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Instructional Material for the Beginning Choir Director

The choir director does more than conduct and lead a choir, he is also tasked to make sure the members attend rehearsals and be at their best when performing. He carefully chooses the pieces that the group will perform and makes sure everything is in order; from the vocal harmony down to the stage formation. A good choir director is one who has strong leadership skills. He must be able to motivate and inspire the group, be firm and creative. A choir director sometimes acts as an accompanist, is a good singer himself, knows rules and techniques that make a vocal performance stand out. Choir directors usually have a background in teaching, music theory, conducting, harmony and vocal production. He is also knowledgeable of various musical styles that can be performed by the group. Here is a selection of material that will help you become this kind of choir director.

Displaying 1-20 of 20 items.

Walter Lamble : Handbook for Beginning Choral Educators

Review: This book comes from a very fine music educator with exceptional experience, who has common sense and a real understanding of what a beginning teacher should know. The book puts into print issues that are widely discussed at conventions and at conferences, and that are common knowledge for the experienced teacher, but that are not covered in a music education class. It is a plain and simple book, written in a language that is easy for anyone going into the profession to understand. It makes valuable suggestions in just about every aspect of the role of a choral music teacher. Walter Lamble is a retired choral educator with more than 30 years' experience in the classroom. He has a Ph.D. in music education from the University of Iowa.

Songlist: Building A Choral Program, Choosing and Purchasing Music, Choral Basics in the Rehearsal, Warming Up The Choir, The Unison Sound, Vowels, Diphthongs, and Constonants, Choral Sound and Vocal Production, Teaching Sight Singing, Presenting a Basic Sight Singing Lesson, Acquiring Basic Skills in the Choral Classroom, The Boy's Changing Voice, The Extracurricular Program, Travel, Parent Groups and Travel, Preparing a Budget, Fifty Things Nobody Told Me

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5289b | Book | $22.95 |

Arthur Wenk : Camerata: A Guide to Organizing and Directing Small Choruses

Review: Camerata: A Guide to Organizing and Directing Small Choruses distinguishes itself from all other works on choral conducting by starting at the very beginning-the conception and purpose of an ensemble-through all other aspects of rehearsing and organizing a chorus to performance and reception. Wenk offers basic information on getting started, recruiting singers, planning programs, rehearsing music, publicizing concerts, sharing responsibilities, financing the operation, knowing the law, and finally getting better. He also offers detailed suggestions for creating an executive group to manage the choir as well ideas for repertoire and programming. In addition to a step-by-step guide, Camerata provides a wealth of supplementary material including a prospectus, a statement of goals and means, programs, organizational documents, a singer's guide, documents for organizing a folksong competition, a list of websites for publishers and choral federations, and an annotated bibliography of works on choral conducting. Wenk also includes over 20 Christmas carols and carol arrangements for performance by your small chorus. This work will prove to be a valuable resource for anyone interested in starting a new choral organization or improving an existing ensemble. While the book focuses on chamber choirs, Wenk's practical suggestions, based on more than 40 years of experience as a choral conductor, can find ready application in any choral organization


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6924b | Book | $44.95 |

David T. Nastal : Children's Choir Basics

Review: A Children's choir - what a great idea for your community! But how do you get started? What are the pitfalls? Children's Choir Basics answers your questions. Beginners will find information, inspiration and well-tested ideas for that crucial first year and all years to come. Those who already know the rewards of a parish children's choir program will find even more fun and challenge. Perhaps most importantly, you will see clearly why children's choirs are more than cuteness and kiddy songs - and how to integrate them into the liturgical and sacramental prayer life of the parish. This book is neither a manual for music educators nor a pedagogical 'method' but a fresh, energetic look at building a successful children's choir program from the ground up. Music ministers, pastors, schoolteachers, council members, adult volunteers, parents and accompanists will find this a gold mine of practical music making.

Songlist: Preparing the Ground, Plan of Action, Recruiting, The Interview Process, Preparing For Rehearsal, The Rehearsal, The Choral Sound, Repertoire, Parents and Volunteers, Expanding the Horizons, Basic Terms, Resources

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6572b | Book | $14.95 || Children's Choir Development

Dennis Shrock : Music for Beginning Conductor

Review: Music for Beginning Conductors is an anthology of music designed to include all repertoire necessary for beginning choral conducting classes. Organized from simple to complex, the 103 pieces in the anthology address all the basic techniques, including entrances on and off beats, phrasings and articulations, fixed and changing dynamic levels, varied tempos and meters, fermatas, extended beat patterns, and mixed meters. In addition, each of these categories is explained at the beginning of the anthology. The pieces are scored so students gain experience with unison, canonic, independent two-part, homophonic four-part, independent four-part, a cappella, and simple keyboard-accompanied textures. Much of the music consists of folk songs and other familiar melodies that have been arranged with a simple harmonic bass part that can be played, if desired, on a keyboard instrument. All of the music is accessible in terms of melody, rhythm, and harmony, thus allowing it to be read with relative ease and to be adaptable to classes of varying sizes and resources.


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6917b | Book | $28.95 |

Dr. Patrick Freer : Getting Started with Middle School Chorus - 2nd Edition

Review: New to teaching chorus? If so, you may be filled with anticipation and anxiety. Getting Started with Middle School Chorus is here to point you in the right directions. Like other books in the Getting Started series, there's enough specific information here to get you started and on your way! This second edition of Getting Started with Middle School Chorus gives you new information on working with young adolescent changing voices, designing optimal rehearsals for middle schoolers, managing growing choral programs, and helping youngsters gain musical skills they can carry with them for a lifetime of making music. This practical outline will help build your confidence as you take on the new responsibilities associated with teaching middle school chorus.

Songlist: In The Beginning, Your School's Choral Department, Budget and Equipment, Developing Your Schedule, Choosing Choral Repertoire, Recruiting Singers, The Young Adolescent, The Young Adolescent Voice, Rehearsal Planning, Teaching Strategies , Performances, Get Started and Keep Going

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8213b | Book | $22.95 |

Imogen Holst : Conducting a Choir - A Guide for Amateurs

Review: Imogen Holst (1907-1984), the daughter of the composer Gustav Holst, was a much-loved source of inspiration for the many musicians and students who encountered her over the years at the Dartington Summer School of Music and the Aldeburgh Festival. In this book, originally published in 1973, she sets out clearly and concisely--and often amusingly--a wealth of practical information that will be of particular interest to the amateur conductor. She gives precise and detailed advice on the technique of conducting, how to form and train a choir, the presentation and rehearsal of music, and how to approach public performances and competitions. Her final chapter offers suggestions for the actual rehearsal of choruses from Purcell's Dido & Aeneas, Handel's l'Allegro, and Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb.


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6284b | Book | $24.95 |

Janet Day : Choir Director Plan-It

Review: Organizing a choral music program can be like a jigsaw puzzle! Make your life easier with this one-of-kind resource designed just for you - the choir director-with everything in one essential collection. Packed with helpful charts, calendars, reproducible forms and tips for a successful choir, this guide will help you stay organized and plan ahead for the whole school year. Highlights include: 40 weekly rehearsal/lesson planning charts, 12-month calendar, reproducible forms for student information, music performance evaluation, audition forms, concert planning, assessment rubrics based on the National Standards and more.

Songlist: Substitute Teacher Information, Student Information Card, Rehearsal Plan-It, Seating Charts, Choir Roster and Grade Record, Concert Plan-It, Assessment Sheets, Choral Repertoire Plan-it, Music Listening Plan-It, Music Listening Worksheet, Audition Sheets, Music Performance Evaluation, Week-At-A-Glance, Month-At-A-Glance, My Weekly Schedule, Notes

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5180b | Book | $11.95 || Vocal Pedagogy

John Bertalot : Immediately Practical Tips for Choral Directors

Review: In this book you'll learn such things as secrets to help fill your choir stalls, advanced choir training techniques, the "ten commandments" for leading successful rehearsals, pastoral concerns, contract information, and much more!.

Songlist: Beginning a New Job, Recruiting New Children, Auditions, Four Immediately Practictal Tips, Two Secrets To Help Fill Your Choirstalls, Choosing Music, A Training For Children's Choirs, Twelve Practical Suggestions, How To Create A Choir, Working With Colleagues, Choir Ceremonies, How To Ensure Good Behavior, Boys' Changing Voice, Choir Meals, Organizing Concert Series, Pastoral Concerns

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6438b | Book | $17.95 || Choral Pedagogy

Jorgensen / Pfeiler : Things They Never Taught You in Choral Methods

Review: Hours of college methods can only begin to prepare you for the realities of the music classroom. Only experience will teach you some of the material never mentioned in methods classes, and this handbook will be an enormous practical guide to help you with the rest. This "hands-on" guide has hundreds of practical suggestions, tips and ideas for running a successful secondary choral music program. A "must-read" for any beginning teacher, and a motivational "shot-in-the-arm" for veterans.

Songlist: Ownership, No More Compromises, Selecting Literature For Performance, Out Here On My Own, Tradition! Tradition!, Recruiting, Bragging As An Art Form, No Choir Is An Island, Concerts, Contests and Competitions, All For One! One For All, Evaluating Excellence

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6269b | Book | $16.95 || Choral Methods

Kenneth H. Phillips : Basic Techniques of Conducting

Review: Systematic, practical, and thorough, Basic Techniques of Conducting offers a clear instructional strategy and a basic methodology for teaching the physical gestures and concepts essential for the development of a convincing conducting technique. Taking a competency-based approach, this text provides a clear, step-by-step system for mastering the physical gestures required for good conducting. Paying special attention to the psychomotor skills needed for clear and expressive conducting, it establishes a solid foundation on which to build an advanced and personal conducting style. Based on ten years of teaching and class-testing, the text is carefully organized to establish essential conducting skills over a one-semester period. Each of the thirty lessons introduces basic conducting techniques in a developmental sequence, and includes a review of previous techniques, "guided practice" segments for group practice of new techniques, and "assignment" sections for independent study and practice. The text is fully illustrated with many conducting diagrams, photographs of hand and body movements, and numerous musical examples for directed conducting practice. Emphasizing complete musical examples rather than short excerpts, it features both choral and instrumental exercises for drill and practice. Engaging and accessible, Basic Techniques of Conducting offers all of the content necessary to build a solid foundation of conducting skills for all vocal and instrumental music education majors

Songlist: The Study of Conducting, Posture and Position, The Four Pattern, Varying the Articulation, Videotaping #1, The Three Pattern, Selecting a Baton, Baton Grip, Videotaping #2, The One Pattern, Release on Beat Two, Videotaping #3, Videotaping #4, Midterm Conducting Exam Part 1, Midterm Conducting Exam Part 2, Functions of the Left Hand, Left Hand Sustaining Gestures, Left Hand Strenthening, Videotaping #5, Subdivision, Composer's Intent, Entrances on Incomplete Beats, Videotaping #6, Fermatas, Asymmetric Meters, Videotaping #7, Accents, Conducting Synthesis 1, Conducting Synthesis 2, Videotaping #8

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6651b | Book | $89.95 |

Kenneth Kosche : A Novice's Guide to Directing the Church Choir

Review: Real solutions for real situations can be found in this helpful resource. Understanding your singers as ordinary people is critically important. Learn how to achieve a basic choral sound, and to effectively conduct your volunteer ensemble, and to utilize and accompanist. Countless resources are available for music literature and a list of professional and denominational organizations are listed to assist you in your ministry endeavors. This book was authored by the director of choral activities at Concordia Univeristy, Wisconsin, Dr. Kenneth T. Kosche.

Songlist: Understanding Singers as People, Understanding People as Singers, Getting a Good Sound, Rehearsal is the Key, Conducting Basics, A Matter of Accompaniement, A Matter of Organization, Musical Growth, Concluding Thoughts, Resourses

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6781b | Book | $16.95 || Church Choir Development

Mike Brewer : Kick-Start Your Choir: Confidence Boosting Strategies

Review: Kick-Start Your Choir is for teachers, choral directors, church musicians - anybody who directs a choir. It presents a treasure trove of ideas distilled from years of innovative work with singers of all ages. Practical strategies are offered on almost every aspect of choral directorship. Kick-Start Your Choir - the indispensable handbook for the choral conductor

Songlist: The Voice in the Classroom, Starting a Choir, Getting Young People to Sing, Sound Gestures and Conducting, Program Planning and Repertoire, Preparation and Rehearsal, Basic Vocal Technique, Troubleshooting

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7314b | Book | $9.95 |

Oliver Douberly : Choir Director Basics

Review: The latest volume in the 'Basics' series is an excellent new resource for choir directors from a recognized expert in the field. Choir director Basics supports and guides the reader through the process of organizing new ensembles as well as developing and improving existing choirs. The book is divided in five parts, each addressing specific aspects of the choir director's work: The Place for the Choir and Preparing to Direct the Choir; The Rehearsal; Making the Choral Sound; Ritual Celebrations; and Administration.

Songlist: Singing From The Same Page, Organization and Paperwork, The Importance of Personal Preparation, Posture and Breathing, Warm Up - Making the Sound, Rehearsing Hymnody, Rhythm and Pulse, Rhythmic Phrases, Diction Skills, Making the Ensemble Sound, Gesture Technique, Conducting from the Console, Recruiting New Choir members, Maintenance of Choir Members

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6571b | Book | $14.95 |

Richard Devinney : The Wednesday Workout

Review: By the Way- You Start Tomorrow Night". The recruiting of a less-than-fully-trained person is usually done at the last minute, since the search for a fully trained person will continue as long as there is either time or hope. Our last-minute, inexperienced director, then will be starting immediately. This first chapter is the most light-hearted, the most general, and the most basic of the book. It is pep talk and a look at the thing to do the first night for the first Sunday. The remainder of the book covers the other ongoing aspects of planning and directing effective choral rehearsals.

Songlist: By the Way - You Start Tomorrow Night, Plan on Having a Good Time, Here's How: The Technical Stuff, Diction: It's More Than Just Being Understood, The Voice: Know Your Instruments, Rhythm: Is Your Music Alive?, Choice Matters, But People Always Come First, Tomorrow You Must Get Organized , What's a Choir For?, Now Do It - Week After Week After Week

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6805b | Book | $11.95 || Rehearsal Material

Richard H. Brewer : Developing Effective Choral Tone

Review: This excellent resource was designed particularly for the director of amateur choirs.

Songlist: Singing is a Physical Reaction to a Mental Conception, Posture-Breathing-Attack, Making a Choral Tone, Warming Up to Sing, The Communicative Power of Choral Music, Spinning a Choral Line, Making Choral Music Musical, The Flexibility of the Human Voice, The Quality of Dynamics, Mood Establishes Tonal Qualities, Modification of the Vowel and the Lift, Seating Formations for Choral Groups, The Conductor's Responsibility In Making Choral Tone

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6375b | Book | $10.95 || Choral Methods

Russell Robinson : I Know Sousa, Not Sopranos!

Review: Here's a sobering thought for many a band or orchestra director: you've been given the "opportunity" to work with a choir! Whether or not the decision was made by you or for you, moving from the realm of Sousa or Tchaikovsky to the land of sopranos can be a disconcerting prospect for even the most experienced (not to mention even-keeled) band or orchestra director. But fear not-trained instrumentalist turned choral director (and educator, clinician, composer, and arranger) Russ Robinson, has written I Know Sousa, Not Sopranos! to help you survive your foray into this strange land. Drawn from his very successful clinics on this subject, Dr. Robinson's goals with this guide are simple-to show those educators who have been trained in instrumental music that they already possess many of the musical skills necessary to teach choral music, and to present, in a straightforward and accessible manner, knowledge and awareness of key areas unique to directing a choir.

Songlist: Foreword, Stranger in a Not-So-Strange Land, Let's Start at the Very Beginning, Good to Great, My SOP for the SAB is MIA, And in the End, Resources for the Choral Director, Publishers of Educational Choral Music, About the Author

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5484b | Book | $15.95 |

Timothy Seelig : Quick Fixes

Review: Rehearsal begins with the same, standard warm-ups. What do you do when the choir starts the repertoire and all of the beautiful singing heard during warm-ups goes out the window? It's obviously too late to run into your office to find a book with answers about choral technique! We have the cure for what ails you! Grab Tim Seelig's Quick Fixes: Prescriptions for Every Choral Challenge from the pocket of your choral folder, quickly identify the symptom in the index, read the plan of treatment, and immediately fix the problem .. right on the spot! This handy budget-stretching book is full of concepts that singers understand and can incorporate into their singing. You'll find that next time the singers reach that problem spot in the music, they will remember the prescription! Remedies without the side effects! This resource is just the insurance you need to provide the specific prescription for every choral vocal challenge. You'll be on the road to a strong, healthy performance!

Songlist: Posture/Alignment, Breathing, Phonation, Resonance, Articulation/Vowels, Blend, Intonation, Communication, Memorazition

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6674b | Book | $12.95 || Choral Methods

Valerie Lippoldt Mack : Putting the SHOW in CHOIR

Review: The author of best-selling Icebreakers and Icebreakers 2, Valerie Lippoldt Mack reflects on her career as music educator, dancer, and musician and shares valuable knowledge and experience with you in Putting the SHOW in CHOIR. Full of tips and suggestions for successful auditions, choreography, staging and lights, costumes, programming, rehearsal suggestions, budgeting, public relations and more, this resource is a must for every concert, jazz, or show choir director! Truly, there is a wealth of information in this easy and fun to read book with humorous stories sprinkled throughout that could only happen to Valerie!

Songlist: Stage One, Auditioning, Choreography, From the Pit to the Overheads, Puttin' on the Glitz, On With The Show, From the Lands of "Blahs" to the Land of "Ahhs", Behind the Scenes, Take a Bow, Program Notes

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7433b | Book | $12.95 |

Timothy Seelig : The Perfect Choral Workbook

Review: In his third book for Shawnee Press, following the two best-sellers "The Perfect Blend" and "The Perfect Rehearsal," Timothy Seelig (former longtime director of the Turtle Creek Chorale in Dallas, professor at SMU, and current Director of Art at the Hope for Peace and Justice Center,) presents invaluable tools to organizing your choral program - whether you are a church choral conductor, or a school director. The Perfect Choral Workbook is organized into several chapters (reviewing your situation, planning ahead, rehearsing, communicating, vocal resources, post-concert tasks, etc.) with 48 'forms' to help you get organized. The book includes descriptions, practical uses, and samples of the form, and the CD-ROM includes blank versions of each (in Word and as PDFs) for you to print and use. Seelig covers every aspect of choral conducting, from the most exciting to the most mundane yet necessary tasks. Get yourself organized with this great new resource!

Songlist: Looking Back, Looking Ahead, Looking Around, Looking Inside...The Music, It's Time to Rehearse, Communication, After The Concert, Kitchen Sink, Lists, Vocal Resources, Additional Resources

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6855b | Book & CD-ROM | $34.95 || Choral Pedagogy

Nancy Jorgensen / Catherine Pfeiler-Bielawski : From The Trenches

Review: So you've gotten your first choral directing job. You've assembled your rehearsal plans, beautified the choir room, and are now ready to greet your students with wide-eyed enthusiasm. The first day has begun. You wish you had a pause button. While we obviously can't help you alter the time-space continuum, From the Trenches does offer a plethora of insightful and practical information perfect for the new teacher. Written by choral educators for choral educators, this "easy read" is also a welcome resource for experienced teachers who are looking for ways to refresh and rejuvenate their choral programs.

Songlist: Great Expectations, Round And Round, I Hear America Singing, So Many Notes - So Little Time, To Everything There is A Season...And A Reason, Give My Regards to Broadway, Law And Order, Extra! Extra!, Sample Letters And Forms, Round Repertoire Recommendations, Musical Theatre Licensing Agents, Publisher Information, Index, Biographies

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7089b | Songbook | $19.95 |

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