Monday, September 2, 2013

Choir Chatter: Environment

Courtney Blazon

It's that time, back to school.  Many friends, family, and colleagues are already back at it, but here in the Bitterroot we start after Labor Day.  Works for me!

Last year was a slew of over-committing for me in my job.  I started the year spending most of my prep-time pumping for my new baby, brain emotional and fuzzy.  By October, we prepared for the largest performance I've ever directed: The Beatles Experience.  From there I was constantly behind.  I barely kept my head above water with too many extra projects for the High School Tour (which I STILL haven't posted about here), and my Middle School students got the shaft.  Sadly, the music became secondary to everything else.  This year, I will even out, and I hope we'll say the craziness was worth it to motivate future Falcon singers.

My first goal: setting the environment.  My classroom has the potential for so many things, and I have amazing repertoire chosen for the year.  I strive to make each student welcome and comfortable and proud enough to sing out and fully explore their musical potential.

My tools: eye contact, focus, open-mindedness, consistency, organization, and flow.  I tend to be on the...scattered side of things.  Music teachers, you creative and exuberant ones can relate, right? How do you simplify your ideas?

This year, I'm making an extra effort to ensure that my classes are more predictable.  More "cadre" (French for order), higher expectations, so that even more beautiful moments can bloom.  Less confusion about who stands where, more organized certainty on my part.  This year, I'll give folks my full focus when they come to chat with me at my desk.  No more "finishing something" on my computer while half-listening.  Full-on eye-contact and body language.  This year, I'll stand in the halls and greet students instead of holing up in my lair. This year, I'm going to be more efficient with time, less of a multi-tasker, more of a musical inspiration.

The door's wide open.

No excuses, it's go time.

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