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Summer Workshops for Choir Directors

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“Teaching Middle School Choir”

Thursday & Friday July 11-12, 2013

Featured Clinician: Leslie Tanner
James Franklin & Denise Eaton

“Teaching High School Choir”

Thursday & Friday July 11-12, 2013

Featured Clinician: Heather Orr
James Franklin & Denise Eaton


Leslie Tanner, Fossum MS, McAllen ISD

  1. “Aliens Have Arrived and They Call Themselves 6TH GRADERS!”

    Tanner will share proven techniques to successfully teach 6th graders. Topics will include repertoire selection, building on music skills learned in elementary school, realistic expectations, recruitment and retention.

  2. “Sight-Reading: Beyond UIL”

    Tanner will share successful methods of preparing middle school singers to be independent music readers apart from and up until the UIL process.

  3. “Isn’t My Degree in Music Ed?”

    Through an in-depth examination of the many hats music teachers wear, Tanner will share proven strategies for planning a well-balanced musical calendar, “fun”draising, counseling, book-keeping, and keeping current with technology.

  4. “We Snooze? They Lose!”

    Students deserve the best teachers. With thoughtful rehearsal structure and pacing, students are more likely to exhibit a positive rehearsal attitude while maintaining good discipline. Tanner will share implementation of ideas that have been successful throughout her 29 year as a teacher.

  5. “Like It Or Not, The Choice is Yours! Part I & II

    Tanner will cover the following topics:

    • developing a healthy tone in middle school singers
    • repertoire selection including songs from the PML
    • UIL preparation strategies

Heather Orr, Montgomery HS, Montgomery ISD

KEEPING IT INTERESTING - Heather Orr’s thought-provoking sessions will offer the high school choir director “fresh” ideas and innovative teaching methods.

  1. Sight-Reading
    Orr will share methods, materials, games and how to incorporate technology in your day-to-day sight-reading lesson.
  2. Sound Vocal Pedagogy
    Orr will share her philosophy of vocal pedagogy in the choral rehearsal. Topics will include developing tone, effective warm-ups, teaching young singers to sing “on the voice,” and changing tone to fit the repertoire.
  3. Repertoire
    Choosing the right music is the key to success! Orr will share how her philosophy regarding repertoire choice has evolved, themed concerts, and UIL.
  4. The DETAILS are in the DAY-to-DAY Planning
    Do you feel overwhelmed with the details involved in being a High school choir director? Heather will cover topics ranging from rehearsal structure and pacing, dealing with testing, setting daily and long term goals, fund-raising, private lessons and UIL and Region activities.
    You will be inspired and energized when you hear Heather’s refreshing, innovative and unique perspective regarding student leadership, recruitment and retention and how it has shaped the outstanding choral program at Montgomery HS.

James Franklin, Director of Choral Activities, Sam Houston State University

Practical Conducting Gestures for the Choral Rehearsal
Choir directors seldom conduct while teaching, therefore their gesture alphabet is many times lacking. James offers a practical approach based on his experiences in MS and HS and will share practical techniques for practice and implementation.

Denise Eaton, Adjunct Professor, Music Education, Sam Houston State University

Practical Score Study:

  • Where the Lesson Plans Begin
  • Do you see what I see?
  • Putting it all together to create a plan

Throughout the course of three sessions, Denise Eaton will share insight into how intentional score study impacts the ability to develop relevant, sequential and creative lesson plans.

Attendees will be asked to bring a song they would like to teach during the 2013-2014 school year. All workshop attendees will look at that music together, brainstorm and discuss teaching strategies for each piece of music. Copies of all ideas will be shared among all workshop attendees.

Workshop Schedule

Thursday, July 12, 2013 - Sam Houston State University
Time Middle School Track High School Track
8:00 - 8:45 Registration/Check-in
9:00 - 10:30 Score Study #1** / Eaton Practical Conducting / Franklin
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee & Pastries - Mix & Mingle
11:00 - 12:30 Aliens Have Arrived / Tanner Sight-Reading / Orr
12:30 - 1:00 Lunch*
1:00 - 2:30 Practical Conducting / Franklin Sound Vocal Pedagogy / Orr
2:30 - 2:45 Break
2:45 - 4:15 Sight Reading: Beyond UIL / Tanner Repertoire / Orr
4:15 - 4:30 Break
4:30 - 6:00 Isn't My Degree in Music Ed / Tanner Score Study #1** / Eaton
Friday, July 13, 2013 - Sam Houston State University
Time Middle School Track High School Track
8:00 - 8:45 Registration/Check-in
9:00 - 10:30 We Snooze? They Loose! / Tanner Score Study #2** / Eaton
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee & Pastries - Mix & Mingle
11:00 - 12:30 Score Study #2** / Eaton The Details are Day-to-Day / Orr
12:30 - 1:00 Lunch*
1:00 - 2:30 Score Study #3** / Eaton Students! Students! / Orr
2:30 - 2:45 Break
2:45 - 4:15 Like it or not, Choice is Yours! /Tanner Score Study #3** / Eaton
4:15 - 4:30 Break
4:30 - 6:00 Like it or not, Part 2 / Tanner Students! Students! Part II / Orr
SPECIAL Conducting lessons will be given on a first come, first serve basis on Friday.  Sign up will be provided at registration and during the workshop


*Lunch is included in the workshop fee.
**Please bring one copy of a score you would like to teach during the 2013-20143 school year.

Lodging Information

For information regarding local accommodations, please click here.

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