Sunday, April 21, 2013

choir chatter: conviction (week 13)


Conviction is a word I've heard often throughout my music studies.

"Play with more CON-VICTION!"

I guess technically that means better articulation and diction.  Syllable stress and stuff.  It's a term I haven't considered much as a teacher, to be honest.  I suppose it also means singing like one voice, connecting with the music.  

My combined choirs performed together twice on Friday- first in the Missoula Manor, a retirement home, and then for their District Festival adjudication. I am so proud of their hard work and dedication!  Their adjudicator, who is the choir director at Gonzaga University, was pumped about their performance.  He mostly worked with them on their lyrical piece, "The Pasture", did some cool physical stuff to get a better crescendo, gave them some exciting compliments.  They had a great time belting out 80's rock hits coming home (which they knew, word-for-word), and I wrote the passage above before bed.

The past week was hard, my students are registering for 2013-4 classes, and some of my stronger kids were talking about dropping choir.  Why?  It's hard not to take something like that personally and impossible not to respond.

They are lacking conviction, commitment. How do I change that?  Have more of it, to start.

Planning.  Better, more efficient rehearsals.  Less talk, more sing.  Marry movement to sound, isolate difficult passages better, plan and execute more complete warm ups, memorize music as part of the process.  Listen and respond.

Listening to Pandora again, and "After the Storm" by Mumford and Sons comes on, his voice full of conviction, but he breathes during words, and oop, there's the lightbulb.  I want to listen to it with my students!  I implemented notebooks in my classroom at the beginning of this year, and they are amazing teaching and learning tools for music!  Will share more of those lessons as I weed through this year's plans over the summer and into next year.

{For this Spring, I'll be posting frequently in this category- filed under "Choir Chatter", and they will be fluid with edits, links, changes, etc.  Using this site to organize my teaching thoughts and materials (Entertain my other writing escapades as a young mama, too).  Again, if you don't want to read choir stuff, skip it, no problem.  I don't want to lose cool readers because I'm posting work stuff too.  This site will grow organically and become better organized over the next year as I keep posting frequently...xo}

It's Week 13 at school.  Week 20 is the last week, graduation and 8th grade commencement.
End of Week 18, we leave for Seattle!  Here we go!

Goals for Week:
-Use Pandora on the Promethean board to start and end class.  (Get up from my desk and chat about music with my kids.  Yay!)
-Get in the hall ONCE a day!
-District Wrap-up, appointments with kids who made State.
-Plug Talent Show, All-State, TA positions
-Focusing on teaching our new Spring music with conviction.
-Continue Sight-reading.
-Give more to my Middle School students.
-Choose music for graduation & promotion.
-Keep using planning board.
-Seattle to-do's: roster, bus, finalize rep decisions, hotels & shows, coffee stuff.

High School Notebook Week 13

Listening Notebook for Week



Isn't this video just adorable?  Love.  

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