Group Support

from "Get Better":

Many students have never been on a team. It's part of the experience—being involved in a group in which their part will add to the whole.

These days students struggle with contributing because they spend so much of their time thinking about themselves. I’m not talking about selfishness. It’s because they are ‘an island unto themselves’. More about that later.

Provide opportunities for them to bond: field trips, special performance days or other community events are great options. Let them make memories.

Find ways for students to have leadership opportunities within the ensemble. Officers can take attendance, file music, collect permission slips and hand out all kinds of stuff. You get to be lazy.

They'll learn that it’s a hard job to be ‘in charge’. The sooner they experience that, the more prepared they’ll be for future leadership. These are young people who are learning how to be responsible.

Students can still work hard even though your class is an elective. I remember thinking I had to be ‘on the safe side' 
otherwise I might drive them away. The safe side isn't always a good side to be on. 

You need to know your metrics. Pick them and stick with them. Let the students understand how you are measuring growth and success so they can orient themselves within your expectations.

If the students are aware of the difficulties of the task, they will be more inclined to work harder and dig deeper. They're kids after all: they're naturally competitive. Help them understand that they can be better than other choirs.

But it needs to be fun too. If it's not fun, what's the point?