Feb 11, 2015

Start them young! Solo and Ensemble for your Children's Choir

I am not familiar with many state music education association requirements, but I know that in West Virginia a music teacher can start sending their students to solo and ensemble starting in the 4th grade!  In Ohio you have to be in 7th grade to enter into the contest.   I found this so interesting as a student, and a teacher as well as an adjudicator later on in my life.   There are so many merits to having your students perform at contests/ festivals but especially in the children’s choir.

Benefits:

  • Develops a sense of community within your children’s or elementary school choir. 
  • Emphasizes team work
  • Develops a sense of accomplishment (Upon receiving your ratings and comments)
  • Develops your musicianship and focus on areas of improvement with your group.
Many teachers worry about the right repertoire or worry that their students will be in the presence of a very critical judge when they are still in the development stages of the group.  Here is a great tip:  there is always a way to go to these events for “Comments Only” this is perfect for you and your group because it offers very valuable feedback in a low pressure situation.  This is the same for solos and ensembles.  

So if you have a new children’s choir or elementary choir and you’d like them to experience the process of adjudicated events check with your local state music association to see what the requirements are and go for it!  If your state has a higher age or grade requirement for entry, never fear.  YOU have many colleagues that need the experience of adjudication you can also contact local colleges because future teachers need that experience as well. There are many creative ways to make this work for your group.

Try it out! 



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Moving forward,
LaKedria
LaKedria is a Soprano, Voice/ General Music Teacher, Choir Director, and clinician. She graduated with her BA from West Liberty University 09.  Her Masters in vocal performance from Marshall University 11.She  received a certificate in higher education from Capella University 13 and is currently working on a  second master's degree in Methods and Curriculum from Concordia University which will be complete by March 2015.  She works as a lead school age teacher at a local YMCA and she also directs a children’s choir as a music outreach program at the center.   She holds memberships in National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS),   National Association for Music Education (NAfME), American Choral directors Association, (ACDA) and National association for the study and performance of African American music. (NASPAAM). 

Outside of work and school she a wife to her wonderful husband Don and a Mom to three fur children (Cats) Lilla, Skye and Harmony. She is expecting her first child in May a baby girl named Esperanza.   She currently resides in Toledo, Ohio.