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TCDA Dumping Ground or Land of Opportunity?

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by

Andrea Ramsey

on 16 July 2015

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Transcript of TCDA Dumping Ground or Land of Opportunity?

Dumping
Ground

or
Land of Opportunity
Embracing the non-auditioned JH/MS chorus
You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
musical baggage...
beliefs about themselves and their musicianship (for better or worse)
damages from past musical encounters (the power of music is just as strong negatively as it is positively!)
remnants of hurtful comments from previous teachers or peers
Every student has a story...
did not sign up for choir
wanted to take art
terrified by the thought of others hearing her singing voice
1.
2.
auditioned for the 'top' choir but didn't make it
feels certain the 7th grade choir director made a mistake by not selecting him
lots to prove; wants to make sure this new director learns quickly just how talented he really is
Sang in the 6th grade choir but didn't really enjoy it and is not shy about sharing!
Is taking choir again in 7th grade because her mom made her (mom LOVED her high school choir)
Did we mention mom made all-state choir in high school? If not, she'll surely tell you at PT conferences!
3.
Doesn't think he sings well because the elementary music teacher asked him to "mouth the words" to the 5th grade musical
Wanted to be an office assistant instead of taking choir, but wasn't selected
Feels like everywhere he turns, he's never good enough
4.
Straight As, puts a lot of pressure on herself
Her 6th grade choir teacher begged her to audition for advanced 7th grade choir, but...
auditions give her anxiety, so she didn't try out
She loves singing, but comes to non-auditioned choir slightly disappointed in what might have been had her nerves not gotten in the way
5.
(cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr
Socially
oriented
Individually
oriented
strong love of singing
minimal interest in singing
Ensemble singer
Soloist
Social singer
Rebel
Ideally:
42% Ensemble Singer
44% Social Singer
12% Soloist
2% Rebel
Auditioned choruses
typically:
higher % of soloists
higher % of ensemble singers
Non- auditioned choruses
typically:
higher % of social singers
higher % of rebels
Too often we try to teach a class full of
social singers & rebels the same way we would teach a class full of
ensemble singers & soloists
Doesn't get a lot of attention at home, so he finds ways to get attention at school--often by acting out.
Desperately needs a place to belong, be accepted, be creative & expressive...
Succeeds in your class, but fails in many others
6.
Starting the year at a new school
She's never been in a choir, but she likes to sing and her dad thinks she sounds like Taylor Swift
She doesn't know what a quarter note is, but she can't wait to find out!
7.
Who are our students?
Consider your market!
musical baggage
pressure from family members or friends
..and many more...
All students come to us with stories,
preconceived ideas, and many have musical baggage...
Let's pretend...
Stressors & Pressures
Performances/festivals/competitions
The 'dumping ground' mentality (work with what you have)
Navigating troublesome/challenging students
How to inspire those who don't value choral singing as much as you do?
Increased standardized assessments & paperwork burdens on teachers
Day-to-day extraneous duties of teaching that can drain your passion
Personal Realities
'Groomed' through our college experiences for 'fine tuning', working with advanced singers; more exclusive than inclusive
Realistic personal need for artistic fulfillment; desire to perform meaningful repertoire
Pressures of concerts & audiences results in product oriented focus; makes it challenging to enjoy the journey and the singers' progress
REMINDER: Our experienced musical reality and the singers' perceptions are often two different things. (all-region choir)
Prioritizing
Finding fulfillment in singer enjoyment of the journey/learning; not just artistic perfection
Celebrating every ounce of progress
Become a 'Choral Evangelist': Each child = potential performer or patron of the arts
Believe & invest in singers as human beings
Seek the good & nurture it
Do what you love & love what you do (esp. repertoire)
"Do no harm"-- envision your students as 60 year olds: what memories are you making?; what are their feelings toward singing?
Valerie's
Happy Restroom
Practical considerations
be genuinely excited; greet them with authentic enthusiasm!
acknowledge their reality; empathize; shift the power
Explore non-singing musical activities that require vulnerability before asking them to sing
set expectations but also
ANTICIPATIONS!

Explore the voice; explain the voice; explain the voice change
pay attention to and 'read' non-verbal cues, but do not be deterred by initial resistance or lack of encouragement in the students' body language or facial expression
First day of school
Setting the foundation
explore rote songs, part songs & canons BEFORE octavos
work vocal technique within simple songs and within reason
make it fun-- not tedious!
incorporate movement, imagination, & creativity
Understanding & Responding to Gesture
clapping/patterning
varying articulation & dynamic
questioning/demonstrating
have singers conduct!
Consider your clientele
Higher % of social singers & rebels warrants a brisk pace & frequent changes of activity
Games; sound exploration; mini-lessons= all great ideas
Consider how you redirect & instruct; doing > telling
Avoid long blocks of same activity
Avoid 'dead time' at all costs!
Questions?
Attitude is everything!!
"If you can't have fun at work, don't go."
It ain't easy.
Teaching the non-auditioned choir
The Shy One
The Overly-Confident One
The one whose Mom made them join
The one who thinks he can't
The Timid Perfectionist
The one who drives the other teachers crazy
The new student
Thank you!
andrearamseymusic@me.com
Approaching the music
How Can We Keep From Singing?
By Joan Oliver Goldsmith
Welcome
Reality check
Effort
Clap/Machine
About your voice>sirening&resonance> singing
Rhythmic/teambuilding activities BEFORE singing
To sing is to be vulnerable
"Every act of creation
is first an act of destruction."
-Pablo Picasso
sometimes we need a reset.
Reframing
What do I want my students to take from this choral experience?
What is THEIR best? Aim for it
Rhythm chairs
"Hide the pen cap"
Forbidden rhythm
Solfege duels
Solfege races
Activities for changing it up
Full transcript