Reply To: Retention in Remedial Choir

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Meet them where they are. Build on previous knowledge of music. If they like rap, give them part of “rapper’s delight” from the ’80s. you have to hook them first, then you can teach theory. They need to know that this stuff applies to them and is relevant in their lives.

Choose songs which are fun — not necessarily with the curriculum or proper yet. Let the kids add instruments and work together to make their own arrangement of a particular song. At the end of my choir (grades 2-6) rehearsals I have snack: animal crackers and occasionally goldfish. I take out a Radio Disney “Move It” dance music CD and let the kids dance for the last 10 minutes. This is their recess-like time, their reward for focusing during rehearsals (which by the way are after school). During the day you probably can’t do snack, but you can let the kids have a few minutes to relax and talk. Then during the reh if they are talking or disrespectful, they can sit out.