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Empowerment, Engagement, and Transformation: A New Paradigm for the Choral Rehearsal

Choir in Focus: Lund, Sweden
by

Jason Vodicka

on 4 November 2013

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Transcript of Empowerment, Engagement, and Transformation: A New Paradigm for the Choral Rehearsal

A New Paradigm for the Choral Rehearsal
Empowerment, Engagement, and Transformation
O'Toole (2005)
Social
Constructivism
Paulo
Freire
Critical
Pedagogy
What might we
reimagine?
"The conventions of choral pedagogy are designed to create docile, complacent singers who are subject to a discourse that is more interested in the production of music than in the laborers."
- To sing in a choir, singers MUST willingly subordinate themselves to the will of a director.
- Conductors hold power over emotions and physical bodies.
- Product first, person second orientation.
- Impending concert deadlines.

- Tendency to teach the way we were taught.

- I am successful. Why change?

- Fear of failure.

- Afraid of chaos.

- Rich choral tradition / cultural heritage.

Examines balances of power in the classroom, school, and world.

Redefines roles of teacher and student.

Rejects the "filling" concept of education.

Connects the written word to the student's world.

Exploits the power of dialogue in the classroom.

Teaches not for content acquisition, but for transformation of student and teacher.
Learners create their own meaning.

Learning occurs through problem-posing and problem-solving at an appropriate level of challenge.

Learning is influenced by those around us.
Lev Vygotsky
Theory in Practice:
Transformation
Who am I?
Who are my singers?
What might we become?
Alter the physical space
Pose problems for the choir to solve.
Engage in verbal dialogue.
Engage in musical dialogue.
Involve singers in meaningful musical decisions.
Singers are eager for change and quickly adapt to new roles.
Co-creators
Facilitators
Partners
Dialogue saves time.
Conscientization
Liz: taught herself to read music.
John: Finally began to read music.
Jessie: Began raising her hand in other choirs to diagnose problems.
David: was bored in rehearsals, now didn't realize 90 minutes had passed.
Brian: had never been asked what he thought about music before; starts by looking for musical meaning.
Me
Musician.
Educator.
Worship leader.
Performer.
Student.
Musical amateurs.

Music/mus. ed. majors.

Future professional musicians.

Future music teachers.
They sing...
...to learn about music and singing.
...to perform.
...for the sheer joy of singing.
...as recreation.
...because it gives them pride.
...because of the challenge.
...to be part of a community.
...to be elevated spiritually.
Jason D. Vodicka, Assistant Professor of Music
Susquehanna University (Pennsylvania, USA)

* Musical literacy

* Knowledge of style
traditions and
varied
repertoire from
many cultures

* Healthy vocal
technique

* Choir as a place for
everyone.
Learners
Reflective practitioners
- Path of least resistance.
- Squelches independent thought, critical thinking skills, personal expression.
What we do
Is this the only way?
Is this the best way?
Teach the
music
to prepare the
singers
.
Teach the
singers
how
to prepare
music
.
Power of self diagnosis.
Innovation
Tradition
Why not?
Full transcript