The August 2022 issue of Choral Journal is online and features an article titled “Reflective Practice and the Choral Director” by Emily Mason. You can read it in its entirety at acda.org/choraljournal. Following is a portion from the introduction.
For choral directors, the start of a new school year brings excitement and anticipation of the great music that will be made with students. The year includes a full schedule of concerts, festivals, and other performance dates accompanied by a timeline for preparation and rehearsals. Often times, the schedule omits opportunities for the choral director to engage in personal reflection, rejuvenation, and professional development. The role of a choral director is unique and more than just teaching notes and rhythms. Inspiring artistry and musicality through singing requires the director to share a part of themselves on an emotional and soulful level. By doing so, the connection with students becomes stronger, and an atmosphere of trust is built. While a level of vulnerability and openness leads to great musical moments, it can take a toll on the well-being of a director. This article recognizes the importance of organization and yearly planning of events, and addresses the need for personal reflection as not only a vital part of the schedule for the school year but essential to the success of a director and the choral program.
This article was originally published in 2019, and although the original points are still very much relevant, I have added some insights that address the events of the last two years. As a singer and educator, the last two years have been quite a challenge. The long-lasting effects of a world-wide pandemic are still coming to light but at present, it seems we have come through the worst of it. The mental, emotional, and physical toll that all of us have endured is unlike anything most of us have experienced. As you read this article it is my hope that you will find some helpful ideas to aid in your recovery from the school year that has just ended but also help as you prepare for the next school year.
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Read the rest of this article in the August 2022 issue of Choral Journal.