HS Music History is now General Chorus! Help!
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I have been teaching Music History at the high school level for the students who need a fine arts credit to graduate. Now they have taken out all music history classes and changed them to General Chorus…..
This is a new concept. I have taught band and choir for 10 years. But I need suggestions on curriculum and just exactly how/what to teach a group of kids who do not want to sing (much less perform) but need the credit to graduate. Plus, they admin is standing firm on the belief that these students (I have two blocks of them each semester) must be performing in public (think National Anthem at sporting events and concerts).
If you already have a choir program for other students in place, I would suggest thinking outside the box with these guys and starting either a ukelele group, a world music drumming group, a steel drum band, or a percussion ensemble. There are probably numerous other signing/playing ensembles that could be appropriate, like mariachi for example. Any of these might take some start-up money, but perhaps the administration or parent donors can help get them going. They could certainly perform on concerts, and I would fight to have my top choir sing at events like games with the Star Spangled Banner, and not a beginning exploratory group. If it must be a singing group only, maybe make it a purely pop ensemble, or a contemporary a cappella group that sings really easy music. In general, kids who would rather take history over choir won’t want to do choir, but might be OK with playing instruments and singing too. If you have to do a choir with them, be positive, make it fun, and keep them signing all period. Hope that helps! Be Well, Chris Peterson
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