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Observation 10/31/17 (all female choir)

 Starts with warmups


 Gives feedback on shaping as they do the exercises
 Works the entire range of the singers moving up and then down through the vocal range
 Uses multiple warmups to work the different abilities of the voice.
 Engages the singers even though it is 7:30 am and overall posture and demeanor is awful/asks
singers to stand straight and use better technique
 Demonstrates warmups in upper octave to match pitch with the singers
 Has singers harmonize as part of warmup to help with overall shaping and sound
 Warmups take up a lot of time but are very in depth (could go faster)
 Singers posture deteriorates over time and reinforcement of the idea is continuous from teacher
 Choir is talkative in transition but are brought under control with relative ease
 Plays parts for the choir while working on parts and reviewing
 Definitely students that are much more engaged in the class than others
 Lots of time allowed when switching repertoire (could be faster)
 Dictates where and how diction needs to be placed
 Directions for artistic choice of the song very clear
 If mistakes are made they are addressed immediately and fixed by going over the part again
 The different sections aren’t clearly defined (while mixing is good having defined sections during
rehearsal would be helpful for part learning)
 Teacher uses ability to sing in the proper octave to demonstrate voice parts
 Teacher tells singers how to sing a certain part in the music by explaining the way it should be
sung using the proper parts of the voice
 Has choir sing acapella so they aren’t always relying on the piano for parts
 Teacher, while listening for parts, also listens for the chords on each beat
 Moves on to playing the bassline while singers sing overtop of it
 Class got distracted by a minor event, but they were brought back after some banter from the
teacher as a way to give them a quick break after 40 minutes of class
 Teacher moves to conducting after accompanist got to class and engages in a more focused way
with the music
 With accompaniment, the teacher can pay attention to the fine details
 Sometimes jumps the gun on cutoffs, ending before the phrase is over
 Teacher sings with certain parts to help them be more confident of their part
 Eliminates background talking while working with voice sections (alto, soprano, etc.) before it
has the chance to even start
 Goes through each of the individual parts to check that the parts are solid
 When electronics are out (they shouldn’t be) asks immediately for them to be put away
 Choir gets distracted very easily, needs constant reminder of what is happening in the class
 However, class moves at a fast-enough pace that, while there are distractions, not many
opportunities are allowed for distractions
 Translation of the shaping from warmups to actual songs could be better (very spread vowels)
 Praises good performance from the choir
 Points out flaws in how the choir performs, but in such a way that are presented as suggestions
or directions for improvement
 Allows choir to perform a run of the music without direction (as will be done in the concert) to
see how they handle the song
 Is attentive to detail while non-directed performance is happening
 When instruction is given, choir seems distracted and not listening, needs to be repeated
 Attention span is short and all over the place, fluxuates depending on what is happening
 Allows some breaks to refocus the singers
 Starts a new piece by sight reading crash and burn
 Teaches foreign language by talking through the pronunciation of the words
 Adds the parts from highest to lowest in a section of the piece where every part is singing
something different
 Hour and a half classes are really, long
 Helps with difficult runs in parts by playing both the actual melody and a counter melody
allowing the singers to hear both parts simultaneously
 When entrances aren’t clean or correct they are redone
 Some singers are not engaged to the extent they are not singing while all are supposed to be
 One thing need a watch for the teacher so that time doesn’t have to be checked on the phone
(being checked to see how much time is left to accomplish goals for the day, but phone makes it
appear he is un-attentive though that is the exact opposite of what is happening)
 Throws them into the deep end by singing a new song acapella to ensure they really know the
piece (also to prove to them that they know the music)
 Walks around during run to listen to the individual parts to ensure they are correct
 Finishes up class with closing comments about how class went and information for the next class
period so that the students are prepared for next time

Singers

 Start with warmups, stretches, etc.


 Commenting on both shaping and technique as the choir progresses through the warmup
sequence
 Working both ends of the range in both male and female singers
 Works on consonants, articulation, and vocal flexibility