Reply To: Going into 3rd year of HS Chorus, still not getting it
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I agree with fuscol791. I am a band director who also does choir, and I feel that you simply need to go to where they are in terms of the music and their reading ability. I am a full supporter of teaching literacy to choir, and invest a lot of time in my own class to it. I don’t know if I would go at it by calling them “underachievers.” The fact is that you may have been the first person to ask them to learn how to read, and that’s not their fault. Spend some time solfeging AWAY from the music so that when you start to put written stuff in front of them, they see the relevance. I spend a lot of time with Kodalyi hand signs, and my kids have become much more comfortable with finding their way around the scale.
As for the behavior, I think you have the right approach to attack that head on from day one. Just remember, that kids sign up for chorus to get away from sitting down and taking quizzes, so make sure it is engaging and that everything you are doing they find relevance in. This will in turn solve a lot of the behavior problems as well.