Music 344

MUSC 344: Methods and Literature for School Choirs

Prerequisites: Completion of MUSC 352 and MUSC 354 with minimum grades of “C”

Credit Hours: (3)

A study of instructional methods and materials for teaching choral music in PreK-12 School settings. Includes a survey of exemplary choral literature with treble, cambiata, mixed choirs, and the investigation of performance practices for various style periods and multicultural/world music. At least six hours of observation/participation in public school music classes.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

1. Methods
        a. Standards
                i. National Standards for Arts Education (Music)
                ii. Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) for Music and for other Subjects          
                iii. Other published curricula for choral music
        b. Choral musicianship
                i. Vocal development
                        (a) Treble voices
                        (b) Cambiata voices
                        (c) Young voices after the change
                ii. Vocal technique, tonal concept, quality of sound
                iii. Approaches to sight reading
                iv. Assessment of student learning
        c. Rehearsal techniques
                i. Warm-up procedures
                ii. Full ensemble rehearsals
                iii. Sectional rehearsals
                iv. Small ensembles
                v. Group lessons
                vi. Individual instruction
                vii. Keyboard accompaniments
                viii. Working with instrumental accompaniments
        d. Personnel matters
                i. Motivation, classroom management, and discipline
                ii. Recruitment and retention
                iii. Auditions and placement
                iv. Participation/inclusion
                v. Ensemble balance
                vi. Seating plans
                vii. Individual differences among children (economic, social, racial,ethnic, religious, physical, and mental)
        e. Scheduling concerns
                i. Rehearsals
                ii. Sectionals
                iii. Lessons
                iv. Performances
                v. Summer music programs
        f. Material concerns
                i. Floor plan
                ii. Risers
                iii. Storage
                iv. Office equipment
                v. Technology
                vi. Supplies
                vii. Music
                viii. Folders
                ix. Performance attire
        g. Diction
                i. Review of International phonetic alphabet
                ii. Classification of vowels; tongue and lip positions in forming vowels
                iii. Classification of consonants
                        (a) Voiced and unvoiced
                        (b) Fricatives, labials, plosives, linguals, velars, nasals,entals,  gutturals, and                              various combinations
                iv. European languages
                        (a) Italian
                        (b) Spanish
                        (c) German
                        (d) French
                        (e) Russian
                v. Asian languages
                vi. African languages
                vii. Other
        h. General acoustics and choral acoustics
                i. Instructional technology and other teaching aids
                j. Legal and ethical issues
                i. Copyright law
                ii. Uses of technology
                iii. Identifying values (historical, philosophical, sociological) that guide  educational choices
                iv. Equal access issues (economic, social, racial, ethnic, religious, physical, and  mental) mental)
                v. Other
2. Choral literature
        a. Exploration/identification/reading/evaluation of choral literature
                i. Historical and cultural genres
                        (a) Medieval
                        (b) Renaissance
                        (c) Baroque
                        (d) 18th century
                        (e) 19th century
                        (f) 20th century
                        (g) Multicultural/world music
                ii. Literature for various school choral ensembles
                        (a) Unison chorus
                        (b) Elementary or middle school two- and three-part treble chorus
                        (c) Middle school mixed chorus (SSACB)
                        (d) High school women’s chorus
                        (e) High school mixed chorus
                        (f) Literature resources
                i. State graded lists and other published lists of literature
                ii. Publisher’s catalogs and promotional recordings
                iii. Internet resources
                iv. Professional journal reviews
                v. Reading sessions, workshops, clinics, and conventions
                vi. Recommendations of colleagues
                vii. Concert programs
                viii. Other
        c. Concert programming
                i. Chronological
                ii. Thematic
                iv. Multiple ensembles


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course includes reading and listening assignments, discussion, lecture, papers, score analysis, projects, student presentations, construction of a database of choral music literature, exams, and peer teaching exercises.


Goals and Objectives

At the conclusion of the course, the student will:

1. Describe and/or demonstrate effective choral instruction, including:
        a. Addressing state and national standards in rehearsal
        b. Teaching musicianship through vocal technique and sight reading
        c. Rehearsal techniques
        d. Personnel matters, such as auditions and placement, motivation, recruitment and retention,          balance, seating plans, and individual differences among children
        e. Scheduling concerns for rehearsals, sectionals, lessons, performances and summer music            programs
        f. Material concerns, such as risers, storage, music folders, and performance attire
        g. IPA and diction in a variety of languages
        h. General and choral acoustics
        i Instructional technology and other teaching aids
        j. Legal and ethical issues
2. Describe and demonstrate ways to
        a. Locate choral music literature
        b. Assemble a database of choral music literature in a wide range of genres, styles, historical         periods, and cultures (Western and non-Western) appropriate for use in school choral                     programs at beginning and intermediate levels
         c. Evaluate and select program materials which meet curricular and non-curricular                         performance for choral music


Assessment Measures

Assessment will include written tests, peer teaching, projects and presentations, assembly of a reference notebook, and construction of a database of choral music literature.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

Revised 2013

Revised February, 2009