High School Choir Teaching

In my High School Student Teaching Placement at Cass Technical High School in Downtown Detroit, I was able to teach a program and teach a piece to the school’s treble voice ensemble. I selected Craig Hella Johnson’s setting of Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Will There Really Be a Morning?” (2006) because of it’s simple instrumentation and form, but complex harmonic and rhythmic language that I knew would be the basis for gaining great aural and vocal skills.

Warming up the Choir with vocal and aural exercises to improve singing technique and blending
Reviewing the rhythm of the entire piece, using Kodaly rhythm syllables.
Learning the melody of the piece by using Kodaly Solfege Hand signs and sight singing techniques

Below are a perusal score, my score analysis, and the lesson plan for the 3 part lesson above. In the Warm-ups, I built the exercises around needed techniques from the piece, including moving in and out of harmony and unison, and large melodic leaps the force a connection between chest and head voice. In the final two videos, I coach the students through learning the rhythm and melody of the piece on their own using Kodaly rhythm and Solfege syllables.

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