Building Value in Choir
Why should someone sing? You may have your answer, but do your kids? Does your answer inspire your teaching each day? It’s not about what you teach, but how you teach it. In our previous posts, we’ve talked a lot about philosophy and the “why” behind your teaching, but now it’s about connecting it to practice.
At InspireChoir, we believe it’s not always about the music, it’s about the people…it’s about building value in choir through relationships built and experiences lived. We have a very unique, yet polarizing job in choral music: to create an exemplary musical product but also lead young people to become better, more productive citizens in society through the music that we teach. We’ve previously talked about getting to know (truly know) our kids on an individual level, but how does this knowledge transfer to the music that we make? To create value through our craft, with our students and music we must strive to:
- Cultivate, develop, and redevelop relationships on a personal level (know your kids as people, not musicians)
- Provide opportunities for socialization in small- and large-group settings (teambuilding, leadership, “down time” moments, social events)
- Share your own passions for leading young people through music
- Create experiences for emotional connection and discussion
Most importantly: Do more than just teach the notes on the page. From a musical perspective, what are the important motives, suspensions and resolutions, text painting, etc. that the composer uses? From a poetic standpoint, take your students on a journey to what the poet was thinking/experiencing during the time they wrote the words. And then, further…so what does it all mean in “today-speak?” How can the lyrics connect to challenges found in today’s youth and/or society?
The inspirational choral performance is more than just correct notes, rhythms, use of proper diction, memorization, etc. – it’s singing with an informed mind, a connected heart, and an understanding that the music is not just reproduction of a score, it’s a valued, collective experience that invites others into the past and forces them to slow down, reflect, and be forever changed.