Variety of Music

from "Get Better":

The students in YOUR classroom don’t necessarily hold a deep appreciation for making music. Provide enough variety in rehearsals that they don’t get bored. A single slower piece in a foreign language, or tender setting of a beautiful poem goes a LONG way with students. There is a lot of great repertoire out there, and more being written all the time.

There are many online resources that offer free music available in PDF format that you can print right from your office. (Google “Choral Public Domain Library” and see what you can find.)

There are arrangers everywhere; maybe even in your own ensemble. Students are full of creativity. They’ve also seen many more online videos that you ever could. Tell them that you are always looking for interesting things. This will require them understanding that not everything can be done. But they need to know that you want to learn from them too.

Not everything needs to be performed. Learning just to learn is also good. The last thing you want is to only work on concert music. That is boring and very similar to ‘teaching to the test.’

Your job is to expose the performers to different cultures and new ideas. It helps them to make better progress in other classes if they can make connections in multiple areas.

The things you are passionate about—and could spend every day teaching about—are obstacles for teaching. They might be boring for the students. It takes a great amount of self-awareness to keep your own passions under control. Remember it’s not about you. It’s about the students.