The Choralosophy Podcast is almost one year old as 2019 comes to a close. I launched the website in mid January of 2019, began production and released 4 episodes in mid February. So, I think now is as good a time as any to look back on the top episodes of 2019, or YEAR ONE of what I hope is many for the Choralosophy podcast. As you look back at the most downloaded, streamed, shared and discussed episodes of 2019, be thinking about guests and topics you would like to see me hit in 2020! I am making more plans for choral director mental health, literacy and voice science episodes now, but I would love to hear your ideas too! Special thanks to all of the show guests who make each episode special!
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Most Downloaded Episodes of 2019
# 5 Episode 1: Health, Happiness and Balance for the Choral Director
I am actually really happy this episode, the very FIRST thing I recorded is still getting streamed as new folks come to the show. It has a lot of helpful things in it in terms of building a healthy framework for approaching our job. But more than that, I think it helps listeners to the show get to know the host and where I am coming from. Maybe my motivations behind making this podcast. Highlights include my personal philosophy on setting and maintaining my values hierarchy as well as a segment with my better half, Beth where she keeps me honest. 🙂
In this episode, Dr. Garrett and I discuss the importance of the music of black composers that do NOT fit into categories of idiomatically black music like Gospel, Jazz and Spirituals. And, as many of episodes on this show tend to do, the conversation drifts into the personal and social ways that race affects the interactions of humans and choral directors specifically. I had a lot of fun recording this show and I learned a lot. Conversations like this one can really help us frame the way we learn about and discuss important topics like this.
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I mentioned when I published this one that it might be the most PHILOSOPHICALLY important episode on the show so far. And four month later, I still think that is true. This topic is a passion of mine for a couple of reasons. First, I think the concept outlined in the episode known as “Anti-Fragility” WORKS when used as a guiding principle in the classroom. (It is not the same as “grit” or “resilience” which are fine concepts or buzzwords, but paint an incomplete picture of the psychology at play.) If you have not listened to this episode yet, be sure to do so before your choirs come back from break!
Why you CAN and SHOULD stop playing notes and making rehearsal tracks for student singers.
Got a lot of blow back from this one… lol. The vast majority was positive. Teachers from everywhere reached out with messages of appreciation for the content and processes outlined in this episode. But, there were a decent number who may have felt, let’s say, challenged by the claims. Looking back now, I still feel good about saying that in ALMOST every case, teaching our singers to be literate, independent and self sufficient musicians is the greatest gift we can give them as teachers. Are there certain choral situations where this won’t work? Like honor choirs, some community choirs or church choirs? Sure. I get that there are exceptions. I do believe that young singers can have the band-aid ripped off on day one and never need the keyboard.
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Shared over 60 times on Facebook, downloaded or streamed over 3000 times. Each new show launch needs one “choiral” post in its first year, and I think this was it. I think the topic is really important as we move the academic content of choral music fully into the 21st Century. We will need to be literate in the science of what we teach. It is my opinion that being “only” an artist will not qualify us to stay relevant in the education community in the next 100 years. (hmmm, maybe that’s an episode…) Discussions like this are a great start! More to come!
Honorable mention episodes that also cracked into the 2k download club in the first year: Episode 21: Anyone Can Get an A in Choir and Episode 20: Choral Appropriation? or Cultural Sharing with Brandon Boyd