For those interested in the South Dakota choral music scene


2017 South Dakota ACDA                                        Dr. Patrick K. Freer – Georgia State University


Overall Description:  

This series of workshops and discussions will center on topics that are critical to placing adolescent choral music at the core of pK-12 vocal music education.  Middle school choral education needs to be pedagogically, philosophically, and artistically valid & independent, even while it connects to music education at the elementary and high school levels.

Session #1:

Reclaiming Group Vocal Instruction

General music education began as a singing-based endeavor intended to improve singing in society.  It later shifted toward an enterprise predicated on choral performance, particularly at secondary levels. The turn toward choral performance is problematic because it has pushed a large majority of students away from musical activity in school. The question is not “who sings in our choirs?,” but “who does not sing at all?.” A goal of this presentation is to begin a discussion about how to reposition singing as the core of music education.

Session #2:

Research Meets Reality: Why Boys Drop Out of Chorus and What We Can Do About It

Highlights from new research will ground this discussion of what teachers can do to: 1) keep boys enrolled in choral singing during adolescence, 2) facilitate the return to choral singing by boys who withdraw, and 3) develop active and successful recruitment/retention strategies for different types of schools and choral situations.

Session #3:

Beginning to Teach Vocal Technique to Boys with Changing Voices

How do we begin working with boys and their changing voices? What is vocally safe? How can we prevent them from feeling discouraged? The answer involves teaching vocal technique, beginning with breath control. This session will review the basics of adolescent male vocal physiology, and it will feature practical exercises to address vocalization, pitch matching, and range extension with adolescent boys.

Session #4:

The First Rehearsal with the (Average) Middle School Choir

This session will highlight activities for any choir at any time, especially in the first rehearsal of the school year or semester. What do you do when students don’t know any repertoire or are not so thrilled about being in chorus? We’ll look at avoiding common pitfalls and maximizing opportunities.

Session #5: (Friday AM)

Working with Adolescent Boys and their Changing Voices

This session will feature boys whose voices are in the midst of change, employing principles explored in previous sessions. Of course, we know that not all boys are eager to sing, let alone when their voices are changing. Explore techniques to help boys achieve vocal success.  




Check out the files available on the Google Drive Folder!