Section rehearsals for beginning choir
Date: September 2, 2013
I am a pretty new teacher, having been an assistant choir director at the high school level for two years. This is my first year flying solo at the high school level, and I am not sure how to go about changing the dynamic of my beginning choir group.
This class is made up of 51 students, and while many are freshman, there are a few 11th grade students who have been in choir for 2 years already at the high school level. The previous director, it seems, had the students breaking up into sections for section rehearsals quite early in the year, and the MS director had them doing this, too. I don't believe these kids are at the maturity level or the musical level to go off on their own to learn their music. I need to teach them how to read music at a faster and more efficient rate first, and practice their group/ cooperation skills first before any of this can happen.
Upon entering choir, I think many of these students were under the impression that they would be allowed to 'do their own thing' about a week into choir, and I have not allowed them to do this. Some of the kids think I am babying them by not allowing them to do this, but they do not see the long-term effects yet. If I don't give them direction and we don't work well in a large group setting, they will not progress or work well in small group settings. They of course do not believe me because they don't know me
My fear is not that I am doing the wrong thing, but that because students don't trust me yet and many 'just don't like choir anymore,' that I will see a big number drop choir at the end of the semester (we are on a straight block schedule, so kids can get new schedules in January).
Any ideas on how to draw kids in and keep them in choir while also teaching them well and helping them see real progress throughout the semester? I mean I want kids in choir, but if they are just there to be friends with everyone then I might be OK if some of them dropped out....as bad as that sounds :/
Thanks in advance!