Since we only meet once a week, this post is a supplement to the other resources on the blog and intended to help you prepare for your assignments and other responsibilities. Let’s begin with the syllabus, which will be updated throughout the semester as necessary (click below):

act syllabus, sp2019 (updated 1/28)

  • Begin philosophy discussion, which includes a class handout (below), and I’ve also provided a copy of my lecture notes. We will continue this discussion and, hopefully, you will apply these ideas to your teaching for the rest of your career!



Use study guide and power points to help you review. See:

Reflection-Synthesis Paper #1 (Philosophy). Refer to the syllabus for specific guidelines. Please be sure to synthesize (summarize) our MEAE discussion (see notes/worksheet above) and reflect (apply) it to your own teaching philosophy. The idea is to incorporate these new ideas into your own thinking! Do not recycle a philosophy paper from another class!! For ideas, read the following blog posts:

22 February

  • Thank you all for making this class such a positive experience thus far! I appreciate your flexibility, open-mindedness, enthusiasm, energy, expertise, and willingness to experiment with techniques to become excellent choral music educators! I hope you’re learning a lot and that the class is meeting your expectations. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you to succeed!!
  • Discuss next class activity assignment (leading ensembles vocalises with tuning fork and from behind the piano) and reserve your date. For ideas, see “Practical Pointers for Leading Group Vocalises” at the bottom of this post:
  • Discuss Ch. 5 and how to select music for various grade levels and voice types. If you haven’t done so already, begin working on your Repertoire Reservoir (concert programs). For ideas,  see:

1 March

  • Reading Assessment on Ch. 6: “Breathing and the Laryngeal Mechanics,” with a focus on the section about Breathing, pp. 143-152. Since most of this is a review of Class Voice, you might want to also review that text as well (“The Singing Book”) for reinforcement.
  • Continuing class discussion on Chpts. 4 & 5 (adolescent changing voice)
  • Begin new class activity: leading ensemble vocalises (See suggestions above and find NEW vocalises to teach us). Explore the PDFs on this blog for options:
    • Stephen Baker
    • Mark Peters
    • Lindsay Edwards
    • Jarrod Lloyd
    • Jingjing Zhang
    • Hunter Miller
  • A question arose last class about just intonation (acoustical tuning) vs. equal temperament. Here is a link that describes the science behind it briefly, yet effectively:  Honestly, this scientifically proves why a cappella choral singing is so much more effective in creating an aesthetic experience. Pretty hard to beat a choir singing beautifully in tune with “just intonation.” It’s the in-tuneness as a component of the sound/timbre that literally creates the goosebumps!!

8 March

  • Reading Assessment on Ch. 7, pp. 166-194
  • Discuss Chpts. 6 & 7
  • Continue in-class activity: leading ensemble vocalises
    • Troy Gartner
    • Tyler Turpen
    • Dylan Natiello
    • Martiza Hamilton
    • Chris Harty
    • Nathan Morgan
  • Discuss assignments to be completed over Spring Break, if necessary, as well as extra credit opportunity to gain points to apply to Reading Assessments.


  • Extra Credit Possibilities. Fully answer the specific Study and Discussion Questions listed below and receive points applied to your Reading Assessement for that chapter. Total of five points per chapter is possible depending upon quantity and quality of answers. Bullet statements may be used, but content must be rich.
    • Ch. 1 (pp. 19-20): #s 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 14
    • Ch. 2 (p. 40): #s 2, 4, 9, 10, 13, 14
    • Ch. 4 (pp. 104-5): #s 8, (11,12,13,14),  16, 18, 22, 28.
    • Ch. 5 (pp. 136-137): #s 6, 7, (11, 12), 21, 24, (27,28), 41, 42
    • Ch. 6 (pp. 163-164): #s (1,2), (4,5), 9, 10, 11, 15, 17, 21, 22, 24)

22 March

  • Submit first half of your Repertoire Reservoir. You may choose which grade levels/concerts to program first! Simply be sure to have collected 27 pieces, which is half of the 54 (total) required by the end of the semester.
  • Option: Submit extra credit assignment for points to be applied to reading assessment percentages (see above).
  • Since we’ve had numerous reading assessments and to conserve class time, a Mid-Term Written Exam is NOT scheduled at this time.
  • Review TKTS, Chpts. 8, 9 & 10; briefly survey DSMP, Chpts. 10 & 17.

29 March

5 April: Final GEMMELL-led Class as PTEs begin the NEXT week

12 April: PTEs begin. Everyone teaches; c.8 minutes each. Be sure that scores are marked, music is learned, lessons plans are constructed (see syllabus), and your teaching is prepared and practiced!

  • Submit Reflection-Synthesis #2: Characteristics of Effective Rehearsals.