), 62–74. Indiana State School Music Association Required List Download for Organizational Events: (See JH/MS/Elem Choir Required List for various voicings and levels of difficulty.) Phillips, Kenneth H. (2004). Directing the Choral Music Program. New York: Oxford University Press. (See Appendix C: List of Recommended Choral Repertory for Junior High Choirs, pages 392–402.) Reames, Rebecca R. & Warren, Matthew (November, 2006). Recommended Literature: Middle-Level Mixed Choirs. Choral Journal, 47(5), 76–88. Schmidt, Sandefur (2002). Music Performed at Am e rican Choral Directors Association Conventions, 1960–2000. Lawton, OK: ACDA Monograph 12. (See Junior High or Middle School Choir, pages 203–209.)



middle school choral music and concerts by middle school ensembles. In addition, choral music publishers send out promotional CDs with new choral music. You will no doubt find literature at these conferences, concerts, and on these CDs that you will want to purchase for your own choirs. Because of the variety of unchanged, changing, and changed voices in a middle school choir, you will want to find effective literature in the following voicings: • SA and SSA (for treble voices). • Two-part and three-part (for treble and/or changing voices). • SAB (often too low for the boys, but can work well for some groups). • SACB (often an excellent choice; the “C” for Cambiata or Changing Voice). • SATB (for a mature and advanced middle school choir). It is best to sing music written for the range and tessitura of each voice part. Music designated as “three-part” can work well with any middle school chorus, as long as the music teacher carefully places the students on the part that they are able to sing as they negotiate the voice change. It doesn’t matter who sings Part 1, 2 or 3, as long as the part fits the singer’s range and tessitura. A fine three-part arrangement is Yonder Come Day by Judith Cook Tucker, in which the vocal ranges are very small and fit the changing voice well. The piece is simple without being trite, and relies on an authentic Georgia Sea Island song as its theme with repetitive text. The theme is sung in unison once, then repeated with a simple upper harmony part with the range of a minor third, and then repeated again adding a lower ostinato part with the range of a fourth. The arranger suggests that the a cappella piece be transposed to any key for ease in singing. Claps, steps and chant add to its appeal. Freedom is Coming by Henry Leck is similar in its number of parts, simplicity of range and musical demands, and is based on an attractive and authentic non-Western song. As in Yonder Come Day, it allows all singers to contribute vocally and musically, and thus have a quality choral music experience, despite limited musical knowledge and vocal ability. Many similarly effective pieces can be found on state-approved lists for beginning middle school choirs. It should be noted that sacred pieces with Latin texts may also be found among the simpler literature



lists, and are important and accessible for this age group because they teach the five pure vowels that are essential to beautiful singing. As middle school singers mature into stronger musicians, the level of difficulty of the music must increase. However, the teacher must continue to be attentive to the vocal range limitations that many boys may be experiencing even while their musicianship is expanding. It is essential to seek music with accessible ranges to enable the boys to experience success in the singing experience. The music studied can become increasingly complex, involving three to four parts, and more challenging melodies, rhythms, tempos, harmonies, forms, styles, languages, and even tone quality for some world music. A favorite example is South African Suite for three-part voices (also available for four-part and SAB), arranged by Henry Leck. The vocal ranges are perfect for the changing voice (see Example 4.1), and the African music is authentic and stimulating. The addition of the African language is a unique learning experience for the singers, and the pure vowels are the same as in Latin and are therefore easy to learn. The three pieces of the Suite, Tshotsholoza, Siyahamba, and Gabi Gabi, are sung by all ages, but fortunately fit the adolescent voice extremely well. It has been recorded by the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. Separate gender choirs in middle school can perform SSA and TTB pieces. For example, a beautiful treble arrangement of the famous Finnish folk song W ho Can Sail? (Vem kan segla förutan vind) by CarlBertil Agnestig provides moderate musical challenges, moderately large ranges (see Example 4.2), minor tonality, some chromaticism, and the option of singing in English or Swedish. W ho Can Sail? has been recorded by Anima (formerly the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus). Example 4.1 Ranges for Siyahamba by Henry Leck



Example 4.2 Ranges for Who Can Sail?

Likewise, André Thomas’s TTB arrangement of the Spiritual Good News! emphasizes careful tuning of three-part chords contrasting with independent unison tenor and bass lines, as well as great dynamic and breath control, and the gradually expanding ranges of the adolescent boys (see Example 4.3). SATB music can be carefully chosen for the more advanced middle school mixed choir, and André Thomas created a model arrangement in Keep Your Lamps! The characteristics of this piece can be used as a guide in selecting repertoire for the middle school mixed choir: it is written in the comfortable tessitura of the four voice parts (see Example 4.4), is based on a spiritual that is rhythmically attractive for this age group, includes an interesting accompaniment of three conga drums, features syncopation which is accessible due to effective repetition, Example 4.3 Ranges for Good News!



Example 4.4 Ranges for Keep Your Lamps!

includes a vocal solo, requires good consonant diction and placement, and uses a large dynamic range. GRADED CHORAL REPERTOIRE FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL

Most middle schools will offer a beginning chorus, or two beginning separate gender groups, that are open to any student regardless of musical experience, and another more advanced ensemble. To help find literature that differentiates between beginning and more advanced music, choral teachers can look to their state’s recommended literature list, or to other graded resources, such as Teaching Music through Performance in Choir (Buchanan & Mehaffey, 2005), where specific musical criteria (vocal, tonal and rhythmic) are sequentially outlined and used to grade the literature on a scale from 1 to 5. The level 1 and 2 pieces may be used with beginning and advanced middle school ensembles. Level 1 criteria include: • simple, short, conjunct and comfortable vocal lines; • major and minor tonalities with no chromaticism or modulations; • basic rhythms. Level 2 criteria include: • basic challenges in phrase length, disjunct lines, range and diction;



• brief chromaticism, modulations, modal passages, and dissonances; • brief rhythmic challenges. The following “starter-list” of recommended pieces is based on these criteria, and includes titles from Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, as well as from other resources. More extensive repertoire lists for middle school choirs can be found in the many cited resources in this chapter. SELECTED REPERTOIRE FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL CHOIRS Beginning Middle School Choirs: Treble Chorus

All the Pretty Little Horses (two-part) For the Beauty of the Earth (SA) Gloria ad Modum Tubae (SA) Old Abram Brown (SSAA) South African Suite (SSA)

arr. Earlene Rentz John Rutter Guillaume Dufay Benjamin Britten arr. Henry Leck

Beginning Middle School Choirs: Male Chorus

The Holly and the Ivy (CCB) Kyrie (TB) Loch Lomond (TB) Simple Gifts (TB) This Train (TTB)

arr. Don Collins Ruth Schram arr. Earlene Rentz Aaron Copland arr. Roger Emerson

Beginning Middle School Choirs: Mixed Chorus

Be Thou My Vision (SATB) The May Night (SATB) The River Sleeps Beneath the Sky (three-part) South African Suite (SAB) No Greater Gift (SAB)

arr. Alice Parker Johannes Brahms, arr. Arthur Frackenpohl Mary Lynn Lightfoot arr. Henry Leck Ruth Schram



Advanced Middle School Choirs: Treble Chorus

Fire (SSA) I’m Goin’ Up a Yonder (four-part) Savory, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (SSAA) The Snow, Op. 26, No. 1 (SSA) Three Choral Pieces (SSA) W ho Can Sail? (three-part)

Mary Goetze Walter Hawkins Donald Patriquin Edward Elgar Jean Berger Carl-Bertil Agnestig

Advanced Middle School Choirs: Male Chorus

Good News! (TTB) Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (TB) My Bonnie (TTBB) Poor Man Lazrus (TTBB) The Sailor’s Song (TTB) Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (TTBB)

arr. André Thomas Gerald Finzi arr. Alice Parker & Robert Shaw arr. Jester Hairston Patti DeWitt arr. Nina Gilbert

Advanced Middle School Choirs: Mixed Chorus

Ave Verum Corpus, Op. 2, No. 1 (SATB) Cantar! (SATB) Cantate Domino (SATB) Chester (SATB) Die Nachtigall, Op. 59, No. 4 (SATB) Der Tanz (SATB) El Grillo (SATB) Fa Una Canzona (SATB) Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ My Name (SATB) I Got a Robe (SATB) Jasmine Flower (SATB) Keep Your Lamps! (SATB) Now Is the Month of Maying (three-part) O Bone Jesu (SATB) Psallite (SAB, SATB) Rock-a My Soul (three-part)

Edward Elgar Jay Althouse Giuseppe Pitoni William Billings Felix Mendelssohn Franz Schubert Josquin Desprez Orazio Vecchi arr. Brazeal Dennard arr. Moses Hogan arr. Jing Ling-Tam arr. André Thomas Thomas Morley, arr. Russell Robinson G.P. Palestrina Michael Praetorius arr. Kirby Shaw


Soldier Boy (SATB) Steal Away (SATB) Three Madrigals (SATB) The Turtle Dove (three-part) W iegenlied (SATB)


John Rutter arr. Ruth Schram Emma Lou Diemer Linda Spevacek Johannes Brahms, arr. Sherri Porterfield

BRAINTEASER 4-1: ATTENDING CHORAL MUSIC CONFERENCES Attend your state MENC or ACDA conference this semester, and attend two sessions, a choral music reading session geared for middle school teachers, and a middle school choir concert. Write a one- to two-page paper on each, listing details of the repertory and your assessment of each piece’s appropriateness for middle school singers.


As the choral music teacher selects repertoire to teach and conduct, it is important to consider all of the musical aspects of the piece that will later go into a thorough score analysis and preparation. By the first rehearsal of the piece, the teacher must know the music thoroughly, and the essential steps to that knowledge include the following, although not necessarily in this order: • Analyze the key, tempo, style, texture, and language. • Note the harmonic structure of the piece, including modulations and unusual progressions. • Analyze the form of the piece, marking the score. • Write out the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbols for all vowels. • Mark primary, secondary, and unstressed syllables based on a combination of natural word stress, metric stress, and phrase considerations. • Write out a literal translation, if not in English. • Notate the range of each voice part. • Research the composer, the purpose for which the piece was written, and its performance practice. • Listen to a recording of the piece, if available.



• Play the parts on the piano, as well as the accompaniment. • Sing through all parts, circling in pencil any melodic or rhythmic errors that you make (your students will certainly make those too). • Consider where breaths should be taken and mark the score. • Practice conducting the piece in front of a mirror, working on challenging conducting gestures (preparatory beats, cues, expressive markings, etc.). • Memorize the score; then conduct it in front of a mirror from memory, complete with cues. BRAINTEASER 4-2: ANALYZING AND MARKING THE CHORAL SCORE Select at least one piece for a middle school choir with changing or changed voices. This may come from your middle school field experience, or selected by your professor. Complete the score analysis and score preparation as indicated above. Submit your analysis with a copy of the score attached. Be prepared to conduct your choral methods class for practice (be sure to provide scores).


Many future choral music educators see little harm in photocopying choral music for their choirs because they have witnessed it done so often. While few teachers ever get fined or sued for abusing the copyright law, it can and does happen. And even if it never happens to you, it is your responsibility as a teacher and artist to respect the rights of the composer/arranger, and to teach your students to do so as well. If you don’t teach them, perhaps no one ever will. The U.S. Copyright Law was designed to encourage artists to create new works by protecting those works. Composers and arrangers deserve to be paid for their musical publications. Consider the fact that when someone photocopies their music, they are stealing from the artist. Ignorance or a small music budget is no excuse to break the law. Here are a few relevant aspects of the law: • The copyright law does permit copying music in the emergency of an imminent concert date, but it also requires that the same



music be purchased regardless of whether it is needed after the performance or not. The law prohibits purchasing music but then making copies to preserve the original scores—scores are considered “consumable” and therefore by law should be replaced when no longer usable. The often-used phrase—that the music is for “educational use”—does not permit photocopying more than 10% of a complete work for study purposes. Out-of-print music may not be freely photocopied. The publisher of the work must be contacted for permission to copy the work. Compositions or arrangements with an expired copyright or that never had a copyright are considered “public domain” (PD) and are free to use.

However, deciphering if a piece is public domain is not a simple task due to updates of the copyright law. The simplest explanation is that works published before 1923 are in the public domain and are free to use. However, those published between 1923 and 1977 are generally protected for 95 years after the copyright notice date; and those published in 1978 and later are generally protected by copyright for the life of the creator plus 70 years, or until 12/31/2047, whichever is longer (Maser, 2002). Penalties for infringement of the copyright law include basic fines from $750 to $30,000, but if the court determines willfulness to photocopy for commercial advantage, that penalty can be a $250,000 fine and/or five years’ imprisonment or both. The complete copyright law and its implications are available online at, and copyright issues specific to music can be found through the Music Publishers’ Association of the United States at copyright_resource_center/copying or from MENC. CHORAL RESOURCES VIA THE INTERNET

The good news is that technology advances have made it possible to access digital files of choral music legally through the Internet. Commercial musical publishers often require a credit card transaction,



but the speed at which these transactions take place eliminates the need for emergency photocopying, or for waiting for permission to copy outof-print pieces, as the music is available almost instantaneously (Sharp, 2004). Public domain choral scores are now available for downloading from numerous websites provided by both commercial and non-commercial sources.

Internet Choral Library Resources

• The Choral Public Domain Library ( wiki/index.php/Main_Page) provides thousands of choral compositions that are available to download, edit, print, and copy free of charge. • The Library of Congress ( smhtml/smhome.html) makes available choral music from the late 1800s (Sharp, 2004). • The ChoralNet site ( Resources.phtml?category51) lists numerous free choral music downloading sites. • Musica Virtual Choral Library ( en/index.php) provides texts, translations, and sound files for over 150,000 scores (Shasberger, 2004).

One area of vigilance is regarding digital downloading of choral music. The role of the choral director as scholar is critical when identifying appropriate editions of available scores. Due to the ease of procuring free downloadable music, it is also easy to access inaccurate scores or poor editions. The burden is on the choral conductor to make scholarly decisions regarding the scores that best reflect the intentions of the composer and appropriate performance practice (Sharp, 2004).



BRAINTEASER 4-3: SEARCHING THE INTERNET FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL CHORAL MUSIC Explore one of the repertoire websites identified in this chapter, search for a choral piece appropriate for middle school singers, and report your findings to the choral methods class.



It is an unfortunate reality that teachers must recruit students to sing in choir. There are a number of strategies that can help recruit and then retain students in your ensembles. Pounding the Pavement

While there may be a core of students who enroll because of past choral experiences or family musical interest, in order to grow a choral program the teacher must actively seek new members in a number of ways. • The guidance counselor at the school can be most helpful in suggesting appropriate students whose abilities and schedules are conducive to choir participation. • The drama teacher, local piano teachers, and church choir directors will know of students with musical interest, and should be contacted for names of those students. • The elementary feeder school is a primary source of interested students. If 5th graders have a positive choral experience, they are likely to choose choir when they move to the middle school. Invite them to the middle school to hear all of the choirs; and in fact, audition them during 5th grade and then let them all pass the audition. • Your school colleagues will support your program if you support theirs. Make an effort to attend various academic and



sports events at the school, and you will find the support to be reciprocated. • Give small prizes to students to recruit additional members into your ensemble. • Send a letter to parents explaining the benefits of choral participation and asking them to encourage their children to enroll. • Organize a curriculum arts “wheel” where non-choir students rotate into a choir class for six to eight weeks. This experience inspires many to enroll in choir as an elective (Hinckley, 1992). Brainstorm about other ways to recruit new members, and list them here: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Single-Gender Ensembles

Adolescence is not an easy time to be a male or a female because the experience of hormonal growth and its side effects as described in Chapter 2 are not entirely predictable. Researchers (Carp, 2004; McClung, 2006) have found that middle school singers often respond better to single-gender ensembles which reduce the distractions of the opposite sex, help bonding among same-sex members, and aid in instruction of the changing voice that both boys and girls are experiencing. When students feel secure in an ensemble of others going through similar physical changes, combined with a caring and knowledgeable teacher and good quality music, they are likely to feel loyal to the group and continue singing. If there are too few boys to form a choir, or if your school will not allow single-gender choirs, look for workshops for male singers (Demorest, 2000) and female singers; or provide opportunities for your students to audition for all-state male and female choirs. The impact of singing with 100 or more others of the same age and sex with a masterful conductor will leave an indelible impression of the power of singing together (see, for example, the inspiring video Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice (2003) with Anton Armstrong and André Thomas



rehearsing the American Boychoir and the Newark Boys Chorus). It is also helpful to provide models of outstanding single-sex choral ensembles; young singers will often strive to imitate those models. Nothing Succeeds Like Success

The simplest answer to the question of how to recruit and retain is the old adage that “nothing succeeds like success.” If a choral program has a reputation of the inclusion of diverse types of students, exciting tours and successful performances, banquets and awards, and basic word of mouth regarding the “fun” and “pride” quotients, students will want to be part of that scene. Yet, achieving that level of success often takes a few years of experience on the part of the teacher, and it comes to some teachers more easily than others. Energy, passion, love, dedication, humor, organization . . . none of these characteristics can be underestimated when it comes to growing a successful choral program. MUSICAL SKILLS AND STANDARDS FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL SINGERS

What exactly should a middle school student be able to do musically? Should we expect them to read music? Should they participate in select ensembles such as vocal jazz, madrigals, world music, or show choir during the middle school years? How old do you have to be to learn to improvise? When should ear-training start? Should middle school students compose? These are just some of the many questions you may have when preparing for a middle school choir, and, fortunately, there are many resources that provide answers to these questions. First, the National Standards for Arts Education (MENC, 1994a) have recommended nine music content areas that all students, from kindergarten through 12th grade, should learn or be able to do. The several groups of music professionals who composed the standards believed that music students should be comprehensive musicians who can do more than just sing, or play an instrument and read music. They believed that all students should have richer experiences of music learning that would include world music, improvisation, composition, and understanding music in relation to other subjects such as visual arts, language, social studies, math, history, and more. They published



both content and achievement standards to guide and assess learning at three different levels: at the end of the 4th, the 8th and the 12th grades. Later, they published examples of works for teachers that are representative of the quality expected from students.

MENC Resources on the National Standards Cutietta, Robert A. (1999). Strategies for Teaching Specialized Ensembles. Reston: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1994a). National Standards for Arts Education. Reston, VA: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1994b). Opportunity-to-Learn Standards for Music Instruction. Reston, VA: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1996). Performance Standards for Music: Grades PreK–12. Reston, VA: MENC. Small, Ann R. & Bowers, Judy K. (1997). Strate gies for Teaching Elementary and Middle-Level Chorus. Reston, VA: MENC.

Most of the States in the U.S. have adopted these standards, although each state has revised them to fit their situation. There is a great deal of variety in the seriousness with which a state or school district regards and expects that the standards be met. While some regard the national standards to be unrealistic due to the time constraints of music teachers who have busy performance schedules for their ensembles, the standards were developed in order to create a more comprehensive musician. Ideally, students will be able to participate in music in any of a number of chosen ways, and not be restricted to the traditional music student roles of singing in choir or playing in band or orchestra. The nine content standards are very broad, and so it is essential to look to the specific achievements that students should reach by the end of Grade 8. The nine content standards (MENC, 1994a) are presented overleaf, followed by a description of the achievement standards for the middle school choir. For a complete description of the achievement standards see the National Standard s document in print, or online at the MENC website.



1. “Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music”: • Students should sing choral literature of diverse genres and cultures, • with a level of difficulty of 3 on a scale of 1 to 6, • using good breath control throughout their singing ranges, • including some songs performed from memory. 2. “Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music”: • Students perform instrumental music of diverse genres and cultures, • with a level of difficulty of 2 on a scale of 1 to 6, • accurately and independently. 3. “Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments”: • Singers improvise simple rhythmic and melodic variations • on melodies in pentatonic and major keys, • keeping a consistent style, meter and/or tonality. 4. “Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines”: • Singers arrange and compose short pieces for voices, • demonstrating how the elements of music are used to achieve unity and variety, tension and release, and balance. 5. “Reading and notating music”: • Students sight-read music with a level of difficulty of 2 on a scale of 1 to 6, • read and notate whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, and dotted notes and rests, • in 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 3/8, and 2/2 meter signatures. 6. “Listening to, analyzing, and describing music”: • Students use appropriate terminology to describe aural examples of music from diverse genres and cultures. 7. “Evaluating music and musical performances”: • Students develop and apply criteria for evaluating the quality and effectiveness of music performances and compositions.



8. “Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts”: • Students compare choral works with other artworks and • describe how they are used to transform similar events, scenes, emotions, or ideas. 9. “Understanding music in relation to history and culture”: • Students compare musical characteristics, functions, and conditions in several cultures of the world. TEACHING STRATEGIES Long-Term Curriculum and Unit Planning

Choral methods students will think of interesting ways to include the National Achievement Standards when teaching choral music, but will also grapple with how to accomplish all of the recommended goals during the middle school years. Fortunately, the middle school will offer two to three choirs—at least one beginning choir and one more advanced choir, or two beginning single-gender choirs and one advanced choir—through which students may progress and deepen their musical knowledge and skills. The beginning chorus should be open to all students and they should be taught music fundamentals and good literature, so that they may advance to the next level of choir which provides more challenging musical experiences and knowledge (MENC, 1994b). Given the typical three years of middle school, a curriculum can be carefully structured to accomplish the goals of the National Standards if the state/district mandates or the director takes responsibility on his or her own. The teacher might create a three-year curriculum to balance the skills (singing, improvising, composing, reading, and notating) and knowledge (describing, analyzing, integrating with other subjects) of the standards. Or the teacher may create different curriculum units for the various standards (see Table 5.1), so that during the Fall Semester the 6th grade chorus(es) would prepare and sing a world music concert complete with costumes and artwork, the 7th grade chorus(es) would study and perform gospel music with instrumental



accompaniment, and the 8th grade mixed chorus would focus on classical music singing, listening, and history; then in the Spring Semester, the 6th graders might engage in a classical music unit that includes integration with their history and language classes, the 7th graders would engage in a composition unit and perform their own composition, and the 8th graders would study and perform a vocal jazz unit, including improvisation. During the special units, all achievement standards for middle school would be addressed; and singing, reading, and evaluating of their own concerts would be a regular part of the choral curriculum for all grades. If the school did not have a large enough choral program to accommodate such a structure, the units or themes could rotate so that every student in choir for all three years would experience a comprehensive music education. Note the year-round emphasis in all choirs on reading. This skill is a critical aspect of musical literacy, and one that the choral director must teach regularly. A study of nationwide sight-singing requirements of choral festivals revealed the alarming results that only 17 of the 50 United States require sight-singing at statewide choral festivals for middle school students, and only eight states include the sight-reading Table 5.1 Curriculum Unit Example 6TH GRADE




Standards 1 & 5

Standards 1 & 5

Standards 1 & 5


Standards 1, 5, 8, 9

Standards 1, 2, 5, 9

Standards 1, 5, 6, 9


Standards 1, 5, 8, 9

Standards 1, 2, 5, 9

Standards 1, 5, 6, 9


Standards 1, 5, 8, 9

Standards 1, 2, 5, 9

Standards 1, 5, 6, 9


Standards 1, 5, 7

Standards 1, 5, 7

Standards 1, 5, 7


Standards 1, 5, 8, 9

Standards 1, 4, 5, 6

Standards 1, 5, 6, 9


Standards 1, 5, 8, 9

Standards 1, 4, 5, 6

Standards 1, 3, 5, 6


Standards 1, 5, 8, 9

Standards 1, 4, 5, 6

Standards 1, 3, 5, 6


Standards 1, 5, 8, 9

Standards 1, 4, 5, 6

Standards 1, 3, 5, 6


Standards 1, 5, 7, 8

Standards 1, 4, 5, 7

Standards 1, 3, 5, 6, 7

All Year: Fall Semester: Fall Semester: Spring Semester: Spring Semester: Post-Concerts:

Singing/Reading World Music Rep. Cultural Connections Classical Rep. History/Language Evaluation of Performance

Singing/Reading Gospel/Instruments History and Culture Composition Listening/Analyzing Evaluation of Perf.

Singing/Reading Classical Listening Classical History Vocal Jazz History Vocal Improvisation Evaluation of Perf.



score in the overall festival rating (Norris, 2004). Those states are Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Texas. A sequential guide to teaching sight-singing can be found in Chapter 9. The choral curriculum can be a challenge because there are so many skills and so much knowledge and music to teach. It is difficult to create a comprehensive and sequential approach to choral music when there are national standards, a vocal development curriculum, appropriate literature, performances, classroom management, and the following concepts to be introduced during the middle school years (MENC, 1991): • • • • • • • •

Vibration Diminution Augmentation Chords Chord progressions Triads Non-chord tones Key signatures

• • • • • • •

Modulation Transposition Countermelody Antiphony Imitation Musical Arpeggio.

Various excellent choral curriculum guides have been published, and future teachers should become very familiar with these approaches, and make informed decisions about their own choral curriculum.

Choral Curriculum Resources for Middle School Buchanan, Heather J. & Mehaffey, Matthew W. (2005). Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume I. Chicago: GIA. Experiencing Choral Music (2005). New York: Glencoe/McGrawHill and Hal Leonard Corporation ( correlations/PDFs/0610OR.pdf ). MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1991). Teaching Choral Music: A Course of Study. Reston, VA: MENC. Telfer, Nancy (1996). Choral Curriculum Guide: An Audio Workshop. San Diego, CA: Kjos Music Company.



BRAINTEASER 5-1: CREATING A MIDDLE SCHOOL CHORAL CURRICULUM If available, study the choral curriculum series named in the box above. Then design your own middle school choral curriculum in table format, divided by hypothetical ensembles or grade levels, and National Standards and Achievement Standards to be encountered through the choral experience, as seen in Table 5.2. You may eliminate or add to the skills, concepts, and content areas provided, as long as you defend your reasons. You may expand the table to any size you wish, or re-create your own visual approach to the curriculum.

BRAINTEASER 5-2: APPLYING THE NATIONAL STANDARDS Refer to the National Content and Achievement Standards for middle school, and examine your analyzed choral score(s) to identify those that could potentially be integrated into the teaching of your piece. Sketch the following details: Title of piece:_____________________________________________ Composer:________________________________________________ Publisher:________________________________________________ Voicing:__________________________________________________ Grade level:_______________________________________________ Content and Achievement Standards (1–9, a–e):___________________

________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ State a selected achievement standard as an “objective” of a rehearsal (What will students learn and be able to do as a result of this lesson?):

________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ State how you would assess whether the student had achieved the objective(s) (How will students demonstrate their learning?):_____________

________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

Table 5.2 Middle School Curriculum Framework MIDDLE SCHOOL BEGINNING CHORUS CURRICULUM 1SING














© 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.





Lesson Planning

You have just built the framework for a good lesson plan. Every plan should begin with specific learning objectives, and end with specific assessment tasks. The objectives state what the student will learn and the assessment states what the student will do to demonstrate that learning. Without goals and assessment, rehearsals would have little focus, and little evidence of learning. But how do we get from a learning objective to evidence of learning accomplished? The teacher must organize the lesson by analyzing and breaking down the objective into its smallest components, beginning with what is familiar to the student and progressing to the unknown (the objective), keeping a common thread from step to step in the lesson. A memorable illustration of this concept is the path from HATE to LOVE, by changing one thread (letter) at a time: HATE RATE ROTE ROVE LOVE The key to learning is to make each step toward the learning objective achievable and rewarding. It should create a “need to know” in the student. The teacher must find ways to trigger the interest and motivation of the majority of the students. The motivation may be extrinsic, such as a grade or other reward; or intrinsic, where the teacher draws on the student’s own exploratory and curious nature to answer a question or solve a musical problem. The motivation may be a model performance that the student would like to emulate. Or it might be a friendly competition in the music rehearsal to see who (or whose “team” or “section”) can reach a goal first. It helps if the teacher gets to know the students’ musical interests outside of the ensemble, tries to make connections with other areas of middle school study, and uses enthusiasm and unique approaches to capture the students’ interest. Certainly, the choral music teacher must put on a creative thinking cap to find ways to captivate students’ willingness to explore new territory.



Finally, the teaching steps should include several ways of actively engaging the student: • • • • •

Kinesthetically Visually Aurally Cognitively Emotionally.

The teacher should also make use of the following teaching strategies: • • • • •

Verbal instructions Aural examples Modeling Questioning Practice.

The students’ attention spans must also be taken into consideration. One rough guideline is to keep an activity going for as long as the student is old, so if the middle school student is 11 to 14 years old, no single piece, improvising lesson, sight-reading activity, or listening lesson, should last for more than 11 to 14 minutes for optimum attention to be maintained. BRAINTEASER 5-3: WRITING A REHEARSAL PLAN Write a lesson plan using the format in Table 5.3 based on one objective (achievement standard) for your analyzed choral score, putting the minutes of each activity in each step. Carefully reflect upon all of the strategies for good teaching suggested overleaf. Include various modes of instruction such as verbal, aural, visual, kinesthetic, modeling, questioning, reflecting, practice, and of course, singing. You may use the following rehearsal plan as a model for your work.



Sample Rehearsal Plan

Grade Level: 6th grade treble choir (middle school). Materials Needed: Chatter with the Angels, arr. Charles Collins, Boosey & Hawkes (two-part treble); metronome. National Standard(s): #3B: Improvising Melodies, Variations and Accompaniments: “Students improvise . . . simple rhythmic and melodic variations on given pentatonic melodies . . .” Behavioral Objective: The 6th grade choir members will demonstrate their understanding of two-bar call-and-response phrases and the pentatonic scale by improvising rhythmic and melodic variations on Chatter with the Angels in measures 21–24. Previous Lesson(s): The singers learned the melody to Chatter with the Angels, as written in measures 5–20; they can sing pentatonic solfege syllables. Motivating Opening or Script: “Can someone please raise your hand and tell me what the word ‘improvise’ means?” (e.g. “make up as you go along”). Procedure: (15 minutes) Step 1: “Please sit up straight, take a big breath and be ready to sing in measure 5 after the piano introduction.” Review singing Chatter with the Angels in measures 5–20 (2 minutes). Anticipated problems: lazy consonants, lack of support. Possible solutions: Ask for crisp consonants and four-measure phrases. Step 2: Direct the students to the score instructions in measure 21. Practice clapping the rhythm to the melody of the song. Practice Call and Response: Teacher claps two-bar calls and student claps “improvised” responses; students can “improvise” the call; practice can be extended to “improvising” with sound effects or percussion instruments (5 minutes). Anticipated pro blems: rhythmic inaccuracy; too much contrast. Possible solutions: Practice with class counting beats aloud; practice keeping the original melodic rhythm in mind.



Step 3: “Let’s try to improvise with solfege this time!” Review the g-flat pentatonic scale on solfege (do re mi so la do). Teacher “improvises” a call and student “improvises” a response. Students can “improvise” calls and responses (5 minutes). Anticipated problems: pitch accuracy. Possible solutions: hand signs, repetitive practice. Step 4: Assign partners for call and response. Choir sings from the beginning through measure 24, repeating measures 21–24 with rhythmic and melodic improvisation, until everyone has had the opportunity to improvise a call or response (3 minutes). Assessment: The 6th grade choir members will improvise rhythmic and melodic variations on Chatter with the Angels in measures 21–24; individual calls and responses will demonstrate understanding of two-bar call-and-response structure, pentatonic solfege names and pitches, and the use of improvisation. Extension: After a review of this lesson, singers will improvise pentatonic variations, adding the creative elements of lyrics, dynamics, silence, and varied tone color in two- and four-bar phrases.


Assessment informs the teacher if the students actually learned what was “taught.” Teachers sometimes feel that they have taught a great lesson, later to find out that students remember few important details. With assessment built into every lesson, the teacher can check learning, and if it is found to be inadequate, the teacher needs to take responsibility. It is easy to blame the students for being “inattentive” or “undisciplined” but the truth of the matter is that a good teacher teaches. And she or he learns to teach by exploring strategies until the students “get it.” What percentage of students should “get it” before the teacher moves on to new material? 25%? 50%? 75%? 90%? A good guideline is that at

Table 5.3 My Rehearsal Plan Grade Level:

Materials needed:

National Standard(s) addressed:

Behavioral Objective:

Previous Lesson(s):

Motivating Opening or Script:

Procedure: Step 1: (Known) Step 2: Step 3: Step 4: Step 5: Etc.



© 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.



least 75% of the students should be ready to move on when the teacher does. With repetition, reinforcement, and extra challenges, it is possible to help the 25% catch up, and to provide an extra boost for the gifted. One of the least pleasant jobs of any teacher is assigning grades. It is human nature to want to encourage students to continue to participate in choir. Yet at the same time, school administrators often want music teachers to be more discriminating in their assessment of their students, rather than assigning an A to everyone who participates. A grade is meant to inform the student and parents of achievement and progress, and to provide feedback on strengths and areas in need of improvement. Some feel that measured skills are less important than the overall music experience, yet others believe that choir grades must be reflective of actual achievement if music is to be considered an academic and rigorous core part of education. The teacher must decide on the components and their associated percentages of the choir grade, and how those components will be assessed. For example, if memorization of music is a portion of the grade, how will the teacher test each person to be sure that the grade given is appropriate? If sight-singing is important, how much of the course grade will be based on it, and how will the teacher assess it? When a parent wants to know why a student earned a B rather than an A, the teacher needs to have kept accurate records and can give specific instances where points were deducted from the course grade. As you can imagine, a grading system can be difficult to implement during a busy rehearsal. Some teachers are masters of effective point systems and others are not quite organized enough to use an elaborate grading method. But some method for reliable grading is needed. Rubrics are useful tools for assessment, and teachers are familiar with them because they are typically used in ensemble festival ratings. They rate specific aspects of performance (tone quality, intonation, rhythmic accuracy, etc.) on clear descriptors of each level of achievement. For example, the description of a “beginning” level tone quality might be “breathy” and “unsupported,” while the description of an “advanced” level would be “vibrant” and “projecting” (Asmus, 2002). The descriptors help teachers and adjudicators provide objective assessment, but they also provide students and parents with clear indicators of what is required to achieve higher levels of performance. For any skill measured, the teacher can easily check the appropriate category, such



Table 5.4 Sample Rubric for Sight-Singing Assessment BEGINNING




Lacks steady beat Inconsistent beat

Consistent beat

Strong pulse/beat

Missed 71 rhythms

Missed 41 rhythms

Missed 21 rhythms

Missed 0-1 rhythms

Lacks tonal center

Developing tonal center

Stable tonal center

Strong tonal center

Missed 71 pitches

Missed 41 pitches

Missed 21 pitches

Missed 0-1 pitches

as Beginning, Basic, Proficient, or Advanced. A sample rubric can be seen in Table 5.4. BRAINTEASER 5-4: CREATING A RUBRIC Create a rubric for the assessment stage of the lesson plan you just created in Brainteaser 5.3.

BRAINTEASER 5-5: OBSERVING THE MIDDLE SCHOOL CHORAL REHEARSAL Observe a middle school choral rehearsal to analyze the overall plan as well as individual learning objectives, steps to achieve the objective, and assessment of the objective. See if you can reconstruct the lesson plan as it occurred, using the format presented in this chapter. Does it match the model? If not, how is it different?

BRAINTEASER 5-6: CREATING A GRADING PLAN Request a copy of your local middle school choir teacher’s grading system, and share with the choral methods class. Discuss the pros and cons of the various approaches, and then create one for your future choir. Specify important specific skills, knowledge, and participation, and the associated percentages.




Now that you have studied the middle school changing voice, have conducted auditions and warm-ups, analyzed and learned appropriate repertoire, and planned curriculum and lesson plans, you are ready to conduct your own rehearsals. These final thoughts are offered as inspiration for effective and enjoyable rehearsals: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Be yourself. Be enthusiastic. Care about your students. Call students by name. Have high expectations for your students. Focus on the well-behaving singers. Be encouraging. Insist on good posture. Insist that students watch the conductor. Insist on good choral tone. Know and love the music. Have your students sight-sing every day. Have the singers stand sometimes, sit sometimes, and move frequently. Talk less, model more. Talk less, make more music. Don’t work just for notes—listen for entrances, cut-offs, intonation, phrasing, dynamics, diction, vowels, and word stress. Make some beautiful music at every rehearsal and bring the students’ attention to that beauty when it occurs.


The teaching of singing continues to be an integral part of the choral curriculum throughout high school. Although many high school chorus members have had previous choir experience, there will be students who are new to the choral department or whose choral experience did not provide voice instruction. You must remember that you will be the only voice teacher most of the students will ever have. Although both young men’s and women’s voices continue to mature throughout the high school years, they are more settled than in the middle school years (Phillips, 2004), and the traditional classifications of SATB can be used. An exception would be a 9th grade male ensemble with both unchanged and changing voices, necessitating SC (Cambiata) B or SACB or other voice classifications. VOCAL RANGES

Although every textbook will present a slightly different set of ranges for high school SATB voice parts, and every choir will have singers in various stages of vocal development, the ranges and tessituras (Phillips, 1992) for SSAATTBB presented in Example 6.1 should be committed to memory for ease in auditions, warm-ups, and repertoire selection. Looking closely, it can be seen that each voice part has an approximate range of a twelfth and a tessitura made up of the middle fifth of the range. This will aid in memorization. To identify the ranges for the beginning SATB group, conflate the S1 & S2 parts to include only the common notes between them; and do the same for alto, tenor and bass. Reduce each voice part to



Example 6.1 High School SSAATTBB Ranges and Tessituras

its common tones and see the resulting range of a tenth, and tessitura of just a third (see Example 6.2). These ranges and especially the tessituras are very conservative and generalized, but will assist in determining voice parts and selecting workable repertoire for the beginning high school ensemble. For the advanced SATB group, simply combine all the pitches of the S1 & S2, A1 & A2, T1 & T2, and B1 & B2 ranges. Each vocal part indicated in Example 6.3 ranges from the lowest note of part 2 to the highest note of part 1. Commit these to memory for ease of auditioning, warming-up, and selecting repertoire.



Example 6.2 High School SATB Beginning Ranges and Tessituras

Example 6.3 High School SATB Advanced Ranges and Tessituras


The choral audition has two main purposes: to determine choir membership and to place singers in sections. While auditioning can be nerve-wracking for many students, it is important for them to know that audition experience actually improves one’s ability to audition successfully (Fuller, 1989). The preparation for and pressure of the first audition make the second one a little easier, and so on, similar to athletes who perform better under the pressure of a championship game when they have had that experience previously.



There is no simple “quick and dirty” audition procedure for high school choirs as there was for middle school choirs. Auditions can be quite varied in the high school because of the different types of groups—there is often a non-selective ensemble, a single-gender choral group, a middle-level mixed ensemble, an advanced mixed ensemble, and at least one specialized chamber group such as madrigal singers or a vocal jazz ensemble. Other large ensembles may include a show choir or a gospel choir. But no matter what type of choir, the choral director will want to hear each student for proper choir and section placement. Auditions for the various groups may include some or all of the following criteria (Crabb, 2002): • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Vocal range and tessitura Tone quality Intonation Sight-singing skill Pitch and rhythm memory Blend Controllable vibrato Flexibility of tone Diction Dynamics Breath management Theory knowledge Improvisation skill Solo potential Dance ability Attitude Schedule availability Reliability Past musical experience Enthusiasm for choral music.

Audition Procedures

The choir director needs to announce the auditions, post a sign-up schedule for students at 10- or 15-minute intervals (outside of class time if possible), and distribute student information forms for students to complete and bring to the audition. Part I of the audition form



requests demographic information to be completed by the student, and Part II is for the instructor to complete during the audition. A fivepoint rating scale can be used effectively in the limited time frame of 10 minutes. The audition form shown in Table 6.1 can be adapted to fit any audition type. When the student enters the room, greet him or her by name in a warm and friendly manner to help ease the tension that comes with any audition. Make short conversation about the student’s information on the audition form in order to hear the pitch of the speaking voice. Position the student so that he or she cannot see the piano keys to alleviate any fears of singing “too high.” Move quickly to five-note descending vocalizes that are easy to sing, and then move to those that reveal the extremes of the student’s range, all the while taking notes on the student’s range, tessitura, tone quality, and intonation. Tessitura

It is essential to find the student’s tessitura (best sounding, easiest to produce pitches) as quickly as possible, and if this is difficult to hear, one approach is to have the student sing the first phrase of Am erica (“My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing”) in at least two different keys (G and C), to see if the voice sounds best in the soprano/tenor tessitura (key of G), or the alto/bass tessitura (key of C). Voice Timbre

Hearing five-note scalar patterns helps to identify the extremes of the range, but in a short audition time frame, identifying the tessitura as described above and listening for the following timbres in conjunction with range can really help determine voice classification (Phillips, 1992). • • • • • • • •

Soprano I: Soprano II: Alto I: Alto II: Tenor I: Tenor II: Baritone: Bass:

Light and pure Full; common voice type at this age Similar quality to Soprano II, but a bit lower Full and rich; rare at this age Light and lyrical; the last voice to develop Fuller than Tenor I Full; common voice classification at this age Heavy and dark; rare at this age

Table 6.1 Sample High School Choir Audition Form Sample Choir Audition Form Students: Please complete Part I of this form, and bring to your audition. Part I: Name:


Year in school: Choir experience: Private music study: Current class and work schedule: Hobbies: Contact information: Do not write below this line

Part II: Range and Tessitura

____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ Tone Quality: Intonation: Sight-Singing: Tonal/Rhythmic Memory: Solo Ability: Other: Other:

1(low) 1 1 1 1 1 1

2 2 2 2 2 2 2

3 3 3 3 3 3 3

4 4 4 4 4 4 4

5 (high) 5 5 5 5 5 5

Voice Part Assigned: ___________________________________________________________ Choir Assigned: _______________________________________________________________ Comments: ___________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________

© 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.



Pitch and Tonal Memory

A test of tonal memory can predict choral achievement (Mowrer, 1996). Tonal imitation exercises require no previous formal music training, but can provide vital information on how well the student can remember melodies. Two or three short examples (four or eight beats in length) sequenced from extremely simple to more challenging such as those in Example 6.4 work well. Be sure to use melodies that are appropriate for the vocal range of the students so that they have every opportunity to be successful. A student’s performance can be rated quickly on a five-point scale, with “1” indicating that no notes were correct, “2” indicating that only one or two notes were correct, “3”— about half of the notes were correct, “4”—most notes were correct, and “5”—a perfect performance. Example 6.4 Melodic Imitation Audition Example


Sight-reading examples can be created and sequenced similarly to the above imitation examples, with different levels of audition materials for the various ensembles in order to discriminate musical skills for proper choir and voice placement. However, if a singer cannot sight-sing at all, do not belabor the point by asking her or him to sing all examples. Two key aspects to keep in mind are 1) that sight-reading material for an audition should be several levels simpler than the actual music to be performed, and 2) that the sight-reading material should be placed in an appropriate key for the student’s range to provide the opportunity to succeed. In Examples 6.5 and 6.6, the melodies are notated in different keys and clefs to illustrate the last point.



Example 6.5 Moderately Easy Sight-Singing Example

Example 6.6 Difficult Sight-Singing Example


You may also want the students to sing a solo of their choice, ranging from Happy Birthday to an art song; or an improvisation of a scat solo to the blues. However, with only 10 minutes, the teacher has to be extremely organized and efficient, which takes practice.



BRAINTEASER 6-1: AUDITIONING HIGH SCHOOL VOICES Discuss with the local high school choir teacher how auditions are conducted for the various choirs. Ask if you can observe or assist with any auditions even though it may be mid-semester. Also, ask if you may have a copy of material used for the audition. Share the different approaches to auditioning in your choral methods class, and discuss which seem to work best. Include those in your reflective journal.


Once you have finished auditioning and know what vocal ranges the choir will be composed of, you can determine the best seating arrangement for your singers. There are many ways that choral sections can be arranged to sit, and the choral director must experiment to find the best sounding arrangement of voices. Some directors place the bass and alto sections in the back rows, with the sopranos in front of the basses for tuning purposes. B




Other directors place the men in the middle, particularly if there are noticeably fewer men than women in the ensemble. S




A small section of tenors may be placed in the middle with the basses in the back row. B S



Generally sectional seating is preferred for polyphonic pieces, but mixed quartets are often preferable for homophonic pieces for better intonation. SATB














Regarding sectional seating, Brenda Smith and Robert Sataloff, in their book Choral Pedago gy (2006), suggest that within each section, singers with dark, more fundamental tones should be placed between lighter voices, and strong singers should be placed behind the other singers in each section. It is also desirable to give singers some physical space between them for optimal individual and group hearing. Singers and audiences tend to prefer the choir’s overall sound when singers are given more acoustical space around one another (Daugherty, 1999; Ekholm, 2000). The choral teacher will need to experiment with different placements to find the best sound. BRAINTEASER 6-2: EXPLORING SINGER PLACEMENT In your field experience or in your choral methods classroom, rehearse a composition and experiment with different placements of singers as suggested overleaf. Listen carefully and note which sounds you prefer and describe why in your reflective journal.


The high school choral program has different challenges for the teacher than the middle school program. The rapid hormone changes and the accompanying turmoil are less pronounced during the high school years, and the voices are beginning to settle into their new, adult ranges. SATB music can generally be used, and most students enrolled in choir are there because they want to be. This no doubt sounds as if high school teaching is easier than middle school teaching. This may be true, but as we learn, everything has its challenges! Age Proximity

One challenge is that college students and first year teachers are somewhat close in age to high school students. The age proximity often causes the high school students to test the authority of the young teacher, and the teacher may feel less confident asserting that authority with older (and often larger!) students. In the field experience it is to the new teacher’s advantage to learn and strictly follow the regular teacher’s classroom procedures, rules, and consequences, whether he or



she agrees with them or not, to establish consistency for the sake of the student–teacher relationship. Another related issue is the infatuation that some high school students may feel toward a music teacher who is close in age. It is the teacher who must refrain from any behavior that could potentially be misunderstood by a student as mutual admiration. One safeguard is to avoid being alone with any student, ever. The loss of a teaching license for life is the usual result of inappropriate teacher–student behavior, and that is always a tragedy after all the years devoted to the professional goal of becoming a music teacher. Recruitment

Another challenge is simply attracting enough males to the choral program. Students have many options for curricular and extra-curricular activities in high school, and time conflicts naturally arise between choir and other commitments. If there is a strong choral feeder program at the middle school and especially if a relationship has been established between the middle and high school programs to assist in recruiting to the next level, then the high school director is fortunate. Without that, it can take patience and a few years to establish a strong and valued choral program comprised of multiple levels of choral ensembles with balanced vocal parts. The high school choral director needs to be an active recruiter for the choral program, especially in the early years. There are many students who wouldn’t consider joining choir without an invitation from the teacher or from other students. It is important to consider some of the reasons why high school students may choose not to sing in the choir (Tipps, 2003), and approach recruitment with these reasons in mind: • • • • • • •

Time conflicts Friends not involved in music Music not considered important to adulthood Vocal insecurity Inability to read music Stage fright Dislike of classical music.



The suggestions given in the previous chapter for recruiting middle school singers are applicable to the high school levels as well (contacting the guidance counselor, drama teacher, local piano teachers, church choir directors, and parents; giving prizes to current students to recruit new members; and designing a curricular “wheel” of choir electives). Other recruitment strategies (Horne, 2007) include: • writing personal letters or making phone calls of invitation to students; • providing choral role models that inspire students to join; • creating student-centered musical experiences, including the selection of authentic and suitable repertoire; • promoting the choir’s concerts through advertising; • including innovative and special performances for peers and parents; • advertising choir trips, tours, festivals, contests, and concerts. There will always be students whose priority it is to join the choir, and these tend to be students who have had the following experiences: • Previous positive school music experiences. • Previous private instrumental instruction, particularly the piano. • Parents and peers who value and participate in music (Siebenaler, 2006). In fact, these are the same singers who often enjoy a lifelong commitment to music and continue to sing in choirs as adults (Bell, 2004; Darrough, 1990). This long-term commitment is the goal of every music teacher—to plant a seed, nurture it, and watch it blossom during the school years so that singers will have rich and satisfying musical lives. Thus, the music teacher would be wise to actively invite and welcome all students into the choral program and place them in the most appropriate choir for their skills, abilities, and interests. These musical experiences may provide the only opportunities for students to acquire the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will allow them to participate in meaningful music experiences during their lifetime. A startling result of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) was that only 35% of 8th graders were able to sing



America with tonal accuracy, and less than 25% sang with an appropriate tone quality ( Jellison, 2000). There is much work to be done by choral music teachers to help our nation’s people learn to sing, and it begins with effective recruiting and auditioning. BRAINTEASER 6-3: RECRUITING SINGERS Study the bullet points regarding the reasons high school students join or choose not to join choir, and compose detailed strategies for recruitment.

BRAINTEASER 6-4: OBSERVING A HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR Observe a beginning and an advanced high school choral ensemble, and compare the number of voice parts, the characteristics of vocal ranges and choral tone between the two ensembles. Are you personally comfortable with the behavioral environment? What would you do differently if that was your choir rehearsal? If there is time, interview a few students and ask them when and why they decided to participate in the choral program. Report these results to your choral methods class.

BRAINTEASER 6-5: INTERVIEWING THE HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC TEACHER Ask the high school music teacher if and when you may interview her or him. Prepare questions in advance of the interview, to possibly include: Why did you choose to teach high school music? What other teaching and performance experiences have you had? How long have you taught at this school, and overall? What do you enjoy most about teaching high school choir? What are the biggest challenges of teaching high school choir? Do you have to recruit singers for your program? If so, how? Do you have a school-wide and/or choir discipline policy? Do you have a copy you could share with me? What percentage of your overall program has boys with unchanged or changing voices? What works for you when teaching boys with changing voices?



What advice do you have for me as I prepare for my first choral teaching job? How can I assist you during my time here at your school?

BRAINTEASER 6-6: DEVELOPING HIGH SCHOOL RULES AND CONSEQUENCES Read your interview transcript to your choral methods class, and after all students have shared their interviews, discuss commonalities and differences among the high school teachers. Share with one another lingering questions and insights about high school choral teaching. Together develop a set of high school choir behavior rules and consequences, and then revise yours to fit your personality. Create a miniature sign for your course notebook to post in your own high school rehearsal room.


Every singer knows numerous warm-ups from years of choir experience. Therefore, the preparation of warm-ups for choral rehearsals should be a cinch, right? Perhaps it is acceptable to skip warm-ups altogether in favor of getting right to the rehearsal of the music of the day, isn’t it? The answer to both questions is “No,” for two main reasons. First, warm-ups are important for all singers, trained or not, because they help focus the voice, body, and mind away from all of the speaking, mental preoccupation, and physical stresses of the day. And, in addition, all muscles should be warmed up before and cooled down after exercise, and these include the many muscles involved in singing, such as the chest and neck muscles (Smith & Sataloff, 2006). Second, it bears repeating that for most high school chorus members, the choir director is the only voice teacher they will ever have. Therefore, to maximize the potential of the overall choral tone, and to provide all students with the opportunity to learn to sing well for a lifetime, a sequential and comprehensive curriculum for voice building needs to be developed and followed. However, as in most music curriculum decisions, the teacher has great freedom. While freedom to choose what to teach is a great benefit, it also may result in a haphazard approach to curriculum, skimping on one or more essential musical skills. This may not be due to a choral director’s unwillingness or incompetence, but more likely a reflection of a lack of training in a sequential approach to vocal pedagogy for secondary school choristers.



Vocal Development Curricula for High School Ehmann, Wilhelm & Haasemann, Frauke (1981). Voice Building for Choirs. Chapel Hill, NC: Hinshaw. Jordan, James (2005). The Choral Warm-Up: Method, Proc edures, Planning, and Core Vo cal Exercises. Chicago: GIA. Phillips, Kenneth H. (1992). Teaching Kids to Sing. New York: Schirmer Books.

As described with regard to middle school vocal development, Teaching Kids to Sing and The Choral Warm-Up: Method, Proc edures, Planning, and Core Vocal Exercises are sequential approaches, and the high school curriculum they present is built upon the foundation learned in middle school. There are many other fine choral warm-up books, and while they may not be organized with sequential lessons, they provide a rich array of warm-ups that may be used to achieve the vocal development goals provided here. In teaching vocal technique to high school students, first review the middle school warm-ups found in Chapter 3. Then follow the high school vocal curriculum presented here which consists of two levels of instruction—grades 9–10 and 11–12 (Phillips, 1992). As before, vocal goals revolve around the following: • • • • •

Relaxation and Respiration Phonation and Registration Resonance Diction Expression.

Other warm-up goals that will be included here are: • Range Extension and Agility • Articulation • Intonation.



VOCAL CURRICULUM FOR 9TH AND 10TH GRADES Relaxation and Respiration

Begin with repetition of the middle school alignment, relaxation, and respiration exercises as described in Chapter 3. When those are achieved, add new posture exercises: 1. Practice weight distribution, keeping knees and hips loose. 2. Stretch the sternum, shoulders, and neck to keep them loose. 3. Balance an imaginary cake on each shoulder, or basket of fruit on the head (Ehmann & Haasemann, 1981). Add new breathing motion exercises: 1. First exhale air as if blowing out the candles on a cake. 2. Practice silent inhalation through the nose. 3. Suspend the breath “without any sensation of holding it” (Miller, 1996, p. 31). 4. Exhale silently while holding the sternum and rib cage high (Smith & Sataloff, 2006; Miller, 1996). For new breath management exercises, exhale strongly on non-vocal puffs and aspirates (Phillips, 1992) in the following ways: • as on a mirror to fog it; • as on eyeglasses to clean them; or • as if blowing the fuzz off of dandelions (Ehmann & Haasemann, 1981). Phonation and Registration

What follows the middle school phonation (sound-producing) exercises are voiced abdominally supported sounds such as: • the belly laugh; • followed by light laughs in the upper register; and • then assigning pitches to the laughing syllables (“ho,” “hee,” etc.) in the middle register and moving the pattern chromatically up and down, as shown in Example 7.1 (Ehmann & Haasemann, 1981).



Example 7.1 Pitched Laughing Syllables for Phonation

The following strategies are recommended: • Include rising inflection sounds such as “a-choo” and “a-ha!” to coordinate the upper and lower registers (Phillips, 1992). • Continue the use of the sigh (on an “oo” vowel) from the high voice downward, making the passaggio (transitional areas between registers) smooth. This can be used in all rehearsals because the sigh relaxes the larynx and the entire body, and it uses the singer’s entire range (Walders, 2005). Resonance

To achieve a resonant ringing sound, review the six middle school resonance warm-ups in Chapter 3 and then practice: • five-note descending patterns focusing on “vv” leading to “oo,” keeping the vowel vertical and the throat and tongue free from tension; • glissandos of a fifth or octave, and scales, on a hum (Ehmann & Haasemann, 1981). Diction

Diction exercises should include: • sighs and inner smiles for vocal-tract freedom; • warm-ups including hissing sibilants (s, sh, c) followed by a cutoff with a sudden dropped jaw; and • emphasized voiceless sibilants (f, s, th, sh) (Phillips, 1992). Teachers can find or create their own tongue-twisters to focus on these consonants.




Expression exercises that follow the middle school warm-ups include: • catch breaths and staggered breathing; • accelerando and ritardando control exercises; and • arpeggios on “oo” and “ah” (Phillips, 1992). VOCAL CURRICULUM FOR 11TH AND 12TH GRADES

The sequence for teaching voice to 11th and 12th grade choral singers assumes that the previous 9th and 10th grade warm-up goals have been accomplished, and includes several new exercises per category. Each category of warm-ups is detailed below, as described in Teaching Kids to Sing (Phillips, 1992). Relaxation and Respiration

New posture development exercises include the following: • • • •

Facial expressions with eyebrows, eyes and mouth Energized, buoyant posture Stepping Conducting.

Breathing motion exercises include the following: • Rhythmic breathing while mock-rowing • Inhaling while whispering “one” and exhaling while whispering “two” • The “Tired Dog Pant” (slow and quiet rhythmic breathing) • The “Hot Dog Pant” (light and quick breathing) (Phillips, 1992, p. 207). Breath management and extension exercises include the following: • • • •

Breath-pulsed echo patterns The “Slow Leak” The “Lip Trill” Rib control awareness (Phillips, 1992, p. 215).



Phonation and Registration

Ehmann and Haasemann (1981) emphasize the importance of integrating the registers—bringing the sounds of the high register into the middle and low registers, and vice versa. Their approach is through vowel modification, which “unites the registers and the resonators” (p. 37) by allowing different overtones to color the tone. For example, they recommend the umlaut (ü is produced by rounding the lips in an “oo” formation while singing “ee”) because it results in both a low larynx and a high placement, enriching the resonance of the tone and uniting the quality over the interval of an octave. Practice Exercise 7.2 first on “u” and then on “ü”. Example 7.2 Consistency of Registers Exercise

Other ways to bridge the vocal registers include: • short glissandos between the high and middle voice, and the middle and low voice, upward and downward, with no audible break between registers; • long glissandos from high to low and vice versa, with no audible break between registers; • singing the same pitch repeatedly, alternating registers (Austin, 2008). Resonance

Vocal resonance exercises include the following (see Example 7.3): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Begin on g1 (so) on the umlaut or other resonant syllable. Pulse and sustain on a ti-ti-ti-ti ta-a rhythm pattern. Move to c2 (high do) and c1 (low do). Repeat steps 1 to 3, but begin on c2 (as so), with changed voices an octave lower. 5. Repeat the exercise again beginning on c1.



Example 7.3 Resonance Exercise


Intonation exercises include (Phillips, 1992): • practicing and memorizing a tuning pitch; • moving two parts outward from a unison by half step to an augmented fifth, as in Example 7.4; • ascending and descending intervals or triads; • canons, hymns and chorales. Articulation

Before proceeding to legato and staccato exercises, Austin (2008) recommends sostenuto (sustained) and portamento practice. Sostenuto is practiced as follows (see Example 7.5): 1. Begin in the low chest voice register. 2. Sing a major (or other mode) ascending and descending scale over 32 measures, vocally sustaining each pitch for five beats. 3. Sing on an “ah” vowel at a mezzo forte to forte dynamic level. Example 7.4 Intonation Exercise



Example 7.5 Sostenuto Exercise

Portamento is practiced as follows (see Example 7.6): 1. Begin in the low chest voice register. 2. Sing a major (or other mode) ascending and descending scale over 14 measures, sliding from do to re, re to mi, etc., “with a continuity of tone that . . . is evenly distributed from the first to the second note (p. 59). 3. Sing on an “ah” vowel at a mezzo forte to forte dynamic level. Legato exercises should achieve the same continuity and vibrancy of tone that the portamento exercises achieve, with the vocal folds in an almost constant state of phonation, but without sliding from pitch to pitch. The same exercises may be used, or other legato exercises, focusing on the following:



• Unification of the five primary vowels: • • • • •

[u] [o] [ɑ] [ε] [i].

• Unification of the short vowels: • • • •

[U] as in “book” [I] as in “sit” [{] as in “sat” [^] as in “up.”

• And diphthongs: • • • • • •

[ai] as in “kite” [ε] as in “great” [ou] as in “go” [ɑ] as in “round” [oi] as in “noise” [iu] as in “music.”

• Uniform vowels, a dropped jaw, vertical space and steady breath support will greatly enhance legato singing. Example 7.6 Portamento Exercise



• Melismatic singing (on one syllable) extends from legato practice and should be performed lightly, with abdominal pulsing but not with an added “h.” Staccato articulation requires vocal coordination which can be achieved by: • singing lightly on [u] and [ɑ] vowels in low to high arpeggios or on simple familiar songs; • singing “ho-ho” choruses (any known piece may have “ho-ho” lyrics substituted), with the staccato produced at the larynx while the breath flow remains constant (Austin, 2008); • preceding vowels with a “d” to assist in a breath-supported staccato (Ehmann & Haasemann, 1981). Range Expansion and Velocity

For expanding the high range: 1. Arpeggiate chords: • always beginning with the vowel [u] (or preceded with a consonant such as l[u], c[u], and f [u]) and later moving to other primary vowels; • keeping a relaxed jaw, open throat, and low larynx; and • singing lightly and quickly. 2. Repeat with legato articulation (Ehmann & Haasemann, 1981). Diction

Advanced diction goals include vocal tract freedom, word pronunciation, and consonant articulation. Vocal tract freedom exercises (as shown in Example 7.7) focus on: 1. singing the five primary vowels with attention to the tip of the tongue touching the lower front teeth; and 2. general facial and tongue relaxation (Ehmann & Haaseman, 1981). Word pronunciation exercises include attention to the following:



• The Three Rs (the American as in “run” sung very quickly, the Flipped as in “spirit,” and the Soft as in “arm” keeping the tongue forward). • Pronunciation Etudes as found in many warm-up books. • IPA Studies (see Appendix A). Consonant articulation exercises include (Phillips, 1992): • Tuned Continuants (m, n) • Sing “mee, meh, mah, moh, moo” on a single pitch • Emphasize and elongate the m before each beat • Voiced Continuants (v, z, th, zh): have the students echo rhythm patterns which exaggerate these • Aspirates (voiceless h and voiced wh, pronounced hw) • Have students echo rhythm patterns that exaggerate these • Practice this phrase: “Why, when, where and how?” Example 7.7 Vocal Tract Freedom Exercises


Advanced goals for expression focus on phrasing and dynamics. Phrasing exercises include: • analysis of word and syllable emphases, by marking a “1” (primary stress), “2” (secondary stress) or “3” (unstressed) over each syllable determined by considerations of: • important words • metric stress, and • phrase flow (see Appendix A);



• conducting phrases; and • physically moving and feeling the support needed to create forward motion, as in moving a pointing finger forward throughout a phrase, or drawing imaginary arcs in the air for phrases. Dynamic warm-ups focus on: • supported crescendo and decrescendo; • sudden dynamics changes; and • messa di vo c e (a crescendo followed by a decrescendo on one sustained pitch, illustrated in Example 7.8) (Phillips, 1992). Example 7.8 Messa di Voce Exercise


Vocal warm-ups within the choral rehearsal serve to not only prepare the voice, mind, and body for the rehearsal, but to teach proper and healthy vocal technique. It should be pointed out that there are differing views on the teaching of vocal technique and choral tone, even among experts. For example, choral directors usually prefer a more blended tone, while private voice teachers tend to prefer a more soloistic sound (Ekholm, 2000). And even choral directors may differ greatly in their concept of the ideal choral tone. Preferential variations in vibrato rate, timbre, resonance, dynamics, blend, balance, and diction are often due to choral directors’ own teachers and mentors who came from different historical choral schools of thought (Swan, 1988). International choirs also often have distinctive choral tone. One is not necessarily better than another, except to the ears of each individual conductor. So, it is only natural that you, as conductor, have and continue to develop your own concept of an ideal choral tone, based on your choral teachers and experiences. You may want to draw on warm-ups sung in your own previous choral rehearsals because of familiarity. However,



you are urged to carefully think through the vocal objectives of the high school warm-up sequence presented here, because it provides a solid structure for a high school vocal curriculum. BRAINTEASER 7-1: CREATING HIGH SCHOOL WARM-UPS Create your first 15-minute high school warm-up for grades 9–10 or 11–12, using the format and five-note staves provided in Figure 7.1. Refer to the exercises in this chapter, as well as to the chapter resources, or others recommended by your professor, being sure to cite your sources. Add any script to assist you in remembering how to explain a concept, and submit the form to your professor.

BRAINTEASER 7-2: OBSERVING HIGH SCHOOL WARM-UPS Observe choral warm-ups at your local high school, and notate in your reflection journal what those warm-ups were, including their goals and assessments. Include what you liked and why, as well as what you would do differently.

BRAINTEASER 7-3: CONDUCTING AND SELF-EVALUATING HIGH SCHOOL WARM-UPS Conduct your warm-ups with a local high school choir. Determine if you will have an accompanist or not. Keys to success: • Memorize your warm-ups. • Time your warm-up sequence carefully. • Know each part’s vocal range and do not exceed it by more than a minor third. • Include physical movement. • Be energetic. • Connect with and respond to your ensemble. • Keep your own “teacher talk” to a minimum. • Have high expectations and listen carefully (and urge the singers to listen) to make sure a unified ensemble sound is being achieved.

High School Warm-Up (15 minutes) Relaxation and Alignment:

_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Minutes: Respiration:

_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Minutes: Phonation and Registration:

_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Range: Minutes: Resonance:

_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Vowel/Syllable Used: Range: Minutes: © 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.


_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Vowel/Syllabus Used: Range: Minutes: Articulation:

_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Vowel/Syllable Used: Range: Minutes: Range Expansion:

_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Vowel/Syllable Used: Range: Minutes:

© 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.


_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Minutes: Expression:

_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ Vowel/Syllable Used: Range: Minutes:

Figure 7.1 High School Warm-Up © 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.



ASSIGNMENT: 1. Video-record your warm-up sequence in the field. 2. Evaluate the video-recording for five strengths and five areas of needed improvement. 3. Reflect and revise. 4. Apply your revised warm-ups in the field. 5. Submit your video-recording, reflections, and warm-ups to your professor. 6. Watch peers’ videotapes in your choral methods class. Discuss what you have learned, and compile a list of best vocal warm-ups for high school choirs with copies for everyone in the class to keep in your choral teaching portfolio. Proceed to conduct warm-ups at every opportunity, always with specific goals in mind; and practice conducting from the piano as well as with an accompanist. Both are valuable and necessary skills.


Finally, it is important to address vocal health. You will be your students’ main resource for singing-related issues, and so the following guidelines from Prescriptions for Choral Excellence (Emmons & Chase, 2006) should perhaps be posted in your rehearsal room! Other vocal health resources are listed in References and Further Reading. • • • • • • • • • • •

Avoid throat clearing. Drink no more than two cups of caffeinated drinks per day. Drink no more than one glass of acidic juice per day. Drink copious amounts of plain water. Avoid smoke, smoking, and excessive use of alcohol. Do not scream or yell unless it is an emergency. Avoid talking in loud settings. Keep environmental humidity at 40% or more. Keep your immune system strong by getting enough sleep. When others around you are sick, wash your hands often. At the first sign of a cold, try zinc lozenges; if it worsens (and you are not allergic), take ibuprofen or acetaminophen (not aspirin); go to rehearsal!


Effective choral teachers need to know where to find high quality choral music and how to select appropriate music for their choirs (Reames, 2001). While attendance at high school choral concerts and choral reading sessions, listening to choral recordings, and perusing choral libraries are all valuable ways to find new music, the choral director should also make use of published repertory resource guides. The search for outstanding repertoire is a lifelong pursuit, and so it is beyond the scope of this book to provide a comprehensive list of choral repertoire for secondary school choirs, but a wide selection of resources is provided here. As with middle school choirs, some of the essential considerations for the selection of music for high school ensembles include: • • • • •

appropriate vocal ranges and tessituras for the singers; vocal development objectives; musical learning objectives; appropriate texts; “quality” music.

A grading system for vocal, tonal, and rhythmic challenges is a useful aid for music selection found in Teaching Music through Performance in Choir (Buchanan and Mehaffey, 2005). Levels 1 and 2 were previously discussed with regard to middle school singers, and now levels 3 and 4 will be presented for high school singers. Level 3 literature contains some emphasis on: • Advanced vocal technique • Challenging tessituras


• • • • • • •


Extended breath control Wide dynamic ranges Numerous languages Modal tonality, modulations, extended harmonies Counterpoint Difficult rhythms Simple mixed meters.

Level 4 recommended pieces present extremes in: • • • • • • • • • •

Breath control Range Dynamics Expressivity Alternative vocal techniques Refined diction Non-diatonic harmony Frequent chromaticism Challenging rhythms Mixed meters.

The two outstanding volumes by Buchanan and Mehaffey (2005, 2007) provide detailed information about the composer, the composition’s historical, technical, stylistic, musical, and formal considerations, the text and translation, and representative recordings of outstanding performances of each piece, as well as a companion CD set. MIXED CHOIR MUSIC

SATB pieces that meet but do not exceed Buchanan and Mehaffey’s level 3 criteria include: • • • • • • • •

Ernani Aguiar’s Salmo 150 Samuel Barber’s Sure on This Shining Night Adrian Batten’s O Sing Joyfully Benjamin Britten’s Jubilate Deo in C Javier Busto’s Ave Maria Gerlad Custer’s Innisfree David Dickau’s If Music Be the Food of Love Gabriel Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Gabriel Fauré’s Messe Basse Daniel Gawthrop’s Sing Me to Heaven Orlando Gibbons’ The Silver Swan George Frideric Handel’s Hallelujah, Amen and Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite Hans Leo Hassler’s Verbum Caro Factum Est Franz Josef Haydn’s Gloria Charles Ives’ Circus Band Libby Larsen’s Alleluia Kirke Michem’s Love and Pizen Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus James Mulholland’s Heart We Will Forget Him Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina’s Sicut cervus Donald Patriquin’s Innoria Lloyd Pfautsch’s Musicks Empire Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck’s Venite Exultemus Domino Robert Schumann’s Zigeunerleben Randall Thompson’s The Last Words of David Eric Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs Bob Childcott’s arrangement of Buffalo Gals Moses Hogan’s arrangement of Wade in the Water Boniface Mganaga’s arrangement of Vamuvamba Alice Parker’s arrangement of Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal Alice Parker and Robert Shaw’s arrangement of Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier.

Level 4 SATB pieces include: • • • • • • • • • • •


Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sicut locutus est Samuel Barber’s Let Down the Bars, O Death Béla Bartók’s Four Slovak Folk Songs Ludwig van Beethoven’s Kyrie Johannes Brahms’ Geistliches Lied William Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus Stephen Catman’s An Elizabethan Spring René Clausen’s Three Whitman Settings Aaron Copland’s Sing Ye Praises to Our King Cecil Effinger’s Four Pastorales Alberto Favero’s Te Quiero


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Gerald Finzi’s My Spirit Sang All Day Gustav Holst’s I Love My Love Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium Stephen Leek’s Ngana Claudio Monteverdi’s Sfogava con le Stele Pierre Passereau’s Il est bel et bon Sergei Rachmaninoff ’s Bogoroditse Devo Steven Sametz’s I Have Had Singing Heinrich Schütz’s Die mit Tränen säen Charles Stanford’s The Blue Bird Z. Randall Stroope’s Amor de Mi Alma Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck’s Psalm 96 John Tavener’s Two Hymns to the Mother of God Frank Ticheli’s There Will Be Rest Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A Choral Flourish Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory’s arrangement of John the Revelator.

Another resource for high quality choral literature is Music Performed at Am erican Choral Directors Association Conventions, 1960–2000 (Schmidt, 2002). Twelve different types of choirs performed at ACDA conventions during the 40-year period, ranging from children’s choirs to adult professional choirs. Relevant to high school directors are the listings for male chorus, women’s chorus, senior high school choir, vocal jazz ensemble and show choir. The book can be searched by composer, title, type of choir, and convention. Those individual pieces that have been performed numerous times over the years by high school choirs give a good indication of excellent music that works and a few of those titles follow: • • • • • • • • •

René Clausen’s All That Hath Life and Breath Norman Dello Joio’s A Jubilant Song Maurice Duruflé’s Ubi Caritas Charles Ives’ The Sixty-seventh Psalm Felix Mendelssohn’s Die Nachtigall Claudio Monteverdi’s Ecco Mormorar L’onde Kurt Nystedt’s Cry Out and Shout Brent Pierce’s Hosanna John Rutter’s Five Childhood Lyrics



• Alessandro Scarlatti’s Exultate Deo • Jack Halloran’s arrangement of W itness. The 100 most-performed pieces by high school all-state choirs from all 50 states between 1995 and 2000 were identified as part of a doctoral dissertation (Spillane, 2004). Handel was the most-performed composer, followed by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Mulholland, Mozart, Clausen, Thomas, Hogan, Thompson, Parker and Shaw, Bach, Haydn, Lauridsen, Rutter, Wilberg, and Copland. The most-programmed pieces were the following, in this order: • • • • • •

Morten Lauridsen’s Dirait-on Moses Hogan’s Battle of Jericho Paul Basler’s Missa Kenya (Gloria) Arthur Frackenpohl’s/Johannes Brahms’ The May Night Javier Busto’s Ave Maria Joseph M. Martin’s The Awakening.

Other favorites for high school mixed choir include: • • • • • • • • • •

René Clausen’s Set Me as a Seal Aaron Copland’s Long Time Ago Emma Lou Diemer’s Three Madrigals Sarah Hopkins’ Past Life Melodies Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium and Sure on This Shining Night John Leavitt’s Festival Sanctus John Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth Z. Randall Stroope’s Caritas Et Amor Randall Thompson’s Alleluia Eric Whitacre’s Hope, Faith, Life, Love.

An Annotated Inventory of Distinctive Choral Literature for Performance at the High School Level (Hawkins, 1976) provides accurate descriptions, historical perspectives, musical challenges, levels of difficulty, voicings, instrumental needs, performance times, and publishers of 100 choral masterworks that have been performed by high school mixed choirs. Other resources include Twentieth-Century Choral Music: An Annotated Bibliography of Music Suitable for Use by High School Choirs (White, 1990), and for strictly American choral music, a special issue



of the Choral Journal (March 2003) lists over 100 accessible SATB pieces. WOMEN’S CHOIR MUSIC

For high school women’s choir, Teaching Music through Performance in Choir (Buchanan and Mehaffey, 2005) presents analyses, composer information, and model recordings of the following choral works: • • • • • • • •

God’s Bottles by Randall Thompson (Level 3) He’s Gone Away, arr. Ron Nelson (Level 3) Ave Maria by Johannes Brahms (Level 4) Heaven-Haven by Samuel Barber (Level 4) Las Amarillas by Stephen Hatfield (Level 4) O Aula Nobilis by William Mathias (Level 4) Salut au Chevalier Printemps by Camille Saint-Saëns (Level 4) Rise Up, My Love, My Fair One by Imant Raminsh (Level 4).

Monica Hubbard (1998) who initiated the ACDA archive of music for women’s chorus states that the following literature should be in the library of every women’s choir director: • • • • • • • • • •

Carols for Choirs, Book 4, arr. David Willcocks and John Rutter A Girl’s Garden from Frostiana by Randall Thompson Laudamus te from Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi Messe basses pour voix de femmes by Gabriel Fauré Nigra Sum by Pablo Casals O Music by Lowell Mason Six Traditional Carols, Sets 1, 2, 3 by Imogen Holst Three Mountain Ballads, arr. Ron Nelson Velvet Shoes by Randall Thompson The Water is Wide, adapted by Luigi Zaninelli.

For women’s choir music written by 20th-century composers, the following pieces are suggested (Guelker-Cone, 1992; Rensink-Hoff, 2007; White, 1990): • Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down, arr. Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory • And Back Again by Dede Duson


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Autumn Fires by Marian McLaughlin Ave Maria by Lois Land Away, Melancholy and Gabriel’s Message by Alice Parker Carol and High Flight by Nancy Telfer Celebration by Louise Talma Ching-A-Ring Chaw by Aaron Copland, arr. Irving Fine Dancing Song by Zoltán Kodály Four Russian Peasant Songs by Igor Stravinsky Fragments from the Mass by Emma Lou Diemer The Heavenly Aeroplane by John Rutter Here Comes the Avant-Garde by Brock McElheran In Paradisum by Ernst Krenek In the Summer by Lajos Bardos Lo ch Lomond, arr. Vijay Singh Missa Brevis by Ramona Luengen The Night Will Never Stay by Elinor Remick Warren Nouns to Nouns by Vincent Persichetti O Lady Moon by Alan Hovhaness O Sacrum Convivium by Robert Bell Refuge by Libby Larsen Rose Trilogy by Eleanor Daley Songs of the Nativity by Ruth Watson Henderson.


Level 3 music for male choir includes (Buchanan and Mehaffey, 2005): • • • • •

An die Frauen by Franz Josef Haydn, arr. Gergoy Vancil Brothers, Sing On! by Edvard Grieg, arr. Howard D. McKinney I’m a-Rollin’, arr. Paul Rardin Soon Ah Will Be Done, arr. William Dawson What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor? arr. Alice Parker and Robert Shaw.

Level 4 men’s choir pieces include: • Absalon, fili mi by Josquin Desprez • Ave Maria by Franz Biebl • Ballad of Jericho by Moses Hogan



• Manly Men by Kurt Knecht • Sehnsucht by Franz Schubert • Shall I Compare Thee? by Stephen Paulus. Other easy to moderately difficult pieces recommended for the abundance of energy often found within high school male choir members include the following, many with various interesting accompaniments (Palant, 2007; Parr, 1997): • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

A-Rovin’, arr. Norman Luboff Betelehemu, arr. Wendell Whalum Come Let Us Sing unto the Lord by Emma Lou Diemer Do You Hear the People Sing?, arr. Ed Lojeski Hold On!, arr. Eugene Simpson Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, arr. Gabriel Larentz-Jones Old Dan Tucker, arr. Douglas Ipson or Michael Levi Poor Man Lazarus, arr. Jester Hairston Prayer of the Children by Kurt Bestor, arr. Andrea Klouse Rainbow ’Round My Shoulder, arr. Robert DeCormier Steal Away, arr. Brazeal Dennard Susannah!, arr. Jonathan Crutchfield Swing Down Chariot by André Thomas V ive l’amour, arr. Robert Shaw and Alice Parker We Shall Walk through the Valley in Peace, adapted by William Appling • Western Songs, arr. Roger Wagner • W hup! Jamboree, arr. Robert Shaw and Alice Parker.

Additional 20th-century choral works for high school male voices (White, 1990) include: • • • • • •

All This Night Shrill Chanticleer by Halsey Stevens Dance of the One-Legged Sailor by Brent Pierce Four Russian Peasant Songs by Igor Stravinsky Here Comes the Avant-Garde by Brock McElheran Nouns to Nouns by Vincent Persichetti The Tabernacle of God Is with Men by Edwin Fissinger.




The question often arises regarding the legality and appropriateness of singing sacred music in public schools. Because choral music with sacred text comprises a substantial portion of the masterworks of music history, both MENC and ACDA have published comprehensive statements to assist choral directors in their decisions regarding music from various religious and cultural traditions. MENC states the following in its publication Religious Music in the Schools (1996a): It is the position of the Music Educators National Conference that the study and performance of religious music within an educational context is a vital and appropriate part of a comprehensive music education. The omission of sacred music from the school curriculum would result in an incomplete educational experience. (p. 2)

Choral music directors must take steps to ensure that the performance of sacred music in the public school is “religiously neutral” (p. 3) in that the music is selected based on musical, educational, and artistic value, rather than to promote religious views. Questions raised in 1971 in Lemon v. Kurtzman should still be asked today at each school performance to avoid violation of the First Amendment: • Is the purpose of the performance secular in nature? • Does the performance enhance or inhibit religion, confuse the students, or create objections by the students’ families? • Is there “entanglement” with a religious group, as in financial support? ( ACDA elegantly states that: any work of art studied or performed should be selected for its inherent beauty of structure and form. Its purpose in study should be learning for the sake of developing artistic understanding and responsiveness. Often artworks are related to a specific religious/cultural tradition. The study of such works of art can enhance one’s understanding and appreciation of a cultural product which a particular tradition has fostered. (http://acda. org/about_us/policies)



For further information and support, see the MENC and ACDA web addresses identified here. SCORE ANALYSIS

A conductor’s professional life revolves around score study. It is timeconsuming and requires discipline. No matter how young or old the conductor is, there will always be new choral compositions and arrangements to explore. Eventually, every conductor will find his or her preferred approach to score study. But whatever that approach is, the following aspects of the score need to be analyzed and deeply understood before the first rehearsal: • • • • • • • • • • •

Range and tessitura of each voice part Key Tempo Style Texture Language Harmonic structure (including modulations and unusual progressions). Form Phrases and breaths The composer’s intent for the piece The performance practice of the genre or style.

Approaches to realizing the music are often gained by: • listening to recordings of the piece by various artists; • playing the vocal parts on the piano, as well as the accompaniment; • singing through all vocal parts, circling in pencil any melodic or rhythmic errors that you make (your students will make those too); • conducting the piece in front of a mirror, practicing challenging gestures (preparatory beats, cues, expressive markings, etc.); • memorizing the score so that your head will be out of the score and the score will be in your head! While these points were made in an earlier chapter, there are two effective additional strategies to score analysis and marking that will be



introduced here. The first is called “Seven Trips through the Score” with different colored pencils for realizing different aspects of the music. For example, the following color code may be used: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Mark formal analysis with yellow Mark harmonic structure with orange Mark the melody with green Mark phrases with pink Mark dynamics, tempo and rhythm with blue Mark the vocal line with red Mark the text with a normal lead pencil.

Then listen to a recording of the piece or play it on the piano and complete a historical analysis of the piece. You may find that this approach to score study, as practiced in the Paris Conservatory, focuses both the eyes and ears on the most important musical characteristics of the piece. Another well-known approach to score study is the creation of an analytical graph, sometimes called a “Structural Memorization Chart” (see Table 8.1) because of its effectiveness in deep understanding and memorization of the music. The graph is a vertical approach to analysis which presents the main structural points beginning in measure 1 and continuing through the piece (Decker & Herford, 1988). What follows in Table 8.1 is a modified analysis of the first 35 measures of J.S. Bach’s Kyrie II from the Mass in B Minor for illustrative purposes. Table 8.1 Structural Memorization Chart • • • • • • • • • • • •

Form Measures Phrasing Melodic motives

Section I 1 1-8 513

Meter Tempo Dynamics Text Voices Accompaniment Texture Harmonic structure

4/2 moderato mf mf< f Kyrie eleison B T A S organ polyphonic f#: bII V/VI

18 9-18 514

19 19-24 412

35 25-35 614

mp Kyrie eleison A B BTAS

A: V7/V





Words are what make choral music special. Their meaning needs to be communicated to the audience through attention to vowels, consonants, and syllable stress. The choral conductor has the responsibility to prepare the textual understanding and delivery in the following ways: • Write out a literal translation, if the piece is not in English. • Write out the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbols for all words, particularly the vowels (see Appendix A). • Mark all primary, secondary, and tertiary syllable stresses based on a combination of natural word stress, metric stress, and phrase considerations (see Appendix A). PERFORMANCE PRACTICE

Authenticity is a hot topic in musical performance. It refers to the conductor’s attempts to recreate a performance in the tradition from which the composition was originally conceived and performed. The aspects of a performance that may be interpreted as authentic can range from the size of the choir and its tone quality to the type of accompaniment. Knowledge of authentic approaches requires study of the music and its history, but some general interpretive guidelines will be presented here for the conductor to consider (Garretson, 1993): Renaissance (Example: Palestrina’s Sicut cervus)

• Meter: Music of this period was unmetered and was sung with the natural word stress. Although bar lines are now often added to Renaissance music, the conductor must beware of destroying the natural flow of the words. Tempo and dynamics were also determined by the natural flow of the text. • Tone quality: Light and clear with minimal vibrato, to simulate the Renaissance boys’ voices and men’s falsetto voices. • Ornamentation: Expected in Renaissance music and the interested choral director may study appropriate embellishments to the melodic line (see Madura, 1999). • Expressiveness: Occurs through word painting. • Crisp text and rhythmic interplay should be emphasized.



Baroque (Example: Handel’s Hallelujah, Amen)

• Meter: Definite and precise beat. • Tempo: Extremes are avoided; a fermata is merely the end of a phrase and not an indication to extend the length of the pitch. • Dynamics: Only slight changes occur between terraced dynamics levels. • Tone quality: Pure, light, brilliant, florid; some vibrato. • Articulation: Pulsed on rapid melismatic scale passages; leggiero (light) in lively passages; portato (halfway between legato and staccato) in slower non-legato passages. • Balance: Bass and soprano predominate. • Expressiveness: Determined by harmonic tension and repose. Classical (Example: Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus)

• Meter: Steady but with a lighter beat that Baroque; first beat of new sections is emphasized. • Tempo: Moderate, without extremes. • Dynamics: Crescendo and decrescendo from one dynamic level to the next; no extremes. • Tone color: Warmer tone color and more vibrato than previously, but not overdone; inner vocal parts are stronger than in the Baroque. • Articulation: Pulsed on rapid melismatic scale passages; leggiero in lively passages; portato in slower non-legato passages. Romantic (Example: Brahms’ Geistliches Lied, Op. 30)

• Tempos: Extremely fast or slow; rubato is used. • Dynamics: Extremes from fff to ppp, crescendo and decrescendo, sfz, sf. • Tone color: Rich, dark, with vibrato. • Articulation: Legato. • Expressive: Free and individual expression emphasized.




There were many different styles of music composed during the 20th century, including Impressionist, Expressionist, Neo-Classical, NeoRomantic, Nationalistic, 12-Tone, and Aleatoric, so there is no short list of appropriate performance practices. The conductor, then, will need to research the composer’s intent and make decisions regarding interpretation. Many choral scores from the second half of the 20th century call for some aleatoric improvisation, which leaves some elements of the musical structure open to the singer’s choice (Madura, 1999). This might include freedom with words, sound effects, or given pitches or rhythms. Some aleatoric pieces are written in traditional notation and others use graphic notation. Such pieces that the choir director may choose to explore with a high school choir include: • • • • • • • •

All That Hath Life and Breath by René Clausen Cantate Domino by Rupert Lang Epitaph for Moonlight and Minimusic by Murray Schafer Exultet Coelum Laudibus by John Paynter Oh Ha Ha by Pauline Oliveros Psalm 98 by John Grant Sanctus by Ron Jeffers Sounds Patterns by Bernard Rands.

BRAINTEASER 8-1: ANALYZING AND MARKING THE CHORAL SCORE Select at least one piece for a high school choir from your current field experience, or selected by your professor. Complete the score analysis, markings, and preparation as indicated above (do not mark in music that is not your own). Submit your analysis with a copy of the score attached. Be prepared to conduct your choral methods class for practice (be sure to provide scores).

BRAINTEASER 8-2: ATTENDING A HIGH SCHOOL CHORAL CONCERT Attend a conference reading session or concert of high school choral music, and review the repertoire suitability and programming effectiveness.



BRAINTEASER 8-3: COLLECTING AND ANNOTATING CHORAL SCORES Using the various resources identified in this chapter, collect and annotate at least 10 pieces for high school choir, including some for beginning and advanced levels, and some for treble and male voices.

BRAINTEASER 8-4: CREATING A PERFORMANCE PRACTICE CHART Create a chart that compares and contrasts the performance practices of the periods of music explored above, and apply the criteria of one period to a piece you are currently studying.


Good literature and good rehearsals are two sides of the choral coin. One without the other minimizes the impact of the choral experience. Researchers have examined the various aspects of effective rehearsals, and insightful findings can provide teachers with a focus for their preparation and confidence in the intended results. THE HIGH SCHOOL ENSEMBLE CURRICULUM

MENC recommends at least two but preferably three choirs at the high school level for beginning through advanced choral instruction, or for single-gender choirs, that build sequentially upon the middle school choral experience (MENC, 1994a). Single-gender choirs are highly recommended by many experienced high school teachers (Carp, 2004; Jorgensen & Pfeiler, 2008). Some of the reasons include the following: • Students are visibly less focused when members of the opposite sex are present. • Vocal pedagogy can be more specific and effective in singlegender groups. • There is a place for the overflow of girls in the choir program. • There is good vocal literature for separate-gender choirs. • Intonation improves when boys’ voices are isolated from girls’ ranges. • The male chorus dispels the thinking that choir is a feminine pursuit. • Male choir enrollment increases. • Leadership roles are more easily fostered.



• The single-sex class dynamic is more confidence-building, supportive, encouraging. In addition to the core mixed, men’s and women’s choruses in a high school program, there may be one or more specialty ensembles such as a Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Show Choir, Madrigal Ensemble, Barbershop Quartet, and Gospel Choir. These ensembles provide important diverse musical experiences and are major motivators for many students and will be presented in detail in the next chapter. EFFECTIVE REHEARSALS Daily Rehearsal Planning

A good rehearsal is designed like a good concert (Barrow, 1994). After warm-ups and sight-singing, the rehearsal of choral literature should begin with an attention-getter; followed by pieces that contrast in terms of tempo, tonality, style, texture, text, language, accompaniment, or composer. The most complex or difficult piece(s) should be placed near the middle of the rehearsal, and a memorable and moving piece placed at the end, leaving the singers with a favorite piece still echoing in their ears when they leave class. Rehearsal pacing should be quick to keep students on their toes, but not rushed or tense, with some breaks to rest the voice and relax while announcements or other business matters can be quickly relayed. Literature-Based Warm-Ups

One effective approach to choral warm-ups is to derive them directly from the repertoire being studied. For example, warm-ups may be created that focus on difficult rhythms, intervals, or articulations found in the pieces to be rehearsed that day. This approach is an efficient use of time because when the music is rehearsed, many potential musical problems have already been resolved due to the warm-up (Coker, 1984).




Even though the national standard of music reading is a familiar one to choristers, we know that sight-singing skills are often a weakness of vocalists. There is no good reason for this, and the choral director must expect students to sight-read and regularly assess their skill. Although there is general agreement by choral directors that sight-singing is a most important skill, a study of large-group adjudicated festivals in all 50 states revealed that only 17 states require sight-singing of middle school choirs, and only 25 states require sight-singing for high school choirs. Unfortunately, this lack of sight-singing assessment is related to a lack of instructional time devoted to the skill (Norris, 2004). One of the major researchers of effective ways to teach sight-singing in the choral rehearsal is Steven Demorest, whose book Building Choral Excellence (2001) is a landmark resource. He reports that certain musical experiences predict success at sight-singing, which should be noted by teachers as they consider their influence on student musical development. These experiences include: • • • • •

at least six years of piano study; additional instrumental experience; regular group practice of sight-singing; individual testing at sight-singing; specific feedback regarding sight-singing attempts.

In his book, Demorest reviews 21 different method books for teaching sight-singing, and concludes that there is no one best way to teach it other than consistently. Many conductors were trained using the number system for scale degrees and so prefer to teach with that; others prefer moveable “do” solfege because its syllables are conducive to singing beautiful vowel sounds; and others trained in fixed “do” solfege from a young age firmly believe in that approach, particularly if they have perfect pitch. Regarding rhythmic reading, many teach the counting out of beat subdivisions, while others find the syllable systems used in Edwin Gordon’s or Zoltán Kodály’s approach best for recognizing rhythm patterns. Demorest describes them all in detail. The point to be taken is that while no one system has been found to be the best, any one of them can be effective if the teacher knows it well, uses it regularly (preferably daily) and structures instruction sequentially.



Sight-singing should be practiced for at least five minutes of every rehearsal, and include music that is one to two levels easier than the normal performance level of the particular ensemble (MENC, 1994b). As various rhythms, intervals, and chords are studied in sight-singing exercises, it is important to point out those same patterns in choral literature to help reinforce and transfer the new knowledge. A suggested sight-singing sequence (Demorest, 2001) is to begin with the rhythm of the exercise or piece and have the singers: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Identify the time signature and starting beat Scan the example for rhythmic repetitions or similarities Set a tempo and chant the rhythm (on numbers or syllables) Note any errors, and repeat to correct.

Then focus on the pitches and have the singers: 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Identify the key signature, tonality and starting pitch Scan for melodic patterns that are repetitive or similar Sing the tonic chord and starting pitch Set a tempo and sing Note errors, repeat to correct.

The great choral conductor Robert Shaw advocated combining the pitches with count-singing (e.g., “one and two and tee [sic] and four and”) before adding any lyrics or diction complexities. This technique solidifies the pulse and rhythms. When participating in sight-singing contests, ensembles should strive for accuracy of meter, tempo, rhythmic articulation, key center, intonation, notes, and intervals. Some organizations also score the choir’s confidence, discipline, and posture as part of the sight-singing assessment (ISSMA, 2008). Several professional conductors were interviewed regarding their approaches to sight-reading choral repertoire (Paulk, 2004). The following maestros’ philosophies are such: Eichenberger believes that regular sight-reading of new works from beginning to end, and if necessary on a neutral syllable rather than words, conveys the importance of that musical skill; Flummerfelt prefers to start with a neutral syllable such as “doo” rather than with words, as well as stabilizing the pulse with count-singing; Jones recalls Robert Shaw beginning every single piece with count-singing and often continued that practice until



very close to the performance; Scheibe insists on fine intonation and the correct tempo from the very beginning; and Shrock begins a piece with a large sense of appropriate style. These techniques provide inspirational ideas for different ways to introduce a new piece. For additional sight-singing resources, see References and Further Reading. BRAINTEASER 9-1: OBSERVING ROBERT SHAW’S COUNT-SINGING APPROACH View one of the Robert Shaw: Preparing a Masterpiece video-recordings listed in References and Further Reading, and write a two-page paper describing his method of “count-singing” and other effective rehearsal techniques observed.

BRAINTEASER 9-2: CREATING A SIGHT-SINGING LESSON PLAN Create a 5- to10-minute sight-singing lesson plan using Demorest’s nine steps to teach a section of a moderately easy piece to a high school choir.


In addition to the essential skills of vocal technique and sight-reading, the choral experience should teach students about music (its elements, history, and style), and reveal to them the aesthetic, emotional, and meaningful aspects of music, as well as the creative skills of improvising and composing. Although it is overwhelming to consider everything that you should teach your choir members, new teachers should do their best to spend some time in every rehearsal on the essential techniques, knowledge, and aesthetics of choral music. There are a number of publications that are very helpful for planning a comprehensive and sequential approach to teaching choral music at the high school level.

Table 9.1 Sight-Singing Lesson Plan Name of Ensemble: Material (publisher information about piece, measure numbers):


Procedure: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.


© 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.



Choral Curriculum Resources for High School Buchanan, Heather J. & Mehaffey, Matthew W. (2005, 2007). Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume I and Volume II. Chicago: GIA. Demorest, Steven M. (2001). Building Choral Excellence: Teaching SightSinging in the Choral Rehearsal. New York: Oxford University Press. Experiencing Choral Music (2005). New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill and Hal Leonard Corporation ( PDFs/0610OR.pdf ). MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1991). Teaching Choral Music: A Course of Study. Reston, VA: MENC. Telfer, Nancy (1996). Choral Curriculum Guide: An Audio Workshop. San Diego, CA: Kjos Music Company.

BRAINTEASER 9-3: COMPARING AND CONTRASTING CHORAL CURRICULUM GUIDES In peer groups, compare and contrast the resources in the box above and/or other choral curriculum guides.

The National Standards for Arts Education (MENC, 1994b) also recommend areas of achievement for high school choir students. MENC has published sample lesson plans and assessment strategies to help choral directors understand and use the following nine standards for high school teaching: • Sing alone and with others a varied repertoire of music, in four or more parts, with and without accompaniment, and some from memory, with advanced opportunities to sing in a small ensemble with one student on a part. • Perform on instruments alone and with others a varied repertoire of music. • Improvise variations, melodies, and harmonies in pentatonic, major, and minor keys. • Compose and arrange music for voices, demonstrating knowledge of ranges and using the elements of music for expressive effect.



• Read and sight-sing vocal scores of up to four staves. • Analyze aural examples of a varied repertoire of music, and describe the uses of elements of music and expressive devices. • Evaluate music and music performances according to specific criteria. • Explain and compare interrelationships of characteristics and principles among music, other arts, and other disciplines. • Identify musical examples by genre, culture, style, and historical period through comparison and contrast. While many of these standards seem reasonable, some may be challenging for teachers to include in their teaching, specifically improvisation, composition, and interconnections between music and other disciplines (Adderley, 2000; Madura Ward-Steinman, 2007). Many teachers feel inadequately prepared to teach these skills, and also feel that there simply is not enough time to make these standards a priority when there are performances to prepare. Yet it is important to remember the philosophy of the National Standards, which is that students can become more complete musicians through this comprehensive approach. BRAINTEASER 9-4: DEVELOPING A CURRICULUM UNIT PLAN Review the resources on implementing the National Standards at the end of this chapter and develop a four- to eight-week unit plan for including improvisation, composition or interrelationships among the arts into the high school choir program. Be creative in your planning, and present your unit to your choral methods class.


On a micro-level, a rehearsal is made up of dozens of teaching “cycles” which can be designed to maximize student achievement and attitude. The “complete teaching cycle” consists of three parts: 1. the teacher’s presentation or request for a musical task; 2. the singer’s interaction with the teacher and task; and



3. specific teacher feedback regarding the students’ achievement of it (Price, 1983, 1992). An example of the three-step complete cycle is this: 1. The director gives verbal instructions to sing with proper posture and breath support. 2. The singers follow those directions. 3. The director gives specific feedback as to whether those directions were followed correctly. Another example is this: 1. The teacher models a vowel sound for the singers to imitate. 2. The singers imitate the vowel sound. 3. The teacher provides feedback regarding the accuracy of the sound. The feedback may in turn lead to a new instruction, followed by student response, and then more feedback. Studies have found that this three-part cycle is effective for achievement and attitude in a rehearsal. Although the cycle may sound simplistic, consider situations where you have observed choral directors disregarding one of those steps. Is step 1 ever left out—the presentation by the director of what is expected of the singers? Do directors ever eliminate step 2 by stating what needs to be fixed but not giving singers the opportunity try to fix it? Is step 3, feedback, ever missing? Give examples. BRAINTEASER 9-5: PRACTICING THE COMPLETE TEACHING CYCLE Practice the complete teaching cycle for a five-minute mini-lesson plan of your choice, and have your peers comment on your use of it. After practicing the cycle a few times, video-record yourself teaching the cycle in your field experience, and analyze the technique in a self-report.

Conductor Magnitude

The strong presence (“magnitude”) of a conductor is a motivating factor in a rehearsal. Conductors should not be afraid to engage their choirs through their own passion and enthusiasm for the music. Facial



expressions, body movement, speaking volume, speech speed, eye contact, vocal inflections, quick pacing, and positive reinforcement can all be used to make your rehearsal an exciting one (Yarbrough, 1975; Yarbrough & Madsen, 1998). In fact, learning to vary these expressions is an important teacher’s tool. It creates the dramatic effect to keep students attentive. In fact, conductor magnitude is so influential that secondary students have been found to rate a teacher’s “effectiveness” as excellent when a high magnitude style of delivery was used even when the information being taught was inaccurate! (Madsen, 2003). BRAINTEASER 9-6: PRACTICING CONDUCTOR MAGNITUDE Teach a five-minute mini-lesson using conductor magnitude and expressive variety in your teaching style. After practicing with your peers, try it in your field experience while video-recording yourself and self-evaluate the recording.

Teacher Talk

Most new teachers tend to talk too much. The students are there to sing, not to listen to the teacher talk longer than necessary. The dangers of too much “teacher talk” are that students often become off-task because they are not actively learning, resulting in behavior problems and lack of motivation. The teacher would do well to limit most instruction to “seven words or less” because more than that is difficult to process and remember. Remember the “Seven plus or minus two” rule, which pertains to the human capacity to keep only five to nine bits of information in our active short-term memory (Miller, 1956). Keeping students’ attention is paramount, and while many teachers master the “Seven words or less” rule relatively easily, some really struggle without concentrated discipline applied. Certainly, there are times when the teacher needs to give longer instructions than seven words, but when it is not necessary, refrain from doing so. Remember students’ capacity for remembering your points, and let the students sing, which is why they signed up for your class!



BRAINTEASER 9-7: PRACTICING “SEVEN WORDS OR LESS” Practice a five-minute mini-lesson allowing yourself to say seven words or less each time you stop the group to rehearse something. Choose your words carefully!


Assessment and evaluation are fundamentally connected to teaching. To clarify the fuzzy difference between the two terms, assessment is usually thought of as the formative and minute-by-minute reflections about student progress toward objectives during the rehearsal, while evaluation is often considered the summative judgment of what has been learned (Straight, 2002). Teachers need to be skilled in both. They need to be able to teach and assess the singing simultaneously in order to give continual feedback that shapes the music being rehearsed. This becomes easier with practice. They also need to spend time evaluating learning in order to provide feedback to students and their parents about their achievement in choral music, usually through letter grades. The following 12 criteria were used for evaluation and grading by high school choral teachers who were members of the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) (Kotora, 2001). They are listed in order from most to least used in assigning grades: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Concert performance Student participation Student attendance Singing tests Written tests Student attitude Audiotape recordings Individual performances Videotape recordings Independent study/written projects Check sheets/rating scales/rubrics Student portfolios.

Although these teachers rated concert attendance and class participation as more important for determining a student’s grade than actual music skills, they also expressed frustration in finding the time



to accurately assess those skills. They reported several roadblocks to measuring musical skills as a basis for grades: • Time limitations due to large classes, short class periods and full class schedules. • Difficulty in keeping accurate records. • Difficulty in assessing in a large ensemble setting. • Philosophical differences between students and parents regarding assessment in music class. • Lack of administrative support for music assessment. • Lack of teacher training in methods of music assessment. It seems clear from these points that ensemble directors need to continually search for ways to evaluate the musical skills of their students. By basing a major portion of the grade on concert attendance, the questions asked by Megan Keown (2008) are valid ones: “1) Isn’t what the students do every day in class for 180 days worth more than four nights a year? And 2) Is it fair to punish a student for the irresponsibility of the parent?” (p. 11). BRAINTEASER 9-8: DEVELOPING EVALUATION CRITERIA Discuss the pros and cons of the 12 criteria for evaluation described in the study above. Then, individually decide on the criteria for grading your future students, assign percentages for grading each, submit, and place a copy in your course portfolio.


According to a review of 11,000 research studies over 50 years, the most important factor that influences student learning is effective classroom management (Wang, Haertel & Walberg, 1994). The choral director who has selected appropriate music for the choirs, has prepared the music and an effective rehearsal as described above, shows great conductor magnitude and enthusiasm, focuses on the positive, and has developed a reputation of success for the choral program, will have few classroom management problems. This level of teacher accomplishment may take a year or more to establish though, and so here are a few guidelines for effective management:



• Study and implement the strategies suggested in this chapter again and again. • Regularly attend workshops offered by MENC and its state and regional conferences on classroom management techniques. • Read every classroom management resource you can, such as • Responsible Classroom Management for Teachers and Students by J. Allen Queen, Beth B. Blackwelder, and Leon P. Mallen, which explains the different principles, goals, strategies and problems associated with five main discipline models, ranging from highly student-centered to highly teacher-centered models; • Tips: Discipline in the Music Classroo m by R.L. Rossman, which provides brief and practical ideas to take immediately into the classroom; • The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher by Harry and Rosemary Wong, which includes a powerful set of teacher materials for ensuring a positive class environment. • Observe and experiment with different classroom management strategies to find which ones work for your personality and disposition. • Know the school’s rules and policies, and enforce them from Day One. • Be firm, fair, and consistent with rehearsal rules and consequences. Finally, be certain to refer back to the section entitled “Managing the Stages of Physical and Psychological Change” in Chapter 2 for essential classroom management strategies, and to the rehearsal strategies and resources described in Chapter 5, not only because good rehearsal principles are applicable to any age choir, but also because older middle school students and younger high school students are close in age. There is much cross-over with regard to adolescent development vocally, physically, behaviorally, emotionally, and cognitively; and thus also with regard to choral rehearsal strategies.


Successful high school choral teachers were asked to make recommendations for college coursework in choral literature, and they consistently expressed the need for instruction in a wider variety of styles beyond the five major classical periods, as well as more exposure to small ensembles and madrigal literature (Bolt, 1983). Therefore, this chapter will address vocal jazz ensembles, madrigal groups, gospel choirs, multicultural choirs, a cappella ensembles, show choirs, and musical theater productions.

Figure 10.1 Vocal Jazz Ensemble



The National Standards for Arts Education (MENC, 1994) may be met best by these diverse ensembles, which emphasize not only singing, music reading, and music history that students experience in traditional choral literature, but also the rarely taught standards of improvisation, understanding of music within diverse cultures, and the interrelationships between music and the other arts. In addition, it is well known that small chamber ensemble experience develops listening and ear-training skills, musical independence, and leadership (Zorn, 1973). VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLES

Vocal jazz is an art form that brings together choral singing, improvisation, American popular and instrumental jazz repertoire, chamber music experience, and microphone vocal technique. For these reasons, it broadens the core choral experience with a new style of music and new approaches to singing. It provides the extra challenges that come with small ensemble singing, including close harmonies that require fine intonation, and therefore is a perfect fit for your extra-motivated and/or gifted students. Roots

Vocal jazz is a relatively recent phenomenon in the big picture of choral music. The first professional vocal jazz groups that influenced our concepts of vocal jazz today became active in the 1950s and 1960s and include: • • • •

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross The Swingle Singers The Four Freshmen, and The Hi-Lo’s.

By the 1970s The Manhattan Transfer had burst on the scene, and college and high school vocal jazz ensembles began to spring up around the country, starting in the Pacific Northwest where vocal jazz continues to be a stronghold. Since the 1980s the influence of vocal jazz has spread around the nation and the world, with outstanding groups such as:



• The Real Group from Sweden • The Idea of North from Australia • The New York Voices. It is important to listen to recordings of these major ensembles to develop a historically authentic aural concept of vocal jazz. Repertoire Sources

Good vocal jazz repertoire can often be found at: • vocal jazz reading sessions at conferences; • state-approved solo and ensemble festival lists; • websites, including those of the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press (, Sound Music Publications (, and; • your favorite choral music publishers and stores. Arrangers

The following list of vocal jazz arrangers includes those with a proven track record of high quality choral music, as well as newer arrangers who are enjoying well-deserved success. Add your favorites to this list. • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Dave Barduhn Jennifer Barnes Randy Crenshaw Dave Cross Rosana Eckert Anders Edenroth Jeremy Fox Greg Jasperse Cathy Jensen-Hole Anita Kerr Kerry Marsh Phil Mattson Darmon Meader


• • • • • • • • •


Gene Puerling Paris Rutherford Deke Sharon Kirby Shaw Vijay Singh Ward Swingle Roger Treece Michele Weir Steve Zegree.


The following list of selected SATB vocal jazz arrangements includes easy to moderately difficult pieces that are appropriate for secondary school choirs. While only SATB arrangements are listed here, there is no shortage of vocal jazz for SAB, women’s groups and men’s groups. In fact, several of the tunes listed below are available in other voicings, as well as many more that you can find through the given websites and publishers. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Alice in Wonderland by Paris Rutherford America the Beautiful by Kirk Marcy Anthropology by Paris Rutherford Begin the Beguine by Greg Jasperse Blue Skies by Steve Zegree Blues Down to My Shoes by Kirby Shaw Bourée by Ward Swingle Bridge over Troubled Water by Kirby Shaw Doctor Blues by Peter Blair Doctor Jazz by Kirby Shaw Down St. Thomas Way by Dave Cazier For All We Know by Dave Barduhn Happiness is a Thing Called Joe by Anita Kerr He Bop-N-Re Bop by Vijay Singh Holiday Blues by Roger Treece How Deep Is the Ocean by Rosana Eckert I’ll Be Seeing You by Phil Mattson I’m Old Fashioned by Jennifer Barnes


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


In My Life by Steve Zegree Love Walked In by Steve Zegree My Country ‘Tis of Thee by Kirby Shaw Nature Boy by Michele Weir Oo-Pop-Dah by Dave Barduhn Orange Colored Sky by Leighton Tiffault Over the Rainbow by Teena Chinn Route 66 by Dick Averre Scat Blues in C by Randy Crenshaw Shortnin’ Bread by Dave Cross Straighten Up and Fly Right by Kirby Shaw Walkin’ by Bob Stoloff W hat a Wonderful World by Phil Mattson You Must Believe in Spring by Phil Mattson.

Performance Practice Swing

Although vocal jazz arrangements come in a variety of rhythmic styles, such as a Latin, rock, or ballad, the most fundamental rhythmic style of jazz is swing, and as Duke Ellington said, “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!” While Latin, rock, and ballad jazz arrangements interpret eighth notes as written, it is now common knowledge that in swing music, eighth notes must be “swung” in a triplet feel, as seen in Example 10.1. There should also be a slight emphasis on the offbeats (beats 2 and 4) to enhance the swing feel. Example 10.1 Swing Rhythm


Many vocal jazz choral arrangements provide space for improvisation, which is considered the essence of jazz (Madura, 1992). But choral



directors often lack training in improvisation and while they have an interest in being able to improvise, they don’t feel that they can teach it (Madura Ward-Steinman, 2007). It has become common practice for the director to ask for volunteers to take the scat solos, and those volunteers often improvise in rehearsal and performance with little guidance from their teacher. But there are certain experiences and basic principles of improvisation that teachers and students can keep in mind to develop improvisation skills (Madura, 1996; Madura WardSteinman, 2008). • Listen to live and recorded jazz extensively, both vocal and instrumental. • Practice imitating jazz rhythms, melodies, and chords. • Learn the harmonic structure underlying any improvisation by singing the chord roots first. • Think about the solo as the telling of a story, with a beginning, a high point, and an end. • Listen to the piano, bass, and drums for ideas so that some interaction is present. Scat-Singing

Scatting is the act of improvising using syllables. To use scat syllables that sound authentic, note the following suggestions: • Listen and imitate (or transcribe) scat syllables heard on recordings by such masters as Ella Fitzgerald, Jon Hendricks, Darmon Meader and Bobby McFerrin. • Listen to instrumental jazz, particularly horns, and try to imitate their sound, creating syllables that come close to their articulations (“voo-vahn,” “dwee dwee doolya dot”, etc.). • Study Bob Stoloff ’s outstanding book called Scat! (1996) for an encyclopedia of scat syllables that work with various rhythms, melodies, vocal bass lines, and vocal percussion. • Have students create lyrics instead of scat syllables.



The Blues

A great format for beginning scat-singing is the 12-bar blues. The beginning improviser should first become familiar with the chord structure (in any key) by singing the roots of the chords on the syllable “doo” holding each for four beats. 4/4

I7 IV7 V7

/ / /

I7 IV7 IV7

/ / /

I7 I7 I7

/ / /

I7 I7 I7

/ / //

Next, sing a chord tone on each beat (arpeggiate the chords), as seen in Example 10.2. For example, in the 12-bar blues in the key of C, the I7 chord is c e g b-flat, the IV7 chord is f a c e-flat, and the V7 chord is g b d f. Example 10.2 12-Bar Blues Arpeggiated Chords



After familiarity with this basic 12-bar blues chord structure (there are more advanced versions with many chord substitutions possible), the singer can experiment with notes from the blues scale for improvising. The blues scale degrees are: 1

flat 3


sharp 4


flat 7


Notate this blues scale in the key of C: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Practice this blues scale both ascending and descending in the chosen key of the 12-bar blues. The great jazz pedagogue David Baker calls the blues scale a “horizontal scale” because it can be used to improvise over all of the chords in the 12-bar blues. For example, if the 12-bar blues is in the key of C, notes from the C blues scale can be used to improvise over the whole piece with no change of tonic when the chords change. While this may sound simple, the challenges are many: • Fear of improvising. • The dissonance of the flat third in the blues scale against the major third in the I7 chord. • Pitch accuracy in the descending form of the scale. • The decision of which notes and rhythms to choose when improvising. The simplest way to avoid these problems is to put many limitations on what the singer may choose, making improvisation attempts “safe.” Limitations for beginning improvisers might include the following: • First attempts allow the singer to use only scale degree 1 of the blues scale, on the syllable “doo”, but to make it swing. • Second attempts add the aspect of story-telling by creating tension and release with dynamics or rhythms but still only singing the first scale degree. • Early attempts can limit the number of measures of the improvisation, with each student taking two or four measures. • Little by little add other pitches from the blues scale, other scat syllables, and more measures.



Since the pitch may not change in the early attempts, singers don’t have to worry about “wrong notes” which removes the fear of failure. Eventually continue these steps until the entire blues scale can be improvised over the 12-bar blues, which might take a whole semester. Students can also compose short motives made up of some of the notes of the blues scale, and repeat them several times for effect (this repeated pattern is called a “riff ”). The blues scale can be used to improvise to any 12-bar blues vocal jazz arrangement such as Doctor Blues, Oo-Pop-Dah, or Sc at Blues in C listed above. Other 12-bar blues titles from the vocal jazz literature include Things Ain’t W hat They Used To Be, Doodlin’, and Tenor Madness. Students can “trade fours” (improvise a solo for four measures each) or sing a 12-bar chorus. When one tires of the blues scale, other more advanced improvisatory ideas can be gleaned from the notes that each chord implies. For example, while major seventh chords imply major scale pitches for improvisation, dominant scale chords imply the mixolydian mode. Also, solos can be learned by ear or transcribed from other musicians’ blues recordings, which is a common practice method among jazz musicians. Accompaniment

Many vocal jazz arrangements are a cappella, but much of the repertoire is arranged for the traditional jazz “rhythm section” of piano, bass, and drums. The rhythm section is an authentic characteristic of jazz and choral directors often use an experienced rhythm section from the school jazz ensemble to rehearse and perform with the vocal jazz ensemble. Vocal Jazz Sound

Vocal jazz is traditionally performed with a relatively small ensemble, ranging anywhere from 4 to 16 voices. Typically a sound system is used for close micing technique, with one to two singers per microphone. In vocal jazz choral singing, vibrato is minimized due to the careful tuning required for the close voicings and complexity of the jazz chords. A relatively bright sound is also desirable which can be achieved with an



inner smile and raised soft palate. Consonant diction can also be relaxed because the microphone reduces the need for stressed consonants. While the sound equipment is an added burden and often an unknown area for choral directors, you will be able to find students in the school who have a strong interest and experience in running sound systems, and they can enroll in your ensemble as the sound engineer. The standard microphone for vocal jazz is the Shure SM58, and complete specifications for a desirable sound system can be found in Zegree’s The Complete Guide to Teaching Vocal Jazz (2002). Certainly vocal jazz may be performed without an elaborate sound system (mics, stands, cables, mixer, amplifier, equalizer, and speakers), particularly if the group is a large one, but it should be kept in mind that close micing is a technique that produces that ideal sound of vocal jazz that we are used to hearing from such groups as the New York Voices, The Real Group and The Manhattan Transfer. One caveat, however, is that close micing amplifies right and wrong notes, and therefore, should only be used with your strongest musicians. It is an outstanding and thrilling learning experience to sing in a small ensemble with close micing for those students who can rise to the level of musicianship needed for that type of performance. BRAINTEASER 10-1: LISTENING TO VOCAL JAZZ Find a recording of a vocal jazz ensemble mentioned in this chapter and make note of the jazz characteristics heard. Share the recording details and your findings with your choral methods class.


The madrigal group is another small ensemble (often 6 to 12 singers) that challenges your students to achieve higher levels of musical independence and higher standards for accuracy in aural skills, intonation, blend, diction, dynamics, and more. Repertoire

The following pieces are recommended for the high school madrigal ensemble, and can be found as separate octavos or through madrigal



collections, such as The Oxford Book of English Madrigals, The Oxford Book of Italian Madrigals and Carols for Choirs (Thomas, 1995): • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Adieu, Sweet Amarillis by John Wilbye The Agincourt Carol, Anonymous April is in My Mistress’ Face by Thomas Morley Audite Nova! by Orlandus Lassus Come Again, Sweet Love by John Dowland El Grillo by Josquin Desprez Fa Una Canzone by Orazio Vecchi Fair Phyllis I Saw by John Farmer Hark All Ye Lovely Saints by Thomas Weelkes Il Bianco e Dolce Cigno by Jacques Arcadelt Il Est Bel et Bon by Pierre Passereau Late in My Rash Accounting by Thomas Weelkes Now is the Month of Maying by Thomas Morley Riu, Riu, Chiu, Anonymous The Silver Swan by Orlando Gibbons Sing We and Cant It by Thomas Morley So Well I Know Who’s Happy by Orazio Vecchi Though Amaryllis Dance by William Byrd Weep, O Mine Eyes by John Bennett.

Madrigal Dinners

The Madrigal Dinner is a theatrical re-creation of an Elizabethan Renaissance feast, complete with singers, instrumentalists, actors, menu, music, script, costumes, make-up, and sets, and is usually presented during the Christmas holiday season or in early spring. Each student has an acting role, even if a minor one such as a food server who can speak in an Olde English dialect. Script

A good script is key to a successful madrigal dinner and it is advisable to purchase, rent or borrow a published one. Scripts are available from many sources including Mark Foster Music, Madrigal Traditions, and Knight Shtick Press—see Paul Brandvik’s Madrigal Dinner Scripts ( and The Compleet Madrigal Dinner



Booke (1978). They provide suggestions for all theatrical aspects of the madrigal dinner. Menu

Printed menus are usually placed on the tables, and they are created with archaic spellings and fonts. Most authentic madrigal dinners offer several courses, including barley soup, wassail (hot spiced cider), wild rice, meat or fowl, fruit compote, and bread pudding, all budgeted with the caterer into a per plate cost. A useful resource is Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony by M.P. Cosman (1976). Music

A traditional approach to a madrigal dinner is the following, although the special talents of your singers, such as juggling, dancing or acrobatics, should be a featured part of the event: • • • • •

Processional Music within the play Incidental music during dinner Audience participation carols Concluding concert.

Costumes, Make-Up and Sets

Everyone involved in the entertainment should be in costume and make-up, including the director and accompanist. Costumes for men include boots, pants, shirt, vest, and hat; and costumes for women include shoes, layered skirts, bodice, shirt, hat, and scarf. Long hair should be braided. (For more information visit www.musiceducation Simple sets can include a raised head table for the actors, painted façade pieces to look like stone walls, shields with coats of arms, and table cloths with centerpieces of branches and berries. It is wise to take advantage of willing drama teachers or parents to help provide inexpensive costumes and decorations. It is always better to keep a madrigal dinner short and simple during the first few years of teaching, saving more elaborate productions for a



few years down the road. Take all costs into consideration and determine the ticket price to cover all expenses with a least some profit. It is advisable to keep the ticket price reasonable for your situation, which may run from $15 to $35 during your first year or two. Eventually, the madrigal dinner can become an excellent fundraiser for the choral program. BRAINTEASER 10-2: ATTENDING A MADRIGAL DINNER Attend a Madrigal Dinner with your choral methods class. Discuss your experience, and write a reflective journal entry. If possible, go to dress rehearsals and volunteer to help.


Students enjoy singing gospel music because of its positive message and high energy. As educators’ awareness of the importance of teaching and reaching diverse cultures grows, so does the number of high school gospel choirs. Yet it is a style of music that many choral directors have little familiarity with. As with learning any unfamiliar music, it helps to bring experienced gospel singers into the high school rehearsal to

Figure 10.2 Gospel Choir



demonstrate authentic performance practice. It is recommended, however, that the choir director review the MENC and ACDA guidelines for rehearsing and performing sacred music in the public schools as clarified in Chapter 8. Performance Practice Learning the Music

Gospel choirs usually learn their music by ear, which improves the students’ aural skills. The authentic approach is as follows: • Listen to a recording of a song or piece to learn the music and lyrics. • Since gospel music is often performed as SAB arrangements, a bass part may need to be added. • Key centers often need to be changed to accommodate the high school voice. • Transcription of the parts involves notating the characteristic vocal techniques, such as slides, dynamics, and other stylings, as well as instrumental accompaniment. Although gospel vocal technique often includes belting, the choral director is always responsible for teaching healthy vocal tone (Turner, 2008). Not only does gospel music teach a historically important American art form and culture, but it also trains the musicians to hear and imitate melodies, harmonies, rhythms, and forms in a way not taught in the traditional choral rehearsal. In addition, it encourages freedom of expression for the conductor, who may choose to repeat certain sections of the music; and for the singers who may choose from a whole host of stylistically authentic embellishments of melody and rhythm, that can transfer from one gospel song to another (Madura, 1999). Gospel Vocal Stylings

Some of these gospel techniques include: • Blue notes • Upper and lower neighbor tones


• • • • • • • • • •


Anticipations Octave displacements Portamento Rhythmically “worrying the note” (subdividing or repeating in a rapid manner) Syncopation Altering the meter from simple duple to a swinging 12/8 Delaying the end of the phrase to include passing tone ornamentation Growls Hums Cries.

Gospel Artists

Gospel music can enrich our students’ musical experience, and there is no substitute for listening to recording artists to internalize authentic style. Some important artists for listening include Yolanda Adams, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Shirley Caesar, James Cleveland, Andrae Crouch, Darrel Coley, Sam Cooke, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Aretha Franklin, Kirk Franklin, Edwin Hawkins, Mahalia Jackson, Sanctified Singers, Don Shirley, Rosetta Tharpe, and Clara Ward. SATB Gospel Music

The following published arrangements are just a sampling of recommendations for the SATB gospel choir: • • • • • • • • • •

Ain’t-A That Good News by Rollo Dilworth Amazing Grace, arr. Jack Schrader Freedom Train by Rollo Dilworth Gospel Mass by Robert Ray Go Tell It On the Mountain, arr. Greg Jasperse It is Good to Give Thanks by Stan Pethel and John Parker It Won’t Be Long by Andrae Crouch, arr. Jay Rouse Michael, Row that Gospel Boat! by Greg Gilpin Oh What a Beautiful City by J. Webb Praise His Holy Name by Keith Hampton


• • • •


Ride the Gospel Train by Glenda Franklin Rise Up Shepherd and Follow, arr. Martin Ellis The Rising by Bruce Springsteen, arr. Mike Taylor This Little Light of Mine, arr. Neil Johnson.

BRAINTEASER 10-3: ATTENDING A GOSPEL CHOIR PERFORMANCE Attend a gospel choir performance and discuss the benefits of and teaching strategies for a high school gospel choir; or invite a gospel choir director to your choral methods class to teach you a piece. Discuss the experience and write a reflective journal entry.


International choral music has become increasingly available in recent years, particularly through the following websites: Multicultural choral arrangements and compositions now come from African and African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Native American traditions (Hylton, 1995), as well as from Latin America, Philippines, Indonesia, Russia/Baltic States, Slavic Countries, Israel, and New Zealand/Australia/Maori (Phillips, 2004). The following multicultural choral works are recommended (Hylton, 1995; Kean, 1996; Leach, 2001): SATB

• • • • • • •

Ahrirang, arr. Robert DeCormier Bo ree baht, arr. Dale Jergenson Chi Chi Cha by Judith Tucker Chinese Folk Songs, vol. 2 by Chen Yi Credo (from Gospel Mass) by Robert Ray El Mambi, arr. Carlos Abril Erev shel shoshanim, arr. Jack Klebanow


• • • • • • • • • • • •


Gamelan by R. Murray Schafer Gate, Gate by Brian Tate He Never Failed Me Yet by Robert Ray Mouth Music by Dolores Kean and John Faulkner Native American Ambiances by Jackson Berkey Prairie Love Song, arr. Dale Jergenson Songs of Ecuador by Robert Greenlee Suliram, arr. Robert DeCormier This We Know by Ron Jeffers Tzur mishelo Acheinu by Charles Davidson Vamudara, arr. Dumisani Maraire Wonfa nyem by Abraham K. Adzenyah.

Treble Voices

• • • • • •

Chiu, Chiu, Chiu by Jill Gallina Cinz Chansons Folklorique D’Haiti by Electo Silva Hotaru Koi by Ro Ogura Reel a’Bouche by Malcolm Dalglish Silmala triceja dancojot by Jekabs Graubins A Zing-A-Za by Mary Goetze.

Male Chorus

• Two Latvian Carols by Andrejs Jansons. Performance Practice

The challenge for choral music educators is to present this music in authentic ways. Occasionally we hear performances of “world music” where the only connection to the actual culture is the title of the piece; or perhaps only snippets of other cultures’ folk songs may be incorporated into a Westernized choral score (Volk, 1998). Mary Goetze (2000), founder of the International Vocal Ensemble at Indiana University, emphasizes the importance of transmitting the music with integrity by utilizing published music carefully and studying aural and video resources for learning unfamiliar languages and singing styles. Judith Cook Tucker of World Music Press presents a checklist for evaluating multicultural materials (1990). Questions to ask include:



• • • • • •

Was a “culture bearer” involved in the music preparation? Is the cultural context of the piece presented? Is specific geographical information included? Is the original language included, with appropriate translation? Are illustrations or photographs included? Is there an authentic recording with the actual sounds of the voices and instruments within context? • Are sacred pieces excluded? (They should be out of respect for the culture.) For resources on world music accompaniment instruments from Africa, Armenia, Australia, China, Cuba, Eastern Europe, Greece, India, Ireland, Mexico, and the Middle East see and BRAINTEASER 10-4: LEARNING WORLD MUSIC Bring in a world music guest artist to your choral methods class to teach you a song. Discuss the experience and write a reflective journal entry.

A CAPPELLA GROUPS Barbershop and Sweet Adelines

A purely American choral art form is barbershop music. It consists of a melody sung by the lead, a tenor harmonizing above and a baritone harmonizing below the melody, and the bass singing the roots and fifths. This is a popular style of music for many adolescent boys because there is often a voice part that fits the various stages of the changing voice, and they often continue singing barbershop music into adulthood. Although the traditional group is a quartet of individual voices, it can be expanded to any number of singers. The Barbershop Harmony Society is a major resource for musical scores, media, educational programs, and concert programs, and can be found at http:// (DeGroot, 2009). The female equivalent to the Barbershop Harmony Society is Sweet Adelines International, which offers youth membership to those under the age of 25 and provides repertory and educational resources (http://



Contemporary A Cappella

A cappella pop choral ensembles began in 1909 with Cole Porter as a member of the Yale University Whiffenpoofs and was followed by other Ivy League groups (Rapkin, 2008). But they have become enormously popular in recent years with more than 1,200 highly competitive collegiate groups in existence. Information on the National Championship of High School A Cappella can be found at http://; and a wonderful resource for scores and recordings of virtually every kind of a cappella music is SHOW CHOIR

The first high school show choirs were called “swing choirs” in the 1940s. At first the term referred simply to choirs that performed popular music, but in the 1950s they began to add choreography; and by the 1960s, rhythm section accompaniment. It was at the Reno Jazz Festival in 1971 that a distinction between show choirs and jazz choirs was made by having separate competitions for each genre (Spradling, 2001). Today the show choir specializes in music of the theater and popular culture, and combines singing with choreography, costuming, lighting, and props. There are more than 850 show choirs in high schools through the United States and Canada (http://www.showchoirindex. com/) and the size and mobility of the shows often require a very large budget to cover the expenses of choreographers, transportation to festivals and contests, festival registration, costuming, props, band, music, and additional staff. Fund-raising and Parent Organizations are critically important to the success of the show choir. National Standards of Excellence for Show Choirs (Spradling, 2001) were developed by ACDA to recognize the value of show choir as an enhancement of the core choral program, and to emphasize the responsibility of choral directors to maintain musical excellence and integrity in vocal technique, technical accuracy, expression, ensemble skills, reading skills, stylistic integrity, and appropriate movement. The “rigors and complex demands” of combining music, dance, and theater into a single artistic performance were recognized. The masterful composer and arranger Kirby Shaw cites aspects of the show choir experience that make a “positive, even life-changing impact . . . for performers and audiences” (Thomas, 2005, p. 107):



• The exhilaration and confidence that incorporating movement with singing brings. • The representation of the stylistic diversity of America’s music. • The teamwork of the students toward a common goal, mastering small details. • The stage presence and facial expression used to show the meaning of the lyrics. Shaw, who has been writing for and directing vocal jazz and show choirs for more than 40 years, has witnessed the incredible growth of the show choir movement, and warns against the pressure of popular culture that might cause a choral director to: • continually increase the flashiness of movement; and • overdo the competition aspect of show choir. New teachers are encouraged to attend the Show Choir Camps of America ( which are some of the most highly respected camps of their kind. There are camps for choral teachers to learn how to start or direct a show choir, including workshops in repertoire, dance styles, microphone use, auditioning strategies, motivation and leadership, and so much more. The following short list is a sampling of recommended SATB show choir arrangements: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

ABBA Forever, arr. David Lawrence Chicago, arr. Ed Lojeski Come On, Everybody, arr. Mac Huff Don’t Tell Mama, arr. Mark Brymer Footloose, arr. Kirby Shaw Freeze Frame, arr. Kirby Shaw Higher Love, arr. Kirby Shaw Little Less Conversation, arr. Mac Huff Mister Sandman, arr. Ed Lojeski Puttin’ on the Ritz, arr. Kirby Shaw Seize the Day, arr. Roger Emerson Show People, arr. Mac Huff Stop! In the Name of Love, arr. Roger Emerson Transylvania Mania, arr. Mac Huff Unwritten, arr. Steve Zegree.



BRAINTEASER 10-5: ATTENDING A SHOW CHOIR CONCERT Attend a show choir concert and write a two-page report on the repertoire, accompaniment, vocal tone quality, costumes, dancing, and staging. If possible, attend rehearsals and volunteer to help.


Musical theater direction comes with most high music choral teaching positions. Usually, if there is a drama teacher on the faculty, that person handles all of the non-musical issues, while the choral director takes charge of making sure that a show is chosen that is musically accessible to the actors, and of auditioning and coaching the singers. If the instrumental music teacher does not participate in the musical production, the choral director may also have the responsibility of auditioning the

Figure 10.3 Light in the Piazza



instrumentalists and directing the pit orchestra/band (Bruenger, 2005). The musical is considered to be extra work for the choral director, with rehearsals and performances taking place outside of the school day, and often into the late hours of the evening as the performance date approaches. The choral teacher can expect to receive an extra financial stipend for this activity. For the music teacher who must direct the show without the aid of a drama teacher, the task is immense and more than can be summed up here. For starters, see Ken Phillips’ (2004) detailed chapter on Broadway musical productions, as well as the websites of the rental agencies for musicals: Music Theatre International ( The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization (http://www.rnh. com/) Samuel French, Inc. ( Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. (http://www.tams-witmark. com/) BRAINTEASER 10-6: ATTENDING A HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATER PRODUCTION Attend your local high school’s musical theater production and notice the role that the choral music director plays in the production. If possible, attend rehearsals for the show and volunteer to assist. Write a reflective journal entry.

11 CHECKLISTS FOR PRACTICAL MATTERS: CONCERTS, FESTIVALS, TRAVEL, BUDGETS, AND TIME Graduates of music education programs are generally well prepared with the musical skills they will need as choral music teachers, but they often find that it is the practical, organizational, and business aspects of the new teaching position that they feel unprepared for. This chapter provides several guidelines for success in the practical matters of concert and festival preparation, travel, budget, and time management. CONCERT PROGRAMMING AND PLANNING Programming Principles

When planning for concerts, choose choral repertoire based on these four criteria: • • • •

High quality Appropriateness for the age and level of the students Educational merit Audience appeal.

After the music has been selected, organize the concert order based on the following guidelines: • Begin the concert with a piece that will grab the audience’s attention. • Lead to a high point two-thirds of the way through the concert.



• End with something so beautiful that the audience wants to hear more. • Keep the concert short enough so that the audience leaves wanting more. • Plan an intermission if the concert is more than one hour, and use the time for major equipment changes. • Minimize time during choir changes. • Prepare program notes for the audience that inform them about the music and the educational goals of the choral program. • From the first to the last piece in the concert, carefully plan where there should be variety and where there should be continuity. Group pieces together with continuity, but keep audience attention through enough variety. Balance variety versus continuity in the following aspects of the music: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Ensemble order Difficulty level Tonal centers Modes Sacred versus secular Serious versus light Text relationships (language) Texture Accompaniments Voicings Tempo Meter Cultures History Movement Antiphonal effects.

Long-Term Concert Planning

Once the repertoire has been selected, concert planning involves careful consideration of the time it will take for the singers to learn the music well. One sure-fire way to allow enough preparation time is the following meticulous but successful strategy. For each choir:



• count the number of measures in all of the pieces; • count the total minutes of rehearsals before the concert in which to prepare the pieces; • then divide the number of measures by the number of minutes of rehearsals; • on the calendar note which measures of each piece need to be covered at each rehearsal in order to be prepared for the performance. Build in extra time for memorization of the music and unexpected interruptions to the rehearsal schedule. This long-range planning exercise will give a very realistic understanding of how much music needs to be learned per rehearsal, assuring a steady progression to the goal, and avoiding the stress of ill-prepared music at concert time. This schedule can also be used to provide the singers with your expectations for their daily preparedness. Short-Term Concert Planning

In preparation for the concert, simulate performance characteristics as closely and as many times as possible to reduce anxiety. This can be done by: • rehearsing in the performance space as many times as feasible, where the aural and visual differences can be distracting; • running the entire concert set without stopping; • practicing quiet and quick concert stage entry and exit; • practicing proper stage presence (no talking between pieces, no touching one’s hair or face, no scratching, etc.). The Final Warm-Up

The final warm-up before the performance should be a familiar one to the singers, with the director focusing on: • • • •

deep breathing; relaxed but proper posture; confidence through positive comments; encouragement to enjoy the performance (Robinson & Althouse, 1995).



With adequate preparation, plenty of simulated performances, and a positive attitude by the director, the choral performance will be a peak experience for the singers and a musical gift to the audience. BRAINTEASER 11-1: CREATING A CHORAL CONCERT AND PROGRAM Create an imaginary middle school and/or high school choral concert program complete with names of the school, town, concert date, repertoire, singers, accompanists, etc. You may spend up to $800 on music to be performed at a spring concert featuring all of the department’s choirs. You must create at least one select/advanced choir, one non-select choir, and one gender-specific choir. This concert should be no longer than two hours total. Be realistic in regard to ability level of your singers as you might expect or hope to have at your first position. This project is broken down into several parts. 1. Select music for your program. Complete and submit the Concert Planning Grid (Table 11.1) which should help you realize some aspects of your selection process. 2. Submit a music order list. Make certain that it includes titles, composer’s/arranger’s name, voicing, publisher, catalog number, price per copy, and total price of order. 3. Write a press release that would be sent to newspapers, radio and TV stations. 4. Put together the concert program, including a cover design. This should be a complete program with singer’s names, concert selections, and other important items (e.g., it is sometimes customary to include a brief list of “thank-yous,” especially to district and building administrators). The program will be evaluated on neatness, creativity in design, accuracy, and readability. An example is provided in Figures 11.1 through 11.3.


There are many advantages to having students participate in honor choirs, choir festivals, and choir tours. Choirs often reach their highest levels of achievement in preparation for these events, and individuals will remember their choir trips for a lifetime. There are many



© 2010 Taylor and Francis, Becoming a Choral Music Teacher, Routledge.






Theme (if one):

Concert Title:

Table 11.1 Concert Planning Grid





Figure 11.1 Concert Program Cover


Figure 11.2 Concert Program, pages 2–3




Figure 11.2 continued


Figure 11.3 Concert Program, back cover




guidelines that will assure that festivals and tours provide optimal educational benefits and run smoothly. Honor Choirs

Honor choirs are made up of individual students from numerous schools selected through an anonymous recorded audition to perform at a state, regional or national conference of professional music organizations, such as MENC and ACDA. If selected, students are sent several pieces of music in advance, and are expected to have it prepared in time for a few days of intense rehearsals at the conference site with a well-known honor choir conductor. Conferences often feature a range of honor choirs, which may include children’s, middle school, high school, men’s, women’s, vocal jazz, and collegiate honor choirs. These experiences offer outstanding growth opportunities for students, and the honor of being chosen for these ensembles is unforgettable. Festivals, Contests, Competitions, and Clinics

There are many opportunities for secondary school choirs to perform alongside other school choirs in both competitive and non-competitive venues, both at one’s home school site and through travel to nearby schools. Each type of performance has the educational value of providing assessment of a choir’s strengths and weaknesses, and so choir directors should strive to provide a balance of opportunities for their singers. Festivals: • are usually non-competitive; • are adjudicated by a panel of experienced choral teachers who provide written scores and tape-recorded comments regarding various aspects of the choral performance; • require music to be selected from a specified list; • are open to the other performing ensembles to hear; • are occasionally called “contests” despite the non-competitive nature of the event; • may include choirs combining for a mass number conducted by a guest conductor.



Clinics: • may be part of a festival where, after an adjudicated performance, one of the choral judges spends a concentrated amount of time working with the choir; or • may include an invitation to a guest conductor to visit your school site and work with your choir (and other invited choirs if a larger event is desirable). Competitions: • pit one choir against others to “win”; • award engraved trophies or plaques to the winners; • include a panel of expert choral judges who provide written scores and recorded comments; • are often referred to as “contests”; • raise performance standards and provide motivation, but teachers should beware of excessive pressure, time commitments or unhealthy rivalry among choirs that may interfere with the educational benefits. Adjudication

As the new choral director prepares the choirs for adjudicated performances, attention must be given to those criteria upon which the choir will be judged. General categories for adjudication include the following, depending on the type of choir and type of festival (ISSMA, 2008): • • • • • • • • • • •

Intonation Tone Quality Balance and Blend Breathing Technique Note Accuracy Rhythmic Accuracy Diction and Enunciation Dynamics, Phrasing, Expression Tempo Interrelationship with the accompaniment Interpretation and Musicianship



• Visual Technique • Visual Artistry. Travel

Choir trips provide students with enjoyable learning opportunities to perform for other schools’ groups and choral directors, and to enrich the lives of those unable to attend their regular concerts, such as in senior residencies, hospitals, and elementary schools (Gilbert, 2005). The experience of traveling and seeing new sights together is a bonding and life-broadening one for choristers, and is often the incentive for students to join the choir. Although short tours are advised during the first years of teaching, the following guidelines also apply to extended tours for the veteran music teacher (Olson, 2008): • Make sure the music is the main reason for the trip. • Decide on a destination six months to a year ahead of time, including students and parents in that decision. • Check your school’s rules regarding pre-approved arrangements with companies. • Check all possible funding opportunities, such as through the school, through grants, and through fund-raising activities; expect that students will pay a portion of the costs. • Book buses from six months to a year in advance, and use a bus company that is approved by the U.S. Department of Defense to ensure high safety standards. • Use a professional booking agency for longer tours and get recommendations from other trusted choral directors. • Hold several meetings with parents and students in advance of the trip to provide information and answer questions. • Parent contact information and medical release forms must be completed and collected. • Plan for one chaperone per four to eight students. • Provide plenty of bottled water for everyone. • Plan to keep students busy during downtime to avoid problems. • Plan any sight-seeing or theme park visits after your performance, if possible.



• Strict rules of conduct and dress code must be enforced, even when not performing. • Close supervision (unannounced visits, curfew) of students in hotel rooms is essential. Voice Care

Additional guidelines for vocal health during choir trips follow (Robinson & Althouse, 1995): • Arrange for the singers to get enough rest the night before a performance by enforcing a “lights-out” time. • Encourage singers to drink plenty of water, especially in dry hotel rooms. • Instruct singers to rest their voices while traveling by watching videos, listening to recordings, or sleeping. • Avoid over-rehearsing the voice; ask for light singing occasionally and plan rehearsal breaks. FUND-RAISING AND BUDGETS

Every choral music teacher is given a budget, but the amount can vary widely from school to school. That budget is most often delegated for music purchasing, and each school has its own procedure for making music purchases. The new teacher will need to become familiar with the amount of money in the budget and the purchasing procedure, and carefully plan and keep records of purchases so as not to exceed the budget. If the budget is minimal, the teacher will need to scour the school’s choral library for excellent music already owned, or borrow music from colleagues. If the budget is generous, money may be available for purchases of other needs, ranging from new choral folders to new choral risers. Rarely is a choral budget adequate for large expenditures such as vocal jazz sound equipment, show choir costumes and props, and tours. Fund-raising comes with the territory, and is often aided by a booster club, made of up devoted parents and friends of the choral music program. This Parent Organization provides many services to the choral program, such as:



• coordinating the fund-raising activities, which might include sales of fruit, candy, magazines or car washes; • picking up and delivering the goods; • making costumes and sets; • videotaping concerts; • duplicating DVDs of performances; • chaperoning trips; • buying advertisements in concert programs. Experienced choral teacher Randi Carp (1999), in her workshop “The Care and Feeding of Parents,” offered guidance to new teachers by identifying a few areas that should be kept off limits to parents. These include: • • • • •

music selection; costuming decisions; grades; curriculum; and how to spend money.

Nevertheless, parents are a vital part of the success of a large choral program (Wiehe, 2008), and contribute greatly to the impact of the program on the community, and overall public relations. Music teachers are very busy people and need a parent booster club. An organizational resource is MENC’s Music Booster Manual (1998). FIRST-YEAR TEACHER CHALLENGES AND MENTORING

And so this book comes to a close. You are now ready to become a choral music teacher and look forward to student teaching and your first teaching job. There will be a few challenges that your college coursework could not have completely prepared you for because each teaching position, each school, and indeed each class of students is different. Time Management

One challenge for the secondary choral music teacher is time management. Depending on the number and type of choirs, as well as the



school’s choral tradition, the high school program is often highly visible and may be expected to perform frequently. Besides the usual fall, holiday, and spring concert seasons, there may also be choir competition seasons, madrigal dinners, tours, and musical theater productions, all of which require extra time and score study. Certainly the choir director has some control over the number of performances, but it is important to know the school administration’s and community’s expectations for these events. It is easy to fall into an overly busy routine at work that carries over into one’s personal life. The challenge is making time for the important things in life in addition to the choir program— family, friends, diet, and exercise—and keeping your priorities straight. Some practical solutions follow: • Set aside uninterrupted time for school preparation every day and do not procrastinate. • Set aside regular times to enjoy with family members and refrain from violating this special time with your own school work. • Phone or visit a good friend at least once a week. • Take some time every weekend to relax with a favorite hobby or to practice your instrument. • Get aerobic exercise any way you can for a minimum of 60 minutes every week, even if this means parking 10 minutes away from your school building every day. • Take time to eat a healthy breakfast and to pack a healthy lunch including some fresh fruit and vegetables every day. • Go to bed at a set time to ensure seven hours of sleep per night. Other Challenges

Other mild to moderate frustrations of first year music teachers have been identified in survey research (Vartanian, 2003), many of which have been addressed in this book so that the reader will be prepared to face them. Past new teacher challenges have included: • • • •

music budget procedures; distractions and interruptions in the rehearsal; maintaining class rules; working with a booster club;


• • • • •


adapting music class for students with special needs; advocacy for music education; designing sequential learning activities; arranging music for their ensembles; isolation from college peers.


The good news is that if and when you encounter these or other challenges, you will have your university professors, fellow teachers, and school site principal to call upon for solutions. In addition, many states now assign every new teacher with a certified mentor teacher, who can be enormously helpful in supporting the new teacher through some of the possible adjustment phases of the first year, which have been suggested, not completely in jest, as: Anticipation (September), Survival (October and November), Disillusionment (December and January), Rejuvenation (February and March), Reflection (April and May), and Anticipation ( June through August) (Palmer, 2008). If a mentor is available, take advantage of that person to bounce ideas off of or merely to lend a hand or shoulder. Finale

A few bumps in the teaching road are inevitable, especially in the first few years, but each one is a lesson in how to be a better teacher. As you strive to become a better choral musician and teacher, the rewards of teaching choral music to young singers increase, and your professional life becomes more and more rich and meaningful.






á æ ε i l o ^ u U

father cat bet street fit coat cot boot book

ai au Ei oi ou iu

night now stay boy go few



e ε 2 1

i i 3


o ɔ 3

Ave verum corpus [ɑvε vεɾum kɔɾpus

u u 1

y i 3



13 1



natum de Maria Virgine nɑtum dε mɑɾiɑ viɾdZinε



Table A.I continued 1 2




Vere passum vεɾε pɑssum 1


2 3


1 2








3 1 3








cujus latus perforatum unda fluxit sanguine kujus lɑtus pεɾfɔɾatum undɑ fluksit sɑŋgwinε 2


1 3



1 3

Esto nobis praegustatum εstɔ nɔbis pɾεgustɑtum 2


3 2 1


immolatum in cruce pro homine immɔlɑtum in kɾutʃε pɾɔ ɔminε

2 3

in mortis examine in mɔɾtis εgzɑminε 1 = primary stress, 2 = secondary stress, 3 = unstressed


Figure B.1 Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart

Figure B.2 A Virgin Most Pure, arr. Wood

Figure B.3 Da Pacem by Gounod

Figure B.4 All Lust und Freud by Hassler

Appendix C THE MISSION AND PURPOSES OF ACDA AS STATED AT HTTP://ACDA. ORG/ABOUT_US • To foster and promote choral singing which will provide artistic, cultural, and spiritual experiences for the participants. • To foster and promote the finest types of choral music to make these experiences possible. • To foster and encourage rehearsal procedures conducive to attaining the highest possible level of musicianship and artistic performance. • To foster and promote the organization and development of choral groups of all types in schools and colleges. • To foster and promote the development of choral music in the church and synagogue. • To foster and promote the organization and development of choral societies in cities and communities. • To foster and promote understanding of choral music as an important medium of contemporary artistic expression. • To foster and promote significant research in the field of choral music. • To foster and encourage choral composition of superior quality. • To cooperate with all organizations dedicated to the development of musical culture in America. • To foster and promote international exchange programs involving performing groups, conductors, and composers. • To disseminate professional news and information about choral music.




Founded in 1959, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) is a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research, and teaching. In addition, ACDA strives through arts advocacy to elevate choral music’s position in American society. MEMBERSHIP

ACDA membership consists of choral directors who represent more than one million singers across the United States. ACDA members teach choral music in public and private schools—kindergarten through senior high school—and at the college and university levels. They conduct a variety of choral groups, including boychoirs, children’s choirs, men’s and women’s choruses, junior and senior high school choirs, college and university choruses, ethnic choirs, vocal-jazz ensembles, and symphony choruses. They also conduct choirs in their communities and in their places of worship. Membership is established by submitting a membership application and annual dues. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

ACDA is divided into seven geographic regions/Divisions, as well as fifty State chapters, each with its own conventions, conferences, newsletters, festivals, clinics, and workshops. Whether at the National, Division, or State level, ACDA is structured so that its members can easily involve themselves in the organization’s activities. CONVENTIONS AND CONFERENCES

ACDA offers conventions and conferences at the State, Division, and National levels. National conventions are offered in March of oddnumbered years; the seven Division conventions take place in February and March of even-numbered years. Through concert performances by accomplished choirs, educational clinics by leading experts, and exhibits by music-industry representatives, ACDA offers its members a diverse and practical forum in which to develop their skills and professional knowledge.




The official publication of the American Choral Directors Association is Choral Journal. This national publication, issued monthly, contains articles and columns of a scholarly and practical nature in addition to reviews of newly released CD recordings, books, and printed music. Choral Journal is a benefit of membership in the American Choral Directors Association. Subscriptions are available to libraries. Advertising space is available as well. COMMITTEES

ACDA has numerous national committees engaged in advancing the choral profession in its many facets. The committees work in several areas of the choral profession, whether through establishing high performance standards, recommending quality choral literature, encouraging research in choral studies, or advocating the importance of choral music in our society. REPERTOIRE AND STANDARDS

ACDA establishes and maintains the highest of choral standards and recomends quality choral literature through the thirteen Reptertoire and Standards (R&S) Committees. This national structure is replicated in every Division and State chapter through the organization. PUBLICATIONS

ACDA has several publications including Choral Journal, Division newsletters, State newsletters, and the monograph series. All of these publications are intended to educate and inform the members of the association. LOCATION

ACDA’s national headquarters is centrally located in the downtown Arts District of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Office hours are 8:00am–5:00pm Monday–Friday.

Appendix D MENC MISSION STATEMENT AS STATED AT HTTP://WWW.MENC.ORG/ABO UT/VIEW/MISSION-STATEMENT The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 142,000 members represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education. We were originally called Music Supervisors National Conference, then Music Educators National Conference. (That’s what the “MENC” stands for.) In 1998, our National Executive Board voted to change our name to MENC: The National Association for Music Education to better reflect our mission. PREAMBLE

Music allows us to celebrate and preserve our cultural heritages, and also to explore the realms of expression, imagination, and creation resulting in new knowledge. Therefore, every individual should be guaranteed the opportunity to learn music and to share in musical experiences.




The mission of MENC: The National Association for Music Education is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all.


Preface: Chapter 1: Chapter 2: Chapter 3: Chapter 4: Chapter 5: Chapter 6: Chapter 7: Chapter 8: Chapter 9: Chapter 10: Chapter 11: Chapter 12: Chapter 13: Appendix A: Appendix B: Appendix C: Appendix D: Appendix E: Appendix F: Appendix G: Appendix H: Appendix I: Appendix J:

Amendments to Title 17 since 1976 Subject Matter and Scope of Copyright Copyright Ownership and Transfer Duration of Copyright Copyright Notice, Deposit, and Registration Copyright Infringement and Remedies Manufacturing Requirement and Importation Copyright Office Proceedings by Copyright Royalty Judges Protection of Semiconductor Chip Products Digital Audio Recording Devices and Media Sound Recordings and Music Videos Copyright Protection and Management Systems Protection of Original Designs The Copyright Act of 1976 The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 The Copyright Royalty and Distribution The Satellite HomeFo Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004 The Intellectual Property Protection and Courts Amendments Act of 2004 Title 18—Crimes and Criminal Procedure, U.S. Code Title 28—Judicial Procedure, U.S. Code Title 44—Public Printing and Documents, U.S. Code The Bern Convention Implementation Act of 1988 The Uruguay Round Agreement Act of 1994



Appendix K: GATT/Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement, Part II Appendix L: Definition of “Bern Convention Work” This publication is also known as Circular 92. Copyright Law of the United States of America is available in print for $28. Order from: U.S. Government Bookstore U.S. Copyright Office 101 Independence Avenue SE Washington, DC 20559-6000 (202) 707-3000

References and Further Reading

CHAPTER 1 Green, Elizabeth A.H. & Gibson, Mark (2004). The Modern Conductor, 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. McElheran, Brock (1989). Conducting Technique: For Beginners and Professionals, rev. ed. New York: Oxford. Uszler, Marienne, Gordon, Stewart, & Mach, Elyse (1991). The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher. New York: Schirmer. Wis, Ramona M. (2007). The Conductor as Leader: Principles of Leadership Applied to Life on the Podium. Chicago: GIA.

CHAPTER 2 Barham, Terry J. & Nelson, Darolyne L. (1991). The Boy’s Changing Voice: New Solutions for Today’s Choral Teacher. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing. Collins, Don L. (1999). Teaching Choral Music, 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Cooksey, John M. (1977). The Development of a Contemporary, Eclectic Theory for the Training and Cultivation of the Junior High School Male Changing Voice: Part I, Existing Theories. Choral Journal, 18(2), 5–14. Freer, Patrick K. (2006). Adapt, Build, and Challenge: Three Keys to Effective Choral Rehearsals for Young Adolescents. Choral Journal, 47(5), 48–55. Freer, Patrick K. (2008). Boys’ Changing Voices in the First Century of MENC Journals. Music Educators Journal, 95(1), 41–47. Gackle, Lynne (November, 2006). Finding Ophelia’s Voice: The Female Voice During Adolescence. Choral Journal, 37(5), 29–37. Herman, Sally (1988). Building a Pyramid of Musicianship. San Diego, CA: Curtis Music Press. Kennedy, Mary Copland (Fall, 2004). “It’s a Metamorphosis”: Guiding the Voice Change at the American Boychoir School. Journal of Research in Music Education, 52(3), 264–280. Killian, Janice (1999). A Description of Vocal Maturation among Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Boys. Journal of Research in Music Education, 47(4), 357–369. Leck, Henry (video, 2001). The Boy’s Changing Voice: Take the High Road. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard. Phillips, Kenneth H. (1992). Teaching Kids to Sing. New York: Schirmer Books. Phillips, Kenneth H. (2004). Directing the Choral Music Program. New York: Oxford University Press. Queen, J. Allen, Blackwelder, B.B., & Mallen, L.P. (1997). Responsible Classroom Management for Teachers and Students. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.



Rossman, R.L. (1989). Tips: Discipline in the Music Classroom. Reston, VA: MENC. Sataloff, Robert T. (2000). Vocal Aging and its Medical Implications: What Singing Teachers Should Know, Part I. Journal of Singing, 57(1), 29–34. Sataloff, Robert T. & Spiegel, Joseph R. (1989). The Young Voice. The NATS Journal, 45(3), 35–37. Swanson, Frederick J. (1973). Music Teaching in the Junior High and Middle School. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. White, Christopher D. & White, Dona K. (May, 2001). Commonsense Training for Changing Male Voices. Music Educators Journal, 87(6), 39–43, 53. Wong, Harry K. & Wong, Rosemary T. (1998). The First Days of School: How To Be An Effective Teacher. Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications, Inc. (

CHAPTER 3 Albrecht, Sally K. (2003). The Choral Warm-Up Collection: A Source book of 167 Choral Warm-Ups Contributed by 51 Choral Directors. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing. Barham, Terry J. & Nelson, Darolyne L. (1991). The Boy’s Changing Voice: New Solutions for Today’s Choral Teacher. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing. Collins, Don L. (1999). Teaching Choral Music, 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Cooper, Irvin & Kuersteiner, Karl O. (1970). Teaching Junior High School Music, 2nd ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Gackle, Lynne (March, 1991). The Adolescent Female Voice. Choral Journal, 31(8), 16–25. Gackle, Lynne (November, 2006). Finding Ophelia’s Voice: The Female Voice During Adolescence. Choral Journal, 37(5), 29–37. Herrington, Judith & Miller, Clayton (2000). Lame Brain Games. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard. Jordan, James (2005). The Choral Warm-Up: Method, Procedures, Planning, and Core Vocal Exercises. Chicago: GIA. Killian, Janice (1999). A Description of Vocal Maturation among Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Boys. Journal of Research in Music Education, 47(4), 357–369. Leck, Henry (2009). Creating Artistry Through Choral Excellence. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard. Moriarty, John (1975). Diction: Italian, Latin, French, German . . . The Sounds and 81 Exercises for Singing Them. Boston: E.C. Schirmer Music Company. Phillips, Kenneth H. (1992). Teaching Kids to Sing. New York: Schirmer Books. Robinson, Russell & Althouse, Jay (1995). The Complete Choral Warm-Up Book: A Sourcebook for Choral Directors. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing.



CHAPTER 4 Buchanan, Heather J. & Mehaffey, Matthew W. (2005). Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume I. Chicago: GIA. Butler, Abby & Lind, Vicki (2005). Renaissance Repertoire for Middle School Choirs. Choral Journal, 46(1), 37–41. Hower, Eileen (2006). Designing a New Paradigm for Selecting Music for the Middle School Choir. Choral Journal, 47(5), 62–74. Indiana State School Music Association Required List Download for Organizational Events: (See JH/MS/ Elem choir Required List for various voicings and levels of difficulty.) Moser, David J. (2002). Music Copyright for the New Millennium, Vallejo, CA: ProMusic Press. Phillips, Kenneth H. (2004). Directing the Choral Music Program. New York: Oxford University Press. (See Appendix C: List of Recommended Choral Repertory for Junior High Choirs, pages 392–402.) Reames, Rebecca R. & Warren, Matthew (November, 2006). Recommended Literature: Middle-Level Mixed Choirs. Choral Journal, 47(5), 76–88. Schmidt, Sandefur (2002). Music Performed at American Choral Directors Association Conventions, 1960–2000. Lawton, OK: ACDA Monograph 12. (See Junior High or Middle School Choir, pages 203–209.) Sharp, Tim (2004). Choral Music and Print-on-Demand. Choral Journal, 44(8), 19–23. Shasberger, Michael (2004). Musica: The Evolution of a Library. Choral Journal, 44(8), 7–11.

CHAPTER 5 Asmus, Edward P. (2002). Sample Music Rubrics ( edu/assessment/rubricsSamples.html). Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice (video, 2003). Dayton, OH: The Lorenz Corporation, The American Boychoir School and Bolthead Communications Group. Buchanan, Heather J. & Mehaffey, Matthew W. (2005). Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume I. Chicago: GIA. Carp, Randi S. (2004). Single Gender Choral Ensembles, Attitudes and Practices: A Survey of Southern California High School Choir Directors. DMA Doctoral Dissertation, University of Southern California, UMI 3145167. Cutietta, Robert A. (1999). Strategies for Teaching Specialized Ensembles. Reston, VA: MENC. Demorest, Steven M. (January, 2000). Encouraging Male Participation in Chorus. Music Educators Journal, 86(4), 38–41. Experiencing Choral Music (2005). New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill and Hal Leonard Corporation ( OR.pdf). Hinckley, June (February, 1992). Blocks, Wheels, and Teams: Building a Middle School Schedule. Music Educators Journal, 78(6), 26–30. Kaschub, Michele E. (1998). Standards in Action: The National Standards in the Choral Rehearsal. Choral Journal, 38(8), 63–72.



McClung, Alan (November, 2006). Master Teachers in Middle-Level Choral Music: Pedagogical Insights and Practices. Choral Journal, 47(5), 6–26. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1991). Teaching Choral Music: A Course of Study. Reston, VA: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (video, 1992). Movement in the Middle School Choral Rehearsal. Reston, VA: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1994a). National Standards for Arts Education. Reston, VA: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1994b). Opportunity-toLearn Standards for Music Instruction. Reston, VA: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1996). Performance Standards for Music: Grades PreK–12. Reston, VA: MENC. Norris, Charles E. (Spring, 2004). A Nationwide Overview of Sight-Singing Requirements of Large-Group Choral Festivals. Journal of Research in Music Education, 52(1), 16–28. Small, Ann R. & Bowers, Judy K. (1997). Strategies for Teaching Elementary and Middle-Level Chorus. Reston, VA: MENC. Telfer, Nancy (1996). Choral Curriculum Guide: An Audio Workshop. San Diego, CA: Kjos Music Company.

CHAPTER 6 Bell, Cindy L. (2004). Update on Community Choirs and Singing in the United States. International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, 2(1), 39–52. Crabb, R. Paul (2002). Choral Audition Procedures of Six Well Known Conductors: Webb, Noble, Bruffy, Carrington, Ehly, and Warland. Choral Journal, 42(9), 35–58. Darrough, Galen Paul (1990). Older Adult Participants in Selected Retirement Community Choruses. DMA Doctoral Dissertation, Arizona State University, AAT 9101869. Daugherty, James F. (1999). Spacing, Formation, and Choral Sound: Preferences and Perceptions of Auditors and Choristers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 47(3), 224–238. Ekholm, Elizabeth (2000). The Effect of Singing Mode and Seating Arrangement on Choral Blend and Overall Choral Sound. Journal of Research in Music Education, 48(2), 123–135. Fuller, Charles Lee (1989). Factors Related to Success at All-Region and All-State Choir Auditions in Texas. DMA Doctoral Dissertation, Arizona State University, DA 9005981. Horne, Camilla Joy (2007). Recruitment, Participation and Retention of African Americans in High School Choral Ensembles. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Minnesota, AAT 3279675. Jellison, Judith A. (2000). How Can All People Continue to Be Involved in Meaningful Music Participation? ( publications/vision2020/HowCanAllPeopleContinue.pdf). Mowrer, Tony A. (1996). Tonal Memory as an Audition Factor for Choral Ensembles. PhD Doctoral Dissertation, Temple University, DA9632078.



Phillips, Kenneth H. (1992). Teaching Kids to Sing. New York: Schirmer Books. Phillips, Kenneth H. (2004). Directing the Choral Music Program. New York: Oxford University Press. Smith, Brenda & Sataloff, Robert T. (2006). Choral Pedagogy, 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing. Siebenaler, Dennis James (September, 2006). Factors that Predict Participation in Choral Music for High-School Students. Research and Issues in Music Education, 4(1), 1–9. Tipps, James W. (2003). A Preliminary Study of Factors that Limited Secondary School Choral Involvement. International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, 1(1), 22–28.

CHAPTER 7 Albrecht, Sally K. (2003). The Choral Warm-Up Collection: A Source book of 167 Choral Warm-Ups Contributed by 51 Choral Directors. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing. Alexander Technique ( Austin, Stephen F. (December, 2007). Building Strong Voices: Twelve Different Ways! Choral Journal, 48(6), 55–66. Austin, Stephen F. (February, 2008). Building Strong Voices: Twelve Different Ways! (Part II), Choral Journal, 49(1), 59–73, Brinson, Barbara A. (1996). Choral Music: Methods and Materials. New York: Schirmer Books. Collins, Don L. (1999). Teaching Choral Music, 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Crocker, Emily (2002). Voice Builders for Better Choirs: A Complete Resource for Choral Directors. (Edited by Janet Day and Linda Rann.) Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard. Ehmann, Wilhelm & Haasemann, Frauke (1981). Voice Building for Choirs. Chapel Hill, NC: Hinshaw. Ekholm, Elizabeth (2000). The Effect of Singing Mode and Seating Arrangement on Choral Blend and Overall Choral Sound. Journal of Research in Music Education, 48(2), 123–135. Emmons, Shirlee & Chase, Constance (2006). Prescriptions for Choral Excellence. New York: Oxford University Press. Hylton, John B. (1995). Comprehensive Choral Music Education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Jordan, James (2005). The Choral Warm-Up: Method, Procedures, Planning, and Core Vocal Exercises. Chicago: GIA. Jordan, James & Shenenberger, Marilyn (2004). Ear Training Immersion Exercises for Choirs. Chicago: GIA. Lamb, Gordon H. (1988). Choral Techniques, 3rd ed. Boston: McGraw Hill. Lapine, Peter R. (2008). The Relationship between the Physical Aspects of Voice Production and Optimal Vocal Health. Music Educators Journal, 94(3), 24–29.



Miller, Richard (1996). The Structure of Singing: System and Art in Vocal Technique. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group. Moriarty, John (1975). Diction: Italian, Latin, French, German . . . The Sounds and 81 Exercises for Singing Them. Boston: E.C. Schirmer Music Company. Nesheim, Paul with Westin Noble (1995). Building Beautiful Voices. Dayton, OH: Roger Dean Publishing Company. Phillips, Kenneth H. (1992). Teaching Kids to Sing. New York: Schirmer Books. Robinson, Russell & Althouse, Jay (1995). The Complete Choral Warm-Up Book: A Sourcebook for Choral Directors. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing. Sataloff, Robert T. (November, 2008). Arts Medicine: An Overview for Choir Conductors. Choral Journal, 49(5), 24–33. Smith, Brenda & Sataloff, Robert T. (2006). Choral Pedagogy, 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing. Swan, Howard (1988). The Development of a Choral Instrument. In Harold A. Decker & Julius Herford (ed.) Choral Conducting Symposium. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. VoiceCare Network ( Voice Foundation ( Voice Problem ( Walders, Patrick Michael (2005). Vocal Pedagogy and Applications for Conductors Not Trained in Singing. DMA Doctoral Dissertation, University of Maryland.

CHAPTER 8 ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) (2009). Sacred Music in Public Schools Statement ( Anderson, Linda Allen (2002). The Foundation of Artistry: An Annotated Bibliography of Distinctive Choral Literature for High School Mixed Choirs. Lawton, OK: ACDA Monograph No. 11. Buchanan, Heather J. & Mehaffey, Matthew, W. (2005). Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume I. Chicago: GIA. Buchanan, Heather J. & Mehaffey, Matthew, W. (2007). Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume II. Chicago: GIA. Decker, Harold A. & Herford, Julius (1988). A Choral Conducting Symposium. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Garretson, Robert L. (1993). Choral Music: History, Style and Performance Practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Guelker-Cone, Leslie (May, 1992). Music for Women’s Voices by Contemporary Women Composers of the United States and Canada. Choral Journal, 32(10), 31–40. Hawkins, Margaret B. (1976). An Annotated Inventory of Distinctive Choral Literature for Performance at the High School Level. Lawton, OK: ACDA Monograph 2. Hubbard, Monica (December, 1998). Women’s Choirs: Repertoire, Standards, and Chestnuts. Choral Journal, 39(5), 59–62.



Hylton, John B. (1995). Comprehensive Choral Music Education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Jeffers, Ron (1988). Translations and Annotations of Choral Repertoire, Volume I: Sacred Latin Texts. Corvallis, OR: earthsongs. McIntosh, Kathleen (December, 1980). Adapting Music for the Ninth Grade Chorus. Music Educators Journal, 67(4), 34–38. Madura, Patrice D. (1999). Getting Started with Vocal Improvisation. Reston, VA: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1996a). Religious Music in the Schools. Reston, VA: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1996b). Sacred Music in Schools ( schools). Paine, Gordon (2007). Translations and Annotations of Choral Repertoire, Volume III: French and Italian Texts. Corvallis, OR: earthsongs. Palant, Jonathan (June, 2007). High School Boys: Relish the Rowdiness with Repertoire. Choral Journal, 47(12), 53–55. Parr, Clayton (February, 1997). Male Choir Literature for Mixed Choir Programs. Choral Journal, 37(11), 27, 29. Phillips, Kenneth H. (2004). Directing the Choral Music Program. New York: Oxford University Press. Reames, Rebecca R. (2001). High School Choral Directors’ Description of Appropriate Literature for Beginning High School Choirs. Journal of Research in Music Education, 49(2), 122–135. Rensink-Hoff, Rachel (2007). She Sings: Extended Canadian Choral Works for Women’s Chorus. Choral Journal, 47(12), 11. Repertoire & Standards National Committee Chairs (March, 2003). Selected American Choral Repertoire. Choral Journal, 34(8), 49–54. Sacred Choral Music in Print. Master Index (1996). Philadelphia: Musicdata. Schmidt, Sandefur (2002). Music Performed at American Choral Directors Association Conventions, 1960–2000. Lawton, OK: ACDA Monograph 12. Secular Choral Music in Print. Master Index (1996). Philadelphia: Musicdata. Spillane, James D. (2004). All-State Choral Music: A Comprehensive Study of the Music Selected for the High School All-State Choirs of the Fifty States from 1995–2000. University of Arizona Doctoral Dissertation, AAT 3158159. White, J. Perry (1990). Twentieth-Century Choral Music: An Annotated Bibliography of Music Suitable for Use by High School Choirs. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press.

CHAPTER 9 Adderley, C.L. (2000). Preparation for Future Choral Directors Relative to the National Standards: Goals 2000. Choral Journal, 40(10), 17–25. Anderson, Tom (1992). Sing Choral Music at Sight. Reston, VA: MENC. Barrow, Lee G. (September, 1994). Programming Rehearsals for Student Success. Music Educators Journal, 81(2), 24, 27–28. Bauer, William I. (May, 2001). Classroom Management for Ensembles. Music Educators Journal, 87(6), 27–32.



Beck, Andy, Surmani, Karen Farnum, & Lewis, Brian (2004). Sing at First Sight. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing. Buchanan, Heather J. & Mehaffey, Matthew W. (2005). Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume I. Chicago: GIA. Buchanan, Heather J. & Mehaffey, Matthew W. (2007). Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume II. Chicago: GIA. Carp, Randi Sue (2004). Single Gender Choral Ensembles, Attitudes and Practices: A Survey of Southern California High School Choir Directors. DMA Doctoral Dissertation, University of Southern California, UMI 3145167. Coker, Timothy Columbus (1984). Choral Warm-Up Exercises as a Key to Teaching Music Literature and Vocal Technique. PhD Doctoral Dissertation, University of Southern Mississippi, AAT 8518316. Crocker, Emily & Leavitt, John (2005). Essential Sight-Singing. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard. Demorest, Steven M. (2001). Building Choral Excellence: Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal. New York: Oxford University Press. Experiencing Choral Music (2008). New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill and Hal Leonard Corporation ( 0610OR.pdf). Freer, Patrick K. (December, 1992). Education Research: Practical Implications for the Rehearsal. Choral Journal, 33, 28–34. ISSMA (Indiana Stave School Music Association) (2008). Music Festivals Manual 2008–2009 School Year. Indianapolis, IN: ISSMA. Jorgensen, Nancy Smirl & Pfeiler, Catherine (May, 2008). Successful SingleSex Offerings in the Choral Department. Music Educators Journal, 94(5), 36–40. Kaschub, Michele (July, 1997). Composition in the Choral Rehearsal. Music Educators Journal, 84(1), 28–33. Kaschub, Michele E. (1998). Standards in Action: The National Standards in the Choral Rehearsal. Choral Journal, 38(8), 63–72. Keenan-Takagi, K. (January, 2000). Embedding Assessment in Choral Teaching. Music Educators Journal, 86(4), 42–46, 63. Keown, Megan (Fall, 2008). Choir “F”? Grading Concert Attendance. ICDA Notations, 30(1), 11. Kotora, E. James (2001). Assessment practices in the Choral Music Classroom A Survey of Ohio High School Choral Music Teachers and College Choral Methods Teachers. Case Western Reserve University Doctoral Dissertation, AAT 3036343. Madsen, Katia (2003). The Effect of Accuracy of Instruction, Teacher Delivery, and Student Attentiveness on Musician’s Evaluation of Teacher Effectiveness. Journal of Research in Music Education, 51(1), 38–50. Madura, Patrice D. (1999). Getting Started with Vocal Improvisation. Reston, VA: MENC. Madura Ward-Steinman, Patrice (Spring, 2007). Confidence in Teaching Improvisation According to the K–12 Achievement Standards: Surveys of Vocal Jazz Workshop Participants and Undergraduates. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 172, 25–40.



MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1991). Teaching Choral Music: A Course of Study. Developed by the MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1994a). Opportunity-toLearn Standards for Music Instruction: Grades PreK–12. Reston, VA: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1994b). National Standards for Arts Education. Reston, VA: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1994c). The School Music Program: A New Vision. Reston, VA: MENC. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1996). Performance Standards for Music: Grades PreK–12. Reston, VA: MENC. Miller, George A. (March, 1956). The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for processing Information. Psychological Review, 63,81–97. Music Services for Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals (2007). FACTS: National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Washington, DC: Library of Congress. Norris, Charles E. (Spring, 2004). A Nationwide Overview of Sight-Singing Requirements of Large-Group Choral Festivals. Journal of Research in Music Education, 52(1), 16–28. Paulk, Jason (October, 2004). Perspectives on Sight-Reading Choral Repertoire: Conversations with Rodney Eichenberger, Joseph Flummerfelt, Ann Howard Jones, Jo-Michael Schiebe, and Dennis Shrock. Choral Journal, 45(3), 28–35. Price, Harry E. (1983). The Effect of Conductor Academic Task Presentation, Conductor Reinforcement, and Ensemble Practice on Performers’ Musical Achievement, Attentiveness, and Attitude. Journal of Research in Music Education, 31(4), 245–257. Price, Harry E. (1992). Sequential Patterns of Music Instruction and Learning to Use Them. Journal of Research in Music Education, 40(1), 14–29. Queen, J. Allen, Blackwelder, Beth B. & Mallen, Leon P. (1997). Responsible Classroom Management for Teachers and Students. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Robert Shaw: Preparing a Masterpiece, Vol. 2. (video, 1992). New York: The Carnegie Hall. Robert Shaw: Preparing a Masterpiece, Vol. 3. (video, 1992). New York: The Carnegie Hall. Robert Shaw: Preparing a Masterpiece: A Choral Workshop On Brahms’ “A German Requiem” (video, 1991). New York: Carnegie Hall Corp. Rossman, R.L. (1989). Tips: Discipline in the Music Classroom. Reston, VA: MENC. Scarlett, W. George, Ponte, Iris Chin, & Singh, Jay P. (2009). Approaches to Behavior and Classroom Management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Straight, H. Steven (2002). The Difference between Assessment and Evaluation ( ght.ppt). Swiggum, Randal (1998). Strategies for Teaching High School Chorus. Reston, VA: MENC. Task Force on Choral Music Course of Study. Reston, VA: MENC.



Wang, M.C., Haertel, G. & Wahlberg, H.J. (1994). What Helps Students Learn? Educational Leadership, 51(4), 74–79. Wong, Harry K. & Wong, Rosemary T. (1998). The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher. Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications. Yarbrough, Cornelia (1975). Effect of Magnitude of Conductor Behavior on Students in Selected Mixed Choruses. Journal of Research in Music Education, 23(2), 134–146. Yarbrough, Cornelia & Madsen, Katia (1998). The Evaluation of Teaching in Choral Rehearsals. Journal of Research in Music Education, 46(4), 469–481. Yarbrough, C. & Price, H.E. (1989). Sequential Patterns of Instruction in Music. Journal of Research in Music Education, 37, 179–187.

CHAPTER 10 Bolt, Gerald R. (1983). Choral Repertoire Selection Competency Development in Undergraduate Music Education Curricula. Arizona State University Doctoral Dissertation, ATT 8315795. Brandvik, Paul (1978). The Compleet Madrigal Dinner Booke. San Diego, CA: Neil A. Kjos Music Company. Brandvik, Paul. Madrigal Dinner Scripts. Bemidji, MN: Knight Shtick Press ( Bruenger, Susan (September, 2005). Preparing a Broadway Musical: Instrumental Considerations. Choral Journal, 46(3), 50–57. Cosman, Madeleine Pelner (1976). Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony. New York: George Braziller. DeGroot, Joanna (January, 2009). The Educational Appeal of Barbershop Music. Teaching Music, 16(4), 53–55. Goetze, Mary (2000). The Challenges of Performing Choral Music of the World. In Performing with Understanding: The Challenges of the National Standards for Music Education. Reston, VA: MENC. Harmon, Alec, ed. (1983). The Oxford Book of Italian Madrigals. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hylton, John B. (1995). Comprehensive Choral Music Education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Jacques, Reginald & Willcocks, David, eds. (1961). Carols for Choirs. London: Oxford University Press. Kean, Ronald M. (April, 1996). A Global Celebration of Life: Programming Multicultural and Ethnically Inspired Choral Music According to the Cycle of Life. Choral Journal, 36(9), 45–48. Leach, Anthony T. (March, 2001). Musings on Multicultural Choral Music. Choral Journal, 41(8), 73–74. Ledger, Philip, ed. (1978). The Oxford Book of English Madrigals. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Madura, Patrice D. (1992). Relationships Among Vocal Jazz Improvisation Achievement, Jazz Theory Knowledge, Imitative Ability, Previous Music Experience, General Creativity, and Gender. (Doctoral Dissertation,



Indiana University, 1992). Dissertation Abstracts International, 5417 (Order Number 9307490). Madura, Patrice D. (1996). Relationships Among Vocal Jazz Improvisation Achievement, Jazz Theory Knowledge, Imitative Ability, Musical Experience, Creativity, and Gender. Journal of Research in Music Education, 44(3), 252–267. Madura, Patrice D. (1999). Getting Started with Vocal Improvisation. Reston, VA: MENC. Madura Ward-Steinman, Patrice (Spring, 2007). Confidence in Teaching Improvisation According to the K–12 Achievement Standards: Surveys of Vocal Jazz Workshop Participants and Undergraduates. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 172, 25–40. Madura Ward-Steinman, Patrice (Summer, 2008). Vocal Improvisation by Australian and American University Jazz Singers: Case Studies of Outliers’ Musical Influences. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 177, 29–43. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1994). National Standards for Arts Education. Reston, VA: MENC. Mitchell, L. (2000). A Practical Handbook for Musical Theater, 4th ed. Fort Dodge, IA: Comedia Publishing Company. Phillips, Kenneth H. (2004). Directing the Choral Music Program. New York: Oxford University Press. Rapkin, Mickey (2008). Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory. New York: Gotham. Spradling, Diana R. (December, 2001). National Standards of Excellence for Show Choirs. Choral Journal, 42(5), 61–62. Stoloff, Bob (1996). Scat! Brooklyn, NY: Gerard & Sarzin Publishing Co. Thomas, Janice (October, 1995). Revisiting the Madrigal Ensemble. Teaching Music, 3(2), 34–35. Thomas, Ken (2005). Competitive Show Choir Festivals: What are the Benefits? An Interview with Kirby Shaw. Choral Journal, 45(7), 107–109. Tucker, Judith Cook (1990). A Checklist for Evaluating Multicultural Materials. Danbury, CT: World Music Press. Turner, Patrice E. (December, 2008). Getting Gospel Going. Music Educators Journal, 95(2), 62–68. Volk, Terese (1998). Music, Education and Multiculturalism. New York: Oxford University Press. Zegree, Stephen (2002). The Complete Guide to Teaching Vocal Jazz. Dayton, OH: Heritage Music Press. Zorn, Jay D. (Spring, 1973). Effectiveness of Chamber Music Ensemble Experience. Journal of Research in Music Education, 21(1), 40–47.

CHAPTER 11 Carp, Randi (1999). The Care and Feeding of Parents. CMEA conference session, March 27, 1999, Ontario, Canada.



Gilbert, Nina (May, 2005). Virtual Roundtable Part II: More Advice from Choir Tour professionals. Choral Journal, 45(10), 37–54. ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) (2008). Music Festivals Manual 2008–2009 School Year. Indianapolis, IN: ISSMA. Leck, Henry H. (2009). Creating Artistry Through Choral Excellence. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard. MENC (National Association for Music Education) (1998). Music Booster Manual. Reston, VA: MENC. Olson, Catherine Applefeld (August, 2008). Music in Motion. Teaching Music, 16(1), 34–47. Palmer, Marie (December, 2008). Mentoring. Choral Journal, 49(6), 65–66. Price, Joel M. (June, 2007). How to Plan an All-State Honor Choir Experience for Junior High/Middle School Students. Choral Journal, 47(12), 59–60. Robinson, Russell & Althouse, Jay (1995). The Complete Choral Warm-Up Book. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing. Travel Issue (February, 2005). Choral Journal, 45(7), 9–85. Vartanian, Tina-Marie (2003). The Need for Mentors: A Survey of First Year Instrumental Music Teachers in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Southern California, UMI 3094377. Wiehe, Pat (2008). The Functions and Value of a Show Choir Parent Organization. Resound, Spring, 9–10.


A a cappella 57, 145, 147, 153, 162–3, 212 Abril, Carlos 160 accompanist 6–9, 50, 54, 112, 116, 156, 170 ACDA see American Choral Directors Association achievement standards 71, 73–4, 76, 209, 212 see also National Standards for Arts Education adjudication 177 advocacy 6, 182, 196 Adzenyah, Abraham K. 161 aesthetic 3, 136 agility 40–1, 46, 52, 101 Agnestig, Carl-Bertil 58, 62 Aguiar, Ernani 119 aleatoric 130 alignment 42–3, 51, 102, 113 Althouse, Jay 62, 169, 179, 203, 207, 213 alto 24, 26, 37, 86, 90, 95 American Boychoir 23–4, 26, 70, 202, 204 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) 56, 63, 120, 122, 125–6, 158, 163, 176, 195–7, 204, 207–8 analyzing 73–4 see also National Standards for Arts Education Andersen, Dan 43 Appling, William 124 Arcadelt, Jacques 155 Armstrong, Anton 69 arpeggio(s) 9, 18, 75, 104, 109 arrangement(s) 10, 29, 57, 59, 65, 119–21, 126, 148, 153, 158, 160, 164

arranger(s) 64, 147 arranging 4, 25, 72, 182 see also National Standards for Arts Education articulation 40–1, 101, 106, 109–10, 114, 129, 133, 136, 150 Asmus, Ed 83, 204 assessment 20, 41, 63, 76, 81–4, 97–8, 112, 134–5, 137–8, 142–3, 176, 204, 209–10 attendance 117, 142–3, 210 attention 79, 86, 133, 141, 167–8 attitude 6, 89, 97–8, 139–40, 142, 170, 204, 209–10 audition(s) 33–40, 68–9, 85–93, 98, 164–5, 176, 205 aural 3, 41, 72, 79, 139, 147, 154, 158, 161 Averre, Dick 149

B Bach, J. S. 119, 121, 127 Baker, David 152 balance 25, 33, 72, 96, 102, 111, 129, 168, 176–7, 199 Barber, Samuel 119, 122 barbershop 133, 162, 211 Bardos, Lajos 123 Barduhn, Dave 147–9 baritone 24, 26–7, 34, 36, 38, 44, 90, 163 Barnes, Jennifer 148 Baroque 129 Barresi, Anthony 23 Bartók, Béla 119 Basler, Paul 121 bass; player 150, 153; singer 26, 28, 59, 86, 90, 94, 127, 158, 163


baton 10, 15 Batten, Adrian 119 Beethoven, Ludwig van 119 behavior(s) 16, 29–31, 33, 95–6, 98, 142, 144, 210–1 Bell, Robert 123 Bennett, John 155 Berger, Jean 62 Berkey, Jackson 161 Bestor, Kurt 124 Biebl, Franz 123 Blair, Peter 148 blend 89, 111, 154, 177, 205–6 blue notes 158 blues 93, 148–9, 151–3; scale 152–3; 12-bar 151–3 Brahms, Johannes 61, 63, 119, 121–2, 129, 210 brainteaser 17, 19, 32–3, 39, 50, 63–4, 67, 76, 79, 84, 94–5, 98–9, 112, 130–1, 136, 138–43, 154, 157, 160, 162, 165–6, 170 breath 7, 15–6, 41, 43–4, 46–7, 59, 64, 72, 80, 89, 102, 104, 108–9, 118, 126, 140 breathing 30, 41–3, 102, 104, 169, 177 breathy 40, 46, 84 Britten, Benjamin 61, 119 Brymer, Mark 164 Buchanan, Heather J. & Mehaffey, Matthew W. 56–60, 75, 117–8, 122–3, 138, 204, 207, 209 budget(s) 5, 64, 81, 156, 163, 167, 179–81 Busto, Javier 119, 121 Byrd, William 119, 155

C Caldwell, Paul & Ivory, Sean 120, 122 cambiata 23, 28, 34, 36–8, 57, 86 Carp, Randi 69, 132, 180, 204, 209, 212


Casals, Pablo 122 Catman, Stephen 119 Cazier, Dave 148 changed voices 26, 28, 34, 35, 39, 44–6, 57, 64, 105 changing voices 22–4, 26, 28, 33–6, 40, 43, 46, 57–8, 64, 69, 85–6, 98, 162, 202–3 chest voice 45–6, 106–7 Childcott, Bob 119 Chinn, Teena 149 Choral Journal 56, 122, 197, 202–13 Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL) 7, 66 ChoralNet 66 chord progression(s) 9, 75, 126 choreography 163 class participation 142 Classical 74, 96, 129–30, 145 classroom management 5, 32, 75, 143–4, 202, 208, 210 Clausen, René 119–21, 130 cognitive(ly) 22, 28, 79, 144 Collins, Don 22, 31, 34, 45, 61, 202–3, 207 competition 44, 78, 163–4, 176–7, 181 Complete Teaching Cycle 139–40 composer 3–4, 63–4, 66, 76, 123, 126, 130, 133, 163, 170–1, 195, 207 composing 4, 70, 72–4, 136, 138–9, 153 see also National Standards for Arts Education comprehensive music education 74, 125 comprehensive musician 1–19, 70–1 concert programming 5, 130, 167–70, 171–5 conducting 2–3, 6, 10–3, 15–9, 23, 50, 64, 104, 111, 113, 126, 202, 207; from the piano 16–7, 54, 116 Conductor Magnitude 140–1, 143 consequences 29–31, 33, 95–6, 99, 144 consonants 44, 47, 80, 102–3, 110, 128, 154



content standards 70–1 see also National Standards for Arts Education Cooksey, John 23–4, 34, 202 Cooper, Irvin 23–4, 34–5, 203 Copland, Aaron, 61, 119, 121, 123 copyright law 64–5, 200–1 counselor 31, 68, 97 count-singing 135–6 Crenshaw, Randy 149 crescendo/decrescendo 42, 111, 129 Cross, Dave 149 Crouch, Andrae 159 Crutchfield, Jonathan 124 cue(s) 13–5, 18, 64, 126 curriculum 5–6, 28, 41–2, 47, 69, 73–7, 85, 86, 100–2, 104, 111–2, 125, 132, 138–9, 180, 198, 205 curriculum guide 75, 138, 205 Custer, Gerlad, 119 cut-off(s) 10, 14, 16, 18, 85

D Daley, Eleanor 123 Dalglish, Malcolm 161 Davidson, Charles 161 Dawson, William 123 DeCormier, Robert 124, 160–1 Dello Joio, Norman 120 Demorest, Steven 69, 134–6, 138, 204, 209 Dennard, Brazeal 62, 124 describing 72–3, 139 see also National Standards for Arts Education Desprez, Josquin 62, 123, 155 Dewitt, Patti 62 Dickau, David 119 diction 2, 41–2, 47, 48–9, 53, 60, 85, 89, 101, 103, 109, 111, 114, 118, 128, 135, 154–5, 177, 213, 207 Diemer, Emma Lou 63, 121, 123–4 Dilworth, Rollo 159 diphthong(s) 47, 108, 183 Dowland, John 155

Dufay,Guillaume 61 Duruflé, Maurice, 120 Duson, Dede 122 dynamic(s) 13–5, 40–2, 46, 59–60, 81, 85, 89, 106–7, 110–1, 118, 127–9, 152, 154, 158, 177

E ear-training 3, 39, 70, 146 Eckert, Rosana 148 effective rehearsals 2, 5, 32, 132–3, 136, 143 Effinger, Cecil 119 Ehmann, Wilhelm & Haasemann, Frauke 101–2, 103, 105, 109, 206 Elgar, Edward 62 Ellis, Martin 160 Emerson, Roger 61, 164 emotion(ally) 6, 22, 28–9, 73, 79, 136, 144 error detection 3 evaluation 74, 142–3, 209–11 exhalation/exhale 42, 44, 102, 104 expression 41, 46, 52, 101, 110, 115, 129, 158, 163, 177, 195, 198; facial 14, 104, 140–1, 164 eye contact 14, 18, 29, 141

F Farmer, John 155 Fauré, Gabriel 118, 122, 199 Favero, Alberto 119 feeder program 68, 96 fermata(s) 10, 15–6, 18, 129 festival(s) 5, 74–5, 83, 97, 121, 134, 147,163, 167, 170, 176–7, 196, 205, 209–10, 212 field experience(s) 17, 19, 64, 95, 130, 140–1 Finzi, Gerald 62, 120 first-year teacher(s) 96, 157, 178, 180–2, 213


Fissinger, Edwin 124 Fitzgerald, Ella 150 formative 142 Four Freshmen 146 Franklin, Glenda 160 fund-raising 5, 163, 178–80

G Gackle, Lynne 23, 34–5, 46, 202–3 Gallina, Jill 161 Gawthrop, Daniel 119 “Gesture of Syncopation” 15 Gibbons, Orlando 119, 155 Gilbert, Nina 62 Gilpin, Greg 159 Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus 58 glissando 103, 105 Goetze, Mary 62, 161, 211 gospel choir(s) 73–4, 89, 133, 145, 157–60, 212 Gounod, Charles 190–2 grading 5, 18, 31, 77, 81, 83–4, 142–3, 180, 209 Grant, John 130 graphic notation 130 Graubins, Jekabs 161 Greenlee, Robert 161 Grieg, Edvard 123

H Hairston, Jester 62, 124 Halloran, Jack 121 Hampton, Keith 159 Handel, George Frideric 118, 121, 129 Hassler, Hans Leo 119, 193–4 Hatfield, Stephen 122 Hawkins, Walter 62, 121 Haydn, Franz Josef 118, 121, 123 head voice 26, 36, 45–6 Henderson, Ruth Watson 123 Hendricks, Jon 150


Herman, Sally 23, 26, 202 Hi-Lo’s 146 Hogan, Moses 62, 119, 121, 123 Holst, Gustav 120 Holst, Imogen 122 homophonic 3, 95 Hopkins, Sarah 121 Hovhaness, Alan 123 Hubbard, Monica 122, 207 Huff, Mac 164 humor 1, 29, 32, 70

I imitation 38, 75, 92, 140, 150, 158, 211 Impressionist 130 improvisation 70, 74, 89, 93, 130, 139, 146, 149–50, 152–3, 208–9, 211–2 improvising 4, 70, 72–3, 78–81, 136, 138–9, 150–3 see also National Standards for Arts Education Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) 55–6, 135, 177, 204, 209, 212 Indiana University 24, 162, 211 Indianapolis Children’s Choir 26, 58 inflections 103, 141 inhalation/inhale 14, 42, 44, 48, 102, 104 integrating the arts 73–4 see also National Standards for Arts Education International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) 47, 63, 110, 128, 183–4 intonation 36, 83, 85, 89–91, 94, 101, 106, 114, 132, 135–6, 146, 154, 177 Ipson, Douglas 124 Ives, Charles 118, 120



J Jansons, Andrejs 161 Jasperse, Greg 148, 159 Jeffers, Ron 130, 161 Jergenson, Dale 160–1 Johnson, Neil 160 Jordan, James 42–9, 101, 203, 206

K Kean, Dolores & Faulkner, John 161 Kerr, Anita 148 kinesthetic 41, 49, 79 Klebanow, Jack 160 Knecht, Kurt 124 Kodály, Zoltán 123, 134 Krenek, Ernst 123

L Lambert, Hendricks and Ross 146 Land, Lois 123 Lang, Rupert 130 language(s) 5, 47, 58, 63, 70, 74, 118, 126, 133, 181–2, 168, 171 Larentz-Jones, Gabriel 124 Larsen, Libby 119, 123 larynx 23, 103, 105, 109 Lassus, Orlandus 155 Latin 57–8, 149, 160, 183, 203, 207–8 Lauridsen, Morten 120–1 Lawrence, David 164 leadership 5, 132, 146, 164, 202 Leck, Henry 23–4, 26, 41, 43–4, 57–8, 61, 203, 213 Leek, Stephen 120 legato 42, 45, 47, 106–8, 109, 129 lesson plan(s) 78–9, 84, 136–8, 140 see also rehearsal plan Levi, Michael 124 Library of Congress 66, 210 Lightfoot, Mary Lynn 61

Ling-Tam, Jing 62 literacy 74 Lojeski, Ed 124, 164 Luboff, Norman 124 Luengen, Ramona 123

M madrigal(s) 63, 121, dinner 155–7, 181, 211; ensemble 70, 89, 133, 145, 154, 212 Madura Ward-Steinman, Patrice 128, 130, 129, 149–50, 158, 208, 210–2 male choir 25, 69, 123–4, 132, 208 see also male chorus, men’s choir male chorus 61–2, 120, 132, 161 see also male choir, men’s choir Manhattan Transfer 146, 154 Maraire, Dumisani 161 marcato 46 Marcy, Kirk 148 martellato 42 Martin, Joseph 121 Mason, Lowell 122 Mathias, William 122 Mattson, Phil 147–9 McElheran, Brock 123–4 McFerrin, Bobby 150 McKenzie, Duncan 23–4, 34 McLaughlin, Marian 123 Meader, Darmon 147, 150 memory 4, 13, 41, 46, 50, 64, 72, 84, 86–7, 106, 112, 126–7, 139, 141,169; pitch 36–38, 89, 91–2, 205; rhythm 37–8, 89, 91–2 men’s choir 56, 123 see also male choir, male chorus MENC see National Association for Music Education, The Mendelssohn, Felix 62, 120–1 mentor(ing) 6, 111, 180, 182 messa di voce 111 metronome 7–9, 80 Mganaga, Boniface 119


Michem, Kirke 119 microphone 146, 153–4, 164 mixed chorus 61–2, 74, 211 model(s); role 25, 70, 78, 97; teaching 19, 85; vocal 3, 9, 25, 44, 140 modeling 18, 40, 43, 79 modulation(s) 7, 60–1, 63, 75, 118, 126 Monteverdi, Claudio 120 Morley, Thomas 62, 155 motivation 19, 78–9, 82, 133, 140–1, 146, 164, 177 movement 14, 16, 49–50, 112, 141, 163–4, 168, 205 Mozart, W.A. 118, 121, 129, 183, 187 Mulholland, James 119, 121 multicultural 145, 160–1, 211–2 see also world music Musica Virtual Choral Library 66 musical theater 145, 165–6, 181, 212

N National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 97 National Association for Music Education, The (MENC) 56, 63, 65, 71, 73, 75, 125–6, 132, 135, 138, 144, 158, 176, 180, 198–9, 202–5, 208–13 National Standards for Arts Education 70–1, 73, 75–6, 80–82, 138–9, 146, 198, 204–5, 209–12 see also achievement standards, content standards Nationalistic 130 Nelson, Ron 122 Neo-Classical 130 Neo-Romantic 130 New York Voices 147, 154 Newark Boys Chorus 70 notating 72–3 see also National Standards for Arts Education


O objectives; behavioral 70, 82; instructional 55, 78, 84, 117, 137, 142; vocal development 41–2, 50, 54–5, 112, 117 octave displacement 25, 28, 159 Ogura, Ro 161 Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) 142 ornamentation 128 ostinato 25, 57

P pacing 18, 29, 49–50, 133, 141 Palestrina, G.P. 21, 62, 118, 128 parent(s) 2, 5, 31, 69, 83, 97, 142–3, 156, 163, 178–80, 213 Parker, Alice 61–2, 119, 123; and Robert Shaw 119, 121, 123 passaggio 103 Passereau, Pierre 120, 155 Patriquin, Donald 62, 119 Paulus, Stephen 124 Paynter, John 130 performance practice 4, 63, 66, 126, 128, 130–1, 149, 158, 161, 207 Persichetti, Vincent 123–4 Pethel, Stan & Parker, John 159 Pfautsch, Lloyd 119 Phillips, Kenneth 23–4, 26, 34–5, 41–3, 45–7, 56, 86, 90, 101–4, 106, 110–1, 160, 166, 202, 212 phonation 41, 43–4, 51, 101–3, 105, 106, 113 photocopying see copyright law phrase/phrasing 8, 41, 50, 60, 63, 80, 85, 110–1, 126–9, 159, 177 piano skills 7, 9, 19 Pierce, Brent 120, 124 Pitoni, Giuseppe 62 portamento 106–8, 159 positive reinforcement 29, 141



posture 10, 20, 40–1, 43, 46, 85, 102, 104, 135, 140, 169 Praetorius, Michael 62 preparatory beat(s) 10, 13–6, 18, 23, 64, 126 procedures 30–3, 80–2, 95–6 public domain 7, 65–6, 185 see also Choral Public Domain Library

Q questioning 79

R Rachmaninoff, Sergei 120 Raminsh, Imant 122 range(s) 132, 138; high school repertoire 126; high school voices/auditions/warm-ups 86–93, 95–6, 98, 101, 103, 109, 112–5; middle school repertoire 55, 57–60, 63, 72; middle school voices/auditions/warm-ups 23–8, 33–46, 50–4 Rardin, Paul 123 rating scale(s) 17–8, 90 Ray, Robert 159–61 reading 72–4 see also National Standards for Arts Education Real Group 147, 154 recruiting 68–70, 86, 96–9 register(s) 25–6, 35, 40, 42, 45, 102–3, 105–7 registration 26, 35, 45, 52, 101–2, 105, 113 rehearsal plan 68–84, 133 rehearsal strategies 2, 5, 32, 144 relaxation through warm-ups; for high school 101–4; for middle school 42–3, 51; 109, 113; before performance 169 Renaissance 128 Rentz, Earlene 61

repertoire 2, 3, 6, 204, 206, 208, 210–1; ACDA 197; for high school 86–7, 97, 117–31; for middle school 24, 26, 28, 34, 55–6, 59–67, 85; National Standards 138; for programming 167–8, 170; for sight-reading 136; for special ensembles 146–7, 153–4, 160, 162, 164–5; for warm-ups 134 research 6, 24, 63, 70, 130, 132, 134, 143, 181, 195–7, 202–3, 205–6, 208–12 resonance; exercises for high school, 103, 105–6, 111, 113; exercises for middle school 41–2, 44–5, 47, 51, 101 respiration; exercises for high school 101–2, 104, 113; exercises for middle school 41, 43, 51 Romantic 129 routine(s) 29, 46 rubric(s) 83–4, 142, 204 rule(s) 30–3, 95–6, 99, 144, 178–9, 181 Rutherford, Paris 148 Rutter, John 61, 63, 121, 123

S SAB 28, 57–8, 61–2, 148, 158 SACB 28, 57, 86 sacred music 57, 124–5, 158, 162, 168, 207–8 Saint-Saëns, Camille 122 Sametz, Steven 120 Sataloff, Robert 23, 203, 207 SATB 28, 57, 58, 61–3, 86–8, 94–5 118–9, 122, 148, 159–60, 164 scale(s) 9, 18, 103 Scarlatti, Alessandro 121 scat; scat-singing 150–1; scatting 150; solo 94, 150; syllables 150, 152 Schafer, R. Murray 130, 161 Schrader, Jack 159


Schram, Ruth 61, 63 Schubert, Franz 62, 124 Schumann, Robert 118, 121 Schütz, Heinrich 120 score analysis 63–4, 76, 79, 126–7, 181 see also score study score reading 8, 19 score study 5, 26–7, 191 see also score analysis seating 29, 35–6, 38, 94–5, 205–6 Shaw, Kirby 62, 148–9, 163–4, 212 Shaw, Robert 135–6, 210; and Parker, Alice 124 see also Parker & Shaw show choir 70, 89, 133, 145, 163–5, 120, 179, 212–3 sight-reading 4, 36–9, 74, 79, 92, 135–6, 210 sight-singing 4, 38, 74–5, 83–4, 89, 91, 93, 133–8, 205, 209–10 Silva, Electo 161 Simpson, Eugene 124 Singh, Vijay 123, 148 single-gender choirs 69, 73, 89, 132 single-sex choirs 69–70, 133, 209 small ensemble 138, 145–6, 153–4 Smith, Brenda & Sataloff, Robert 95, 100, 102 social 6, 70 solfege 9, 134 solo 89, 91, 93 soprano; high school 90, 94; middle school 24, 26; performance practice 129 sostenuto 106–7 Sound Music Publications 147 sound system 153–4 speech; volume 141; speed 141 Spevacek, Linda 63 staccato 42, 46, 106, 109, 129 standards 71–6, 139, 209–10, 212 see also National Standards for Arts Education Stanford, Charles 120 Stevens, Halsey 124 Stoloff, Bob 149–50


Stravinsky, Igor 123–4 stretches 30, 43, 102 Stroope, Z. Randall 120–1 “Structural Memorization Chart” 127 student teaching 3, 8, 25, 180 summative 142 Swanson, Frederick 23–5, 34, 203 Sweelinck, Jan Pieterszoon 119–20 Sweet Adelines International 162 swing 149, 152, 159, 163 Swingle Singers 146 Swingle, Ward 148 syncopation 15, 59, 159

T Take Six 26 Talma, Louise 123 Tate, Brian 161 Taverner, John 120 “teacher talk” 30, 54, 112, 141–2 teaching strategies 6, 73, 79, 139, 160 Telfer, Nancy 123 tenor 34, 126; high school 86, 90, 94–5; middle school 23, 26, 28, 36–8, 59 tessitura; high school repertoire 117, 126; high school voices 86–8; middle school repertoire 55, 57, 59; middle school voices 26–7, 34–5, 37–8 text analysis 126 Thomas, André 59, 62, 69, 121, 124 Thompson, Randall 119, 121–2 three-part 28, 57–9, 61–3 Ticheli, Frank 120 Tiffault, Leighton 149 time management 180–1 tone quality 37–8, 58, 83, 89–91, 98, 128–9, 165, 177 tongue-twisters 48, 103 tours 5, 70, 97, 170, 176, 178–9, 181, 212 see also travel translation 63, 66, 118, 128, 162, 208



transposing 7, 35, 38, 57 transposition 7, 75 travel 167, 170, 176, 178–9, 213 see also tours treble 23, 80; middle school voices 25, 34–8; high school voices 56–8, 61–2, 80, 131; repertoire 161 Treece, Roger 148 Tucker, Judith Cook 57, 160, 212 12–Tone 130 20th–Century 130 two–part 57, 61, 80

U unchanged voices 26–7, 34, 37, 39, 56–7, 86, 98 unison 22–3, 26, 28, 57, 59, 106 University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press 147

V Vartanian, Tina–Marie 181, 213 Vaughan Williams, Ralph 120 Vecchi, Orazio 62, 155 verbal 10, 14, 79–80, 140 vibration 47, 75 vibrato 3, 89, 111, 128–9, 153 visual 41, 45, 79, 178 Vivaldi, Antonio 122 vocal chords 23, 47; folds 107 vocal health 3, 40, 111, 116, 158, 179, 206 vocal jazz 70, 74, 89, 120, 133, 145–54 vocal pedagogy 3, 19, 42, 100, 132, 207 vocal sighs 26, 44, 103 vocal strain 40 vocalise 26, 46

vocalises 26, 46, 89 voice teacher(s) 40, 86, 100, 111 vowel(s); high school warm-ups 103, 105, 107–9, 113–5; middle school repertoire 57–8, 63, 85; middle school warm-ups 42, 44–8, 51–2

W Wagner, Roger 124 warm-up(s) 3, 7–8, 85–7, 133, 169, 203, 206–7, 209, 213; for high school 100–1, 103–4, 111–3, 115–6; for middle school 26, 29, 33–4, 40–6, 49–54; piano skills 7–9 Warren, Elinor Remick 123 Weelkes, Thomas 155 Weir, Michele 149 Whalum, Wendell 124 Whitacre, Eric 119, 121 Wilbye, John 155 Willcocks, David & Rutter, John 122 women’s choir 56, 122, 207 women’s chorus 120, 122, 133, 196, 208 Wood, Charles 188–9 word stress 63, 85, 110, 128, 183–4 world music 58, 70, 73–4, 161–2, 212 see also multicultural

Y Yi, Chen 160

Z Zaninelli, Luigi 122 Zegree, Steve 148–9, 154, 164, 212

View more...


Copyright © 2017 KUPDF Inc.