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Question about a Foreign student



Listers:

SUMMARY
To summize the issue first, I had a Japanese student audition last week
(beginning of second semester). The counselor asked if I would consider
letting her in my Concert Choir (lowest choir) for a half year. Upon her
audition, she didn't seem motivated to sing that much, was at about 65% for
matching pitch, and had no mastery or even exposure to western notation.
The question asked was based on the above situation, should I admit her into
choir.

RESULTS
Of the 24 people that responded with a "yes" or a "no", 17 said they would
put her in choir, 7 said no. That's roughly a 70% to 30% response. Of
those responses in favor of admitting her in, three said I should change the
standards to a lower level to allow her to sing. Three said only admit her
if she met my current standards.

Three mentioned offering private lessons or having a peer helper to more
quickly master singing. Some offered the suggestion of doing a Japanese
piece. Some also said to score her accordingly during "part tests",
especially since grades don't usually transfer back to their country.

MY RESPONSE
I interviewed the student after the audition and after posting and reading
some responses. It seems that although she might not add a great deal to
the choir, she will not hurt the choir. She seemed a little more excited
upon talking with her, so I told her to register. I informed her that I was
making an exception, and that she might find some things frustrating. She
seemed to be fine with this, and will be joining after this week.

I don't feel I have lowered my standard for enrollment, but felt justified
in making an exception to it. During part test time I will "conveniently"
find a way to skip her without singling her out and have her do her part
test during a lesson time.

The balance of the responses I received was positive. Some responded again
stating they hope they were not offensive. Those that did so need not
worry. I responded to the emails in question by attempting tactfully to say
that I was more interested in opinions of the situation, not in opinions of
my abilities or administrative techniques. And even most those after
communication were resolved.

I hope these results can be useful to you in some way. Thank you all for
responding.

Garrett

--
Garrett W. Lathe

Director of Choral Activities
Staples Motley Schools
401 Centennial Lane
Staples, MN 56479
218.894.5411 (voice)
218.894.2434 (fax)

on August 12, 2004 10:00pm
I was a "foreign" student 9 years ago. Differently, I had perfect pitch. I was not intimitated by the audition at all because I had solid musical training before I came to the US. Everything about music was too easy. HOWEVER, I was very intimitated by anything else. I did not know the common practice for politeness. I couldn't understand the direction because I couldn't speak/understand English well. I felt extremely left out because American students usually don't have time to wait for you to generate one sentence with so many errors.

Guess what, now, I am a certified music teacher teaching in a wonderful school. Apparently, my students can understand me quite good :-)