Reply To: HELP! Elementary/Band person, now full-time MS chorus!
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My first suggestion is to use good literature. That would be in a classical or concert style rather than pop. This style will allow you to work on vowels and correct singing technique and not have to deal with students singing the way they have heard it on a recording. Russell Robinson has an excellent series with many titles of classical arrangements that students with enjoy. Doreen Rao and Henry Leck also have series that include interesting material. Folksongs work well. Place the students by vocal range rather than calling them Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass. Call them Part 1, 2, 3 etc so it doesn’t matter to them whether they are singing a male or female part. As their voices change move them to another part. Check their range weekly if possible because their range changes as they learn to sing. Also this helps to not have to worry about balance. If you have a unison song that works well but has notes that go out of range for some students write in another part so students can stay within their range. Some of these young students only have a 5 note range. It sounds like you are all off to a good start with a lot of enthusiasm. That will help carry you until you get more training.