This time of year is crazy. Holiday shopping, parties, family get togethers...it's like we try to squeeze the whole year into 2 weeks. Wouldn't it be simpler to just do some of these things all year and spread it out a bit?
It is what it is....and it really is wonderful...especially with some good planning.
Chorus teachers have to squeeze the execution of one of the biggest events of the year into this already crowded calendar: the holiday concert.
My holiday concert is next week. With over 300 children in my chorus, I have to do some very careful planning to pull it off.
The famous Julie Andrews line is "Let's start at the very beginning...." Well, actually, for my big events, it's the opposite. I start by visualizing the end.
How do I want it to go? What will it look like?
I want it to be as seamless as possible. Everyone is busy, so I want it to start on time. I want it to be a well-planned and well-executed use of time for the parents and the students who are in attendance. I want the audience to leave wanting more, not less. I want to take them on a journey. I want them to laugh a little and cry a little. I want them to hear good choral singing. I want the students to know what to do before the event and after the event. I want everyone to leave happy.
I want to leave happy.
So, to that end, with more than 300 children for whom I am responsible, I plan. I plan every little detail as carefully as possible so that I can achieve the "end" I described above. I plan the extra rehearsals that are needed. I make sure every custodian knows well-ahead of time what I need them to help me do. I reach out to parents for extra support with sign-in procedures and distribution of candles, flashlights, costumes, etc.
The planning is enormous, but it is so valuable.
...and in about 45 minutes, the concert is over.
...but I hope it is something they will all remember and take with them for a lifetime. Positive, warm memories...that are the result of careful and methodical planning....that brings out the best in our middle school children.
That is our job.
...and right after it is over, I start planning for the adjudicated festivals! My beginners are currently focused on skips and chromatics in their sight singing! They are singing the skips very well in their sight singing examples, and, today, they sang the chromatic scale. I did my exercise called "Score the Scale" with them using the Chromatic scale. They scored over a 9 on the ascending scale. They got in an 8.2 on the descending scale. There is work to do!
I am including my latest sight singing lesson below! January is coming! It's a great time to get started on the program!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SKIPS-S-Cubed-Lesson-16-Successful-Sight-Singing-for-Middle-School-991184 Lesson 16! SKIPS!
As you work on your holiday concerts, take care of the details...and then, take a deep breath and enjoy the rewards of your planning!
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