Sectionals during rehearsals
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How do you handle sectional rehearsals during group rehearsal time? Do you allow students to rehearse in other rooms, have the other sections work on rhythms/diction, etc? Having an issue with our schedule and wondering how we can best accomplish sectionals during the rehearsal period without releasing the kids we’re not working with. Thanks much.
If you have a student or students who are capable of leading a sectional rehearsal, and if your facility is set up for individual groups, I think sectionals can be a very efficient rehearsal tool. We regularly do sectional rehearsals with our college chamber choir for a variety of reasons. It is a great opportunity for our BME students to practice their rehearsal technique, and get some podium time in a setting that is less challenging than directing a rehearsal of the full group. It also helps the less advanced students solidify their knowledge of the part without having to deal with the “competing parts”. You could pre-record parts into a keyboard in the practice room to facilitate their sectionals, and have a friendly competition between sections to further motivate the students.
Much can be accomplished with sectional rehearsal during rehearsal time. Hopefully you have some practice rooms with pianos or even the auditorium with a piano. I assign a competent student to lead each section, someone with piano skills and hopefully leadership skills. For accountability they return to the rehearsal and perform the section they were assigned. It not only aids in learning parts for those that do not read as quickly, it also develops leadership skills and breaks up the rehearsal time to keep interest. I often pick my officers for the next year from the students that do well as sectional leaders.
NAfME, Choral Education Council Chair
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