Reply To: 50 Middle Schoolers!
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I’ve had success in similar situations with student conductors – start by training a few very responsible students to lead warm-ups at the beginning of class, then fold some of the more rambunctious boys into your mix of student leaders. Not only is it nice to see these types of students rise to a challenge or leadership role, but they may then realize how difficult and frustrating it can be to try to lead a group when others are talking or off task. Hopefully, this realization will help them to change their own behavior in rehearsals! It can take a little while to get this sort of routine running smoothly, but once you do, it’s really nice to have that 10 minutes or so at the beginning of class to take care of administrative stuff (attendance, checking practice logs, organizing music, etc) while the students rehearse themselves!
Good luck – despite it being a big group to manage, I’m so jealous of your numbers! What a great big group of middle schoolers!