Professional Development for Choral Directors

Professional Development for Choral Directors


The music education community is strong. This is one of the most exciting times in music education history and there is no greater time to band together, learn from each other, and bring new innovative techniques to your classroom from across the country.

If you’re a choral director, check out these exciting sessions being presented this November in Grapevine, Texas, and join us for learning, networking, and a great time of renewal in your career!

professional development


7 Steps to Creating an Original Song with Your Choral Ensemble

Presented by Michele Kaschub

Creating opportunities for students to participate in composition activities as part of their choral ensemble experience:

  • grants them access to new perspectives
  • furthers the growth of their overall musicianship
  • contributes to their understanding of artistic interpretation
  • and allows them to explore their creative voice in setting where they feel safe and where they find personal meaning.

One way to create these opportunities is by engaging your full chorus in the creation of an original song. The song may be a signature work for the chorus to sing at the end of every concert, may commemorate an historic community event, may highlight a particular holiday, tackle a social issue, or provide a comedic, light-hearted moment within a single concert. Read more.

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C.H.O.I.R.: Collaboration Harvests Optimal and Inspired Rehearsals!

Presented by Ryan Beeken

Choirs and conductor-teachers share a dynamic, sometimes complicated relationship. Today’s most effective educators employ meaningful rehearsal strategies within a leadership framework that focuses upon student needs, fosters a collaborative rehearsal environment, cultivates an atmosphere of trust, and inspires choristers to contribute creatively to the rehearsal process. When successful, results are extraordinary! Read more.

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Effective Lesson Planning for the Secondary Choral Directors

Presented by Roland Wilson

The Understanding by Design (UbD) framework (also known as backward planning) includes processes and methods that are fundamental to the choral ensemble educator. We have often heard the phrase “beginning with the end in mind.” Every choir director worth his salt commonly engages in this practice. From the moment the conductor picks up a score, he engages in cursory theory and form analysis, contemplates requisite vocal pedagogy, and mentally lays out a time frame for the learning of the piece. He then quickly considers the singers who will be standing in front of him, their proclivities for achievement, and the amount and type of instructional investment that will have to be made. Within a few moments of this very complex mental exercise, the piece is accepted into or rejected from the seasonal repertoire. Read more.

Beyond the Vocalise: Musicianship-Strengthening Warmup Routines for Choirs

Presented by Dr. David Fryling

When we teach in an ensemble setting, we are always teaching “togetherness” in some way. And the musical and artistic strength that comes from students singing, together, is far greater than the sum of its parts. I believe it is our duty as conductor-teachers to teach our students that working together makes us stronger—not only as singers, but as musicians and as empathetic human beings. And our work toward engendering this begins in the warm-up. Read more.


Teaching Repertoire and Reading Skills Simultaneously

Presented by Dr. Eva Floyd

A traditional choral ensemble rehearsal structure consists of vocal warm-ups, an ear-training or music literacy activity, followed by learning and rehearsing repertoire. Often our rehearsal structures compartmentalize musicianship skills (sight-reading/ear-training/music literacy) into an isolated section of our rehearsal, and do not intersect with the rest of our rehearsal when we are learning and performing repertoire. Read more.

Learn what other sessions are available for choral directors at the 2016 NAfME National In-Service Conference, November 10-13, in Grapevine, TX.