Chorus Officers – Middle School
May 8, 2013 at 7:13 pm #23743
I am thinking about creating chorus officers for next year with my middle school students. I would love to encourage leadership from within the group. Does anybody have experience with this that they’d like to share? Success stories, horror stories, suggestions for responsibilities? I am thinking about this for my 8th grade chorus and possibly my 7th grade chorus. Both groups are quite large.
Thanks!May 9, 2013 at 8:21 am #23744
I have done chorus council (similar to chorus officers) for the past two years. The first year was FANTASTIC! They helped encourage the class, led by example both in and out of the chorus class, and were constantly helping with fundraisers, concerts, basically anything I needed an extra pair of hands with. The second year was quite the opposite. They showed no initiative to help unless they got something out of it. I basically have to bribe them to help with events. And only half of them show up to actually help. My biggest discipline problems in class were chorus council students. In my experience, it really depends on the types of students you have as officers.May 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm #23772
I have always used officers in my groups and it does build leadership. I have found through trial and error that the officers all need to be handpicked by me. The first few years that I had elections were hit and miss. Most students just wanted the prestige without the work, but I did get a few that worked hard. When I select them I choose them for their leadership ability already demonstrated and for their charisma that will help other students be interested in auditioning or signing up for non-audition classes. Their service to the choral program is a key element in building a large program. They announce at concerts, take care of all social aspects of the class and help with tour. I have the President conduct the school hymn in concert and the Star Spangled Banner at games.
NAfME, Choral Education Council ChairMay 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm #23800
I have used chorus officers with my advanced group (combined seventh and eighth graders). The officers are elected, but only eighth graders are eligible to be officers. I have generally been very happy with the officers the class has chosen. Only once or twice over the years has it turned into a popularity contest, and that was early on. I’ve had enough good officers to set an excellent example, and now the kids understand what’s required and also have high expectations for the officers. Our officers take care of all things social, help to announce at concerts, help lead warm-ups, and, over the last couple of years, have started taking responsibility for discipline in the class. Last year, we had an ADHD student who was a problem. The officers took it upon themselves, after asking me for permission, to sit next to this student and prompt him to stay on task as necessary. I’m retiring this year, and whether or not the new teacher will have officers is one of the students’ biggest concerns.May 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm #23813
Thank you so much for your replies! Would any of you be willing to share your officer responsibilities or policies with me?May 13, 2013 at 3:10 pm #23844
Decorating bulletin boards monthly, planning classroom treats on a special holiday, announcing at concerts, filing music, starting class if I am tied up for some reason, planning a yearly party outside of classtime, helping with tour plans, making phone calls, keeping track of birthdays and having a monthly birthday gift and singing in class (candy bar), helping parents decorate and clean up at concerts, helping with fundraisers (tracking money but not collecting money) supporting students that need extra socialization and other.
NAfME, Choral Education Council Chair
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