Episode 134: The A Cappella Connection with Deke Sharon

When you perform, it’s your job to go out there and save a life.

Deke Sharon

This week, I welcome the “Father of Contemporary A Cappella,” Deke Sharon onto the show. We discuss the origins of the modern “A Cappella” genre as well as the “family tree” of other types of A Cappella vocal music genres and their crucial connections with each other. We also get to hear the story of how the actors in Pitch Perfect learned to sing from scratch in a month! We covered the importance of commercial viability in our art forms as well as the incredible power of group music making to heal political divides, and encourage cooperation. Deke is a compelling story teller, so I KNOW you will want to listen to the end!

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Ep-134.mp3


Born and still living in San Francisco, California, Deke Sharon has been performing professionally since the age of 8. As a child he toured North America and shared the stage performing in operas with the likes of Pavarotti. Heralded as “The Father of Contemporary A Cappella” this performer, arranger, music producer, author, producer and coach is credited by many as being responsible for the current sound of modern a cappella. While at college, he pioneered the dense vocal-instrumental sound that we today take for granted as the sound of contemporary a cappella.

Deke founded the Contemporary A Cappella Society while in college, and is responsible for creating many seminal a cappella programs, including the CARAs (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards), the ICCAs (International Championship of College A Cappella), the BOCAs (Best of College A Cappella Compilations), the first contemporary a cappella conference (the A Cappella Summit), the Contemporary A Cappella League, several professional ensembles including DCappella, as well as the educational residential program Camp A Cappella. He’s a frequent emcee at events, and gives corporate speeches on business lessons from vocal harmony to companies like Google and Facebook.

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

He is also contemporary a cappella’s most prolific arranger, having arranged over 2,000 songs, with over a thousand of them in print worldwide. He has written 6 books: “A Cappella Arranging” (2012), “A Cappella” (2015), “The Heart of Vocal Harmony” (2016), “A Cappella Warmups for Pop and Jazz Choir” (2017), “So You Want To Sing A Cappella” (2017) and “Teaching Music Through Performance In Contemporary A Cappella” (2020).

As the founder, director and arranger for the House Jacks for almost 25 years, the original “Rock Band Without Instruments,” Deke shared the stage around the world with countless music legends, including Ray Charles, James Brown, Crosby Stills and Nash, Run DMC, The Temptations, LL Cool J and the Four Tops, and even a performance of the “Monday Night Football Theme” with Hank Williams Jr. in 2011. He is also the vocal orchestrator for and a producer of the Broadway’s first a cappella musical: In Transit (2016), as well as the opening number of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Unmasked (2019).

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Deke has produced dozens of award winning a cappella albums (including Straight No Chaser, Committed, Nota, Street Corner Symphony and the Tufts Beelzebubs), created a cappella groups for Disneyland and Disneyworld, and frequently tours the world teaching a variety of topics to students and professional singers. His voice can be heard in commercials and video games, including “Just Dance Kids 2.” He is one of only 20 honorary members of the Barbershop Harmony Society since 1938, as well as an honorary member of BYU Vocal Point, and has received CASA’s lifetime achievement award in 2016 and the PT Barnum Award for Excellence from Tufts University in 2017.

Deke has also helped popularize a cappella in the mainstream. He vocally produced five seasons of The Sing Off for NBC in the US as well as international versions in the Netherlands, South Africa and China, and served as music director for Disney+ Best in Snow. He was arranger, on-site music director and vocal producer for all three of Universal’s hit films in the Pitch Perfect franchise. He was featured on camera in Lifetime Television’s Pitch Slapped, coaching the group Stay Tuned and on BBC1’s Pitch Battle as music director and guest judge. 2022 saw him working on two television shows: “Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin” (Peacock) and “Best in Snow” (Disney+).

Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Car Thoughts: Student Led Sectionals

“Whoever is doing the talking is doing the learning.”

Jen York-Barr

In this special car thoughts I will not only DESCRIBE how I use sectionals in rehearsal, I will show you! (Video recommended) I am a big believer in student ownership, and there are few better ways to accomplish this than building a culture of student led sectional work at all levels of choir. EVEN young singers can learn to work independently! Join me as a drive while describing the progression from a beginner’s first introduction to sectionals all the way to the point where they don’t need me anymore.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Student-Led-Sectionals.mp3
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!

Episode 133: Should We Pay Student Teachers? With Dr. Tina Beveridge

Is student teaching a “class?” or a “job?” Does this practice need a revamp in the face of the current teacher shortage? In this episode, I invited Tina Beveridge on to hash out a disagreement. A few months ago, I created a TikTok expressing my opinion that student teachers don’t “deserve” a paycheck. Mostly based on the idea that student teaching is a class, and a crucial final course in the training of teachers. Turning it into a job could potentially create a perverse incentive structure for entering the profession. Dr. Beveridge disagrees and responded with this blog by saying, “First, the internship is not a “class.” Yes, it’s credits they have to register and pay for, and in that respect it’s a “class” but it’s not a class in the respect that we expect them to go in knowing nothing. In fact, we expect them to go in and actually be able to do the full job.”

In keeping with the spirit and ethos of this show, I invited Tina on to discuss because a conversation is MUCH more productive than social media posts. The resulting conversation is proof of that. When the episode is done, please weigh in your thoughts in the comments!

@chrismunce

Replying to @gabeknott3 It’s a class. Not a job. Should you be paid to go to other classes?

♬ original sound – Chris Munce
Catch up on the conversation on TikTok
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Ep-133.mp3

Dr. Beveridge is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at George Mason University. Before entering higher education, Dr. Beveridge spent 17 years teaching music in K-12 public schools and community colleges, and her research on policy, equity and access in music education has been published in Update: Applications of Research in Music Education as well as Arts Education Policy Review.

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

Resources Cited in the Episode

Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
  • Michigan Future Teacher Fund —you will also see they have proposed legislation to pay mentor teachers (through block grants to districts) to host student teachers, and that there are requirements for how interns can use the money (1 semester tuition at a state university in Michigan is about $7000, the stipend can be up to $9600).
  • Choralosophy Episode with Maria Ellis
  • The Elpus and Abril 2019 study —this is free to view for anyone who is a NAfME member (you have to log in to NAfME and then click on the link, the full article should pop up. The statistic I referenced (African American students being less likely to enroll in music as achievement goes up) is “Predictive Margins of Race” just above the discussion section.
  • Dr. Beveridge wants to issue a correction: In Virginia, student teachers need 300 TOTAL hours. 150 need to be independent teaching.

Episode 132: Learned Helplessness with Christine Sefein

Is it possible that the over-politicization of classroom education could be contributing in some way to the epidemic of mental health problems amongst teens and young adults? Clinical Psychologist, and child of Egyptian immigrants, Christine Sefein thinks we should not ignore this possibility. The modern vogue for activism that kids are learning focuses on the “systemic,” and actually valorizes victimhood. We are framing things for them within a problematic oppressor vs. oppressed framework. To a young person, when confronted with ideas that present a “really big, really bad” world, these problems can seem so big that they are powerless to confront them. This perpetual victim/hero complex could be leading to nihilism and hopelessness in a generation of students. Christine and I share a candid conversation about the basic principals of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that are being ignored or even contradicted in education. We discuss building gratitude cultures, the value of anxiety, and understanding the importance of “exposure therapy” when facing even the horror of performance anxiety!

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Ep-132.mp3

Christine Sefein, LMFT(Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist), specialises in grief and trauma work and has held positions such as Clinical Director of OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center and Clinical Supervisor of the Interpersonal Violence programs at California Lutheran University. She has worked most extensively with grieving adults and children in a variety of communities and settings including dual-diagnoses residential facilities, intensive outpatient treatment, homeless shelters and in private practice. Christine was a full time Teaching Faculty in the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program at Antioch University Los Angeles until 2021. She currently works as a diversity training consultant, public speaker, parental rights advocate in K-12 education.

Contact info: csefein@christinesefeinmft.com

www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Year in Review! Top Episodes of 2022

2022 was an exciting year on this show! The first solid year of weekly episodes, a wide range of topics. (Only ONE Covid episode, thank God.) We saw lots of growth in the audience, exciting LIVE recordings, and so much more. In this episode, I have curated some of my favorite moments from YOUR 10 favorite episodes:

Each episode is linked below so that you can find each in their fullness.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Top-10-2022.mp3
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

Episode 131: Going Beyond Good Intentions with Robyn Hilger

In part two of my conversation with ACDA Executive Director Robyn Hilger, we pick up right where we left off last week in Episode 130. I begin by asking Robyn about the ACDA national conventions session line up. We discuss what is there, and what is missing. We move from there into a deep discussion of ACDA’s Diversity Initiatives and how we would measure success or progress. At what point does the intersectionality of our diverse membership simply become “unique individuals” with unique wants and needs? How does a large membership organization respond to this challenge? For example, a recent region conference had all male conductors on the slate. What no one knows is whether or not we had a diverse pool to choose from. This matters because you have to understand the problems in order to solve them.

We discuss this, and the idea that I call “Trickle Down Social Justice.” Are we focused on composers on the program or who conducts at conventions? Or are we focused on the lack of equity in music training of fourth graders? Could this be bias toward what is visible?

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Ep-131.mp3

There have been times in our history where the opinion of the Executive has really set the trajectory. My job as the executive is to activate the membership. ACDA is not Robyn Hilger. That would be a mistake.

From approx. 30 minutes in.
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!

Robyn Hilger is beginning her second year as executive director of the American Choral Directors Association. A native Oklahoman, Hilger is a classically trained clarinetist. She graduated with high honors in 1999 from Oklahoma City University with a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education. She earned her master’s degree in school administration from the University of Central Oklahoma and is currently pursuing her doctorate of education in administration and leadership at Southern Nazarene University. She is a National Board-Certified Teacher in early adolescence/young adult music with specialization in band.

The overarching theme of her work is meeting the identified needs of historically marginalized and under-resourced communities. Robyn began her career as the band and strings teacher at Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School, in Oklahoma’s largest urban school district, where she created the fine arts department. In 2006, she was recognized as Oklahoma’s State Teacher of the Year and she served as Oklahoma’s Ambassador of Teaching, traveling more than 20,000 miles delivering some 200 workshops and speeches focused on teaching, advocacy, and education policy.

In 2007, she joined the staff of the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools as the chief programs officer. In 2013, she supported the launch of El Sistema Oklahoma as a volunteer. In 2014, she was asked to join the organization as the executive director. El Sistema Oklahoma facilitates the development of empowered youth who use music to make strong positive change in their lives, their communities, and the world. El Sistema Oklahoma operates every day after-school and is completely free for participating families.

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com



In 2017, she was named New Fundraiser of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Oklahoma City Chapter. Robyn also serves on the advisory board for the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and is a board member for Oklahoma Youth Sing! (formerly known as the Norman Children’s Chorus).

Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

Robyn is a connector of people, organizations, and opportunities. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband Stephen and their three cats.

To get in touch with Robyn, you can add her on Facebook (@robynhilger or @robynhilgeracda) or email her at executivedirector@acda.org.

Episode 130: The Value of an Outsider with Robyn Hilger

The American Choral Directors Association is the largest organization of choral musicians in the world. ACDA sets the tone and direction of choral music in the US and has a major impact on the global choral music community as well. The newly appointed Executive Director of the organization, Robyn Hilger seeks to usher in a new era for the organization, hopefully leading to a bright future for Choral Music. It is my belief that the needs of the community of choral musicians have changed since ACDA’s founding. I also believe that ACDA has a bully pulpit in communicating about and advocating for the direction of the profession. This makes their decisions intimately woven into the lives and livelihoods of their members. In this episode AND the next one, you will hear me discuss the past present and future of choral music in America and how ACDA will help to shape it. I drove all the way from KC to OKC to record in person, which I think was very helpful.

In the first part of this two part interview, we discuss the “purpose” or “reason for being of ACDA,” how changes are made, how conventions are planned, and the importance of member engagement and feedback and much more.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Ep-130.mp3
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Robyn Hilger is beginning her second year as executive director of the American Choral Directors Association. A native Oklahoman, Hilger is a classically trained clarinetist. She graduated with high honors in 1999 from Oklahoma City University with a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education. She earned her master’s degree in school administration from the University of Central Oklahoma and is currently pursuing her doctorate of education in administration and leadership at Southern Nazarene University. She is a National Board-Certified Teacher in early adolescence/young adult music with specialization in band.

The overarching theme of her work is meeting the identified needs of historically marginalized and under-resourced communities. Robyn began her career as the band and strings teacher at Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School, in Oklahoma’s largest urban school district, where she created the fine arts department. In 2006, she was recognized as Oklahoma’s State Teacher of the Year and she served as Oklahoma’s Ambassador of Teaching, traveling more than 20,000 miles delivering some 200 workshops and speeches focused on teaching, advocacy, and education policy.

In 2007, she joined the staff of the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools as the chief programs officer. In 2013, she supported the launch of El Sistema Oklahoma as a volunteer. In 2014, she was asked to join the organization as the executive director. El Sistema Oklahoma facilitates the development of empowered youth who use music to make strong positive change in their lives, their communities, and the world. El Sistema Oklahoma operates every day after-school and is completely free for participating families.



In 2017, she was named New Fundraiser of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Oklahoma City Chapter. Robyn also serves on the advisory board for the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and is a board member for Oklahoma Youth Sing! (formerly known as the Norman Children’s Chorus).

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

Robyn is a connector of people, organizations, and opportunities. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband Stephen and their three cats.

To get in touch with Robyn, you can add her on Facebook (@robynhilger or @robynhilgeracda) or email her at executivedirector@acda.org.

Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!

Episode 129: Channeling Emotional Contagion with Dr. Gary Seighman

There is an often felt, but rarely quantified sense within ensemble music experiences that something truly MAGICAL is happening that changes us profoundly. However, recent
scientific discoveries (link to sources below) are adding a more concrete validity to that which experienced musicians already intuitively know. Studies that reveal the physiological and psychological processes of cooperative effort, especially musical collaboration. The implications of these ideas are beginning to shape our very definition of “ensemble,” while providing new understandings of the benefits of group musical expression on the individual. Dr. Gary Seighman joins me to make some truly crucial observations about our art form and the human instrument.

“Presently, topics pertaining to musical perception and creativity are highly popular in neuroscience research. A major development in the field was the proposing of a human mirror neuron system. After the discovery in rhesus monkeys of “mirror neurons” that fire during both action and observation of motor behavior, scientists detected a similar working system in the fronto-parietal region of humans.” -From Gary’s related Choral Journal Article

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Ep-129.mp3

Gary Seighman is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX where he oversees a comprehensive choral program and teaches courses in conducting and music education. Under his direction, Trinity’s choral ensembles have garnered regional and national accolades with invited performances at conferences including TMEA, the College Music Society, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, frequent international touring, and most recently, 3rd place for the 2022 The American Prize Competition as the smallest university in the country among the finalists. Recent professional engagements include Nashville, New York City, Taipei, Vienna, London, and Dublin. Dr. Seighman holds degrees from Westminster Choir College, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Maryland. His wife, Dr. Jennifer Seighman, is also a choral conductor and they have 2 children, Justin and Gabrielle.

YouTube Channel

For more on this topic from Gary, visit Forward Motion

Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Episode 128: The Strange Relationship between Choral Music Ed and Vocal Ped with Dr. Sharon Hansen

One of the oddest things about Vocal Music Education as a profession, is how little we are required to learn in our schooling about the voice. Vocal Pedagogy courses are often the purview of voice performance majors, which is very odd considering how many more students will be impacted with vocal instruction by a person with a Music Ed degree. It is also odd considering that in many schools, vocal instruction is a key component of our course descriptions. Despite this seemingly obvious academic connection, a startlingly low number of music educators have taken any Vocal Ped, very little Voice Science is presented at conventions, and myths and misinformation litter the landscape of discussions and instruction about how the voice works. Dr. Sharon Hansen joins me to discuss this issue candidly, as well as a recounting of her battle getting ACDA to include the “On the Voice” column in the Choral Journal. You will be amazed to hear some of the reasons she was given for NOT including Vocal information in a Choral journal. An important episode that no one should miss.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Ep-128-1.mp3

Dr. Sharon A. Hansen is Professor and Director of Choral Studies, Emerita, at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. Widely known as a conductor and master teacher throughout the United States and in Europe, Hansen has conducted the Romanian National Radio Choir (Bucharest), the Gächinger Kantorei and Bach Collegium-Stuttgart (Germany), the Stockholm (Sweden) Conservatory Chamber Choir, the Moldavian and Oltenian Philharmonic Choirs (Iasì and Craiova, Romania), and the University of Regensburg (Germany) Symphony Orchestra. Ensembles under Hansen’s direction have appeared at state, regional, and national ACDA and NAfME Conferences, and she has served as guest conductor and clinician with all-state, all-regional, and select honor choirs in more than forty states.

Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!

Hansen is the Founder and Music Director Emerita of the Milwaukee Choral Artists, a professional women’s vocal ensemble that left a legacy of some fifty commissioned, premiered, and published new works for treble voices. Hansen authored Helmuth Rilling: Conductor – Teacher, the definitive book on renowned conductor Helmuth Rilling, when she spent sixteen months in Germany singing with Rilling and the Gächinger Chorale. As contributing author for the 2009 book Wisdom, Wit, and Will: Women Choral Conductors on their Art, Hansen’s detailed chapter on the status of collegiate women choral conductors, “Women, Conductors, and the Tenure Process: What’s Up in the Academy?”, was the first such in-depth examination since 1988. She served as a member of the Editorial Board of the American Choral Directors’ Association’s Choral Journal from 1993–2018, where she was Founder and Editor Emerita of the Choral Journal article series “On the Voice,” which she curated for eighteen years. Because of her long-time passion for voice and choral music, she examined the history of voice education in the choral classroom in ACDA’s first 50 years, which is Monograph #18 in ACDA’s monograph series.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Hansen received the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association’s Morris D. Hayes Award, the Milwaukee Civic Music Association’s Excellence in Choral Music Award, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s highest meritorious honors for outstanding contributions to the choral art. Prior to her twenty years in Wisconsin, Hansen was Professor of Choral Music at the University of Northern Iowa, and a vocal music teacher in the public schools near Omaha, Nebraska. Now calling Arizona her home, she recently served as lead writer on the Hal Leonard–McGraw-Hill choral textbook series Voices in Concert, and as full-time Interim Director of Music and Arts at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale. Presently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Chapter of the American Choral Directors’ Association, and is the Chorus Conductor for the Arizona Musicfest Symphony Orchestra.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

For More on This Topic

Episode 127: An Alternate Universe with Vaughan Fleischfresser

The Music Department is an alternate universe where pupils are often unrecognizable from who they are outside of it. The shy become confident. The agitated become calm. The lonely become included. The quiet become heard. And the lost become found. Music reveals the real child.

Vaughan Fleischfresser

You probably recognize this colleague just by looking at him due to his MASSIVE quantity of viral music education memes. I kept seeing them in my feed on a daily basis and have shared many myself. What I found intriguing was the talent he seems to have in the ability to distill ideas and present them in away that is both thorough AND concise. Ideas that the world NEEDS to hear about music education and its importance. In this episode, we learn about Vaughan, his professional life as an educator in the UK and Australia, and his approach to music education advocacy. You will NOT want to miss this conversation that is sure to have you excited about the future of music ed.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Ep-127.mp3
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Originally from Australia and now residing in Scotland, Vaughan has a broad range of teaching experience, ranging from Primary through to University level, Instrumental through to Community Music, and everywhere in between. Vaughan studied both Music and Education at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane (Australia), where he studied under Dr Ralph Hultgren. This was then followed by a Master of Music Education, majoring in Instrumental and Vocal Education, at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago (USA), where he studied under Dr Charles Menghini and Dr Robert Sinclair. He has worked extensively throughout Australia, Scotland, and North America, in positions such as Teacher of Music, Director of Bands, and Teaching Fellow of Music Education. Vaughan currently teaches music at the Edinburgh Academy in Scotland, having most recently been the Teaching Fellow of Music Education and the University of Edinburgh. In addition to this, he is the Conductor of the Peebles Concert Band and works extensively with Community Music groups throughout Scotland. Away from the classroom and podium, Vaughan is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, composer, and educational speaker, having spoken at conferences in Scotland, England, South Africa, and Canada.

Episode 126: Expanding our Musical Vocabularies with Christopher Tin

Humans aren’t capable of completely original ideas. Everything is borrowed.

This week, meet international star composer, Christopher Tin. In the choral world, we met Christopher with his blockbuster Baba Yetu, and has not slowed down since. He recently completed a project with Voces8 called “Lost Birds,” and has exciting projects coming up. In this conversation, we discuss the process of creating music for video games, versus concert performance, as well as our ideas of “cultural identity” and the way we blend cultures when music travels around the globe and through time. Christopher has a very cohesive way of describing this and how it formed his own “musical culture.” Tune in and expand your vocabulary!

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Ep-126.mp3
Episode 126
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Christopher Tin is a two-time Grammy-winning composer of concert and media music. Time Magazine calls his music ‘rousing’ and ‘anthemic’, while The Guardian calls it ‘joyful’ and ‘an intelligent meeting of melody and theme’. His music has been performed and premiered in many of the world’s most prestigious venues: Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Hollywood Bowl, the United Nations, and Carnegie Hall, where he had an entire concert devoted to his music. He has also been performed by ensembles diverse as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Metropole Orkest, and US Air Force Band.

His song “Baba Yetu”, originally written for the video game Civilization IV, is a modern choral standard, and the first piece of music written for a video game ever to win a Grammy Award. His debut album, the multi-lingual song cycle Calling All Dawns, won him a second Grammy in 2011 for Best Classical Crossover Album, and his follow-up release The Drop That Contained the Sea debuted at #1 on Billboard’s classical charts, and premiered to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium. His third album To Shiver the Sky also debuted at #1, and was funded by a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign that raised $221,415, smashing all previous classical music crowdfunding records. His fourth album, The Lost Birds, is a collaboration with acclaimed British vocal ensemble VOCES8, and will be released September 2022 on Decca Classics.

Tin is signed to an exclusive record deal with Universal under their legendary Decca label, published by Concord and Boosey & Hawkes, and is a Yamaha artist. He works out of his own custom-built studio in Santa Monica, CA.

Episode 125: Making the Case for Choir with Tom Metzger

Advocacy Episode!

Our jobs as music educators, sadly, MUST include the ability to persuasively and passionately make the case in our communities that group singing opportunities are crucial. That includes keeping choirs in our churches and in our schools and community organizations. It includes having conversations with local leaders, fundraising and more. But, what makes or breaks those conversations is OUR ability to make that case air tight. Tom Metzger joins me to brainstorm and think through what happens in society when we have LESS people singing, and how we can explain it to people in more effective ways. Tom draws on his perspective as a computer scientist and choral singing enthusiast who works with choral organizations behind the scenes with the “business” side of choir. Tune in for this conversation, and TOOL UP for the Advocacy fight, because it never ends.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Ep-125.mp3
Episode 125
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Episode 124: Teaching in a Famous Classroom with Myles Finn

So, what happens when you post a video on the internet from inside your classroom and it goes viral with millions and millions of views?! It’s up to you! This happened Myles Finn and he decided to use his powers for good, creating a TikTok account with approaching SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND followers that shows life inside a high school choir room as well as a treasure trove of great instructional ideas for those of us in the profession. But, perhaps the most valuable thing is the fact that thousands of people outside of our choir bubble are being exposed to our world. This is “advocacy” in the 21st Century in its purest form. Tune in as Myles and I talk about his instructional philosophy, his warm ups, teacher burnout, and how the internet fame has changed the dynamics in his classroom.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Myles is in his fifth year as choral director at Indianola High School, in Indianola, Iowa. He is the director of The Indianola Singers, The Apollo Chorus, and Cantare. He also co-directs Indianola’s Varsity Show Choir, Side One and directs the JV Show Choir, Flip Side. He and his wife are the directors of musicals at Indianola High School.

He is most known for his TikTok videos going Viral at the start of the 2022 school year. Amassing over 120 Million views in total, his videos have seemed to spark a love for choral music, musical theatre, and goofy choir teachers.

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Myles received his Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University, and his Bachelor’s from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. He directly relates his success within his classroom with his work at Michigan State, his work with Dr. Lee Nelson at Wartburg College, and his passionate high school choir director, Duane Philgreen.

Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!

Myles is a loving father and husband. He and his wife, choreographer and school counselor Haley (Rudd) Finn live in Indianola and they are proud parents to a beautiful son, Rory Lee Allen Finn. They also have three fur children, Nala, Watson, and Arlo. Follow Arlo on Instagram @arlo_seamus.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

Find Mr. Finn on TikTok

Find Mr. Finn on Insta

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Ep-124.mp3
Episode 124

Episode 124: Teaching in a Famous Classroom with Myles Finn

So, what happens when you post a video on the internet from inside your classroom and it goes viral with millions and millions of views?! It’s up to you! This happened Myles Finn and he decided to use his powers for good, creating a TikTok account with approaching SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND followers that shows life inside a high school choir room as well as a treasure trove of great instructional ideas for those of us in the profession. But, perhaps the most valuable thing is the fact that thousands of people outside of our choir bubble are being exposed to our world. This is “advocacy” in the 21st Century in its purest form. Tune in as Myles and I talk about his instructional philosophy, his warm ups, teacher burnout, and how the internet fame has changed the dynamics in his classroom.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Myles is in his fifth year as choral director at Indianola High School, in Indianola, Iowa. He is the director of The Indianola Singers, The Apollo Chorus, and Cantare. He also co-directs Indianola’s Varsity Show Choir, Side One and directs the JV Show Choir, Flip Side. He and his wife are the directors of musicals at Indianola High School.

He is most known for his TikTok videos going Viral at the start of the 2022 school year. Amassing over 120 Million views in total, his videos have seemed to spark a love for choral music, musical theatre, and goofy choir teachers.

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Myles received his Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University, and his Bachelor’s from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. He directly relates his success within his classroom with his work at Michigan State, his work with Dr. Lee Nelson at Wartburg College, and his passionate high school choir director, Duane Philgreen.

Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!

Myles is a loving father and husband. He and his wife, choreographer and school counselor Haley (Rudd) Finn live in Indianola and they are proud parents to a beautiful son, Rory Lee Allen Finn. They also have three fur children, Nala, Watson, and Arlo. Follow Arlo on Instagram @arlo_seamus.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

Find Mr. Finn on TikTok

Find Mr. Finn on Insta

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Ep-124.mp3
Episode 124

Episode 123: The Belonging Buffet

Obvious: All humans need to feel connected and have a sense of belonging. Less obvious: Teacher’s have less power to actually achieve this with all students than we think. We can WELCOME all students. But belonging has to be mutual and organic.

Hot take: not ALL students need this from their school or ALL of their teachers. It is our teacher ego that tells us that they do.

Episode 123

MANY kids do need this. But not all. Some have this need met at home, or at church or on a club sports team or community theater or music group. Sounds like the ideal system to me. We all need similar things, but the way we meet these needs must remain flexible and free.

The one thing ALL students need when they come to school is to learn the content to proficiency, or to their potential etc.

https://choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Ep-123.mp3

I think of “belonging at school,” or in my class as a buffet item. It is all you can eat and available to ALL. But if you want only a small portion, or none (in my case, if you ONLY want the music) then I respect that.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Edit/addendum: belonging cannot occur unidirectionally. It must be reciprocal. And in case anyone is picturing those cheap nasty buffets with no customer service, think instead of the bougie kind where the waiters are always walking around with sampler trays encouraging you to try things. This is no Pizza Street. This is Fogo de Chao. Also, I love my students, even the ones that take a small plate. I just offer more tomorrow.

Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Related Episode

Episode 122: The Problem of “Racializing” Music with Contraband

On this episode you will get to listen in to a portion of an episode I recently recorded for the Contraband Wagon. Contraband is a podcast that hosts exclusively conversations about race and racism. Will Fullwood, the host of the show invited me on to share some the experiences that I have had in conversations with colleagues who may be “missing the point” when they try to connect certain types of music and certain musical practices to a skin color, or the social construct that is “race.” One of those topics of course, is music literacy. Is “centering literacy” akin to “centering whiteness? or “white supremacy.” I say no, but Will and I discuss what those terms mean. We also explore the examples of Opera and its history of exclusion and racism, while ALSO remembering that it is not a “white” art form. Will’s own background as a classical and jazz musician who ALSO spends hours a week discussing race and racism make this an interesting and insightful conversation.

Chris Munce and Will Fullwood on Contraband Wagon
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Ep-122.mp3
Episode 122
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

I try to give people grace in this space because so many people are new to it.

“Contraband”
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Related Episodes

Episode 121: When Magic Happens with Chanticleer

This episode is a special first on the show. I have never gone ON LOCATION to meet an entire ensemble for a conversation before, and let me tell you… it was worth the gear haul to Lawrence, KS! GRAMMY Award winning ensemble, Chanticleer was at the Lied Center of Kansas for a performance and Master Class at KU, and was able to squeeze in some time for YOU the Choralosophy Audience. The twelve men of Chanticleer and I had a fast paced round table discussion about what it’s like to be at the Choral music mountaintop in the ensemble, about the vocal gymnastics of counter tenors, the unique space that the group occupies somewhere between “choir” and “chamber ensemble” as well as their thoughts about what it takes to create truly MAGICAL performances and moments in music making.

Chanticleer
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Ep-121.mp3
Episode 121

Meet the Singers Here!

Sign up for the Chanticleer newsletter!

Meet the Singers
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

The GRAMMY® Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer has been hailed as “the world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker, and is known around the world as “an orchestra of voices” for its wide-ranging repertoire and dazzling virtuosity.  Founded in San Francisco in 1978 by singer and musicologist Louis Botto, Chanticleer quickly took its place as one of the most prolific recording and touring ensembles in the world, selling over one million recordings and performing thousands of live concerts to audiences around the world. 

YouTube Version
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Chanticleer’s repertoire is rooted in the renaissance, and has continued to expand to include a wide range of classical, gospel, jazz, popular music, and a deep commitment to the commissioning of new compositions and arrangements. The ensemble has committed much of its vast recording catalogue to these commissions, garnering GRAMMY® Awards for its recording of Sir John Tavener’s “Lamentations & Praises”, and the ambitious collection of commissioned works entitled “Colors of Love”.  Chanticleer is the recipient of the Dale Warland/Chorus America Commissioning Award and the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming, and its Music Director Emeritus Joseph H. Jennings received the Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award for his contribution to the African-American choral tradition during his tenure with Chanticleer.  

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

Named for the “clear-singing” rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Chanticleer continues to maintain ambitious programming in its hometown of San Francisco, including a large education and outreach program that recently reached over 8,000 people, and an annual concert series that includes its legendary holiday tradition “A Chanticleer Christmas”.  

Episode 120: Jake Runestad Live in My Classroom!

In this episode, filmed in front of a “live studio audience” in the form of my students, I have the opportunity to sit down with one of our generations finest compositional voices, Jake Runestad. With the help of my students, we have a spirited conversation about the value and genesis of creativity, the special nature of the human voice as an instrument, the central importance of text in choral music as well as Jake’s advice for the next generations of composers and performers. The kids even through some surprise questions in there! I have enjoyed getting to know Jake over the last few years, and I know you will be just as impressed with the PERSON behind the music as I am.

Jake Runestad
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Ep-120.mp3
Episode 120
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Jake Runestad is an award-winning and frequently-performed composer of “highly imaginative” (Baltimore Sun) and “stirring and uplifting” (Miami Herald) musical works. He has received commissions and performances from leading ensembles and organizations such as Washington National Opera, VOCES8, the Swedish Radio Symphony, the Netherlands Radio Choir, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Seraphic Fire, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philippine Madrigal Singers, and more. “The Hope of Loving,” the first album of Jake’s music, recorded by Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare, received a 2020 GRAMMY® award nomination, and Jake’s ground-breaking choral symphony “Earth Symphony” garnered a 2022 EMMY® award nomination. Jake’s visceral music and charismatic personality have fostered a busy schedule of commissions, residencies, workshops, and speaking engagements, enabling him to be one of the youngest full-time composers in the world. Considered “one of the best of the younger American composers” (Chicago Tribune), Jake Runestad holds a Master’s degree in composition from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University where he studied with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, in addition to formative mentoring from acclaimed composer Libby Larsen. A native of Rockford, IL, Mr. Runestad is currently based in Minneapolis, MN. Find out more at: JakeRunestad.com

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!

Episode 119: Yes Middle Schoolers CAN! with Dale Duncan

In this episode I sit down with THE Middle School choir guru, Dale Duncan to talk about sweet spot for success in Middle School vocal music. Middle School Singers are often overlooked and underestimated. What they need is an educator that believes in them, and provides high quality instruction in a school that supports them. We talk about the balance between high expectations, trust building, pitch matching in puberty, motivation of middle schoolers, connection and belonging and how they all serve each other. Dale also shares a bit about what it is like to be retired, his favorite things about teaching Middle School as well as talks through some of its greatest challenges. We ranged a bit into other areas too like pre and post pandemic choral music, and education and some of the changes we have seen, as well as why years 20-30 can be the “prime years” for teachers.

Dale Duncan
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Ep-119.mp3
Episode 119
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

From Dale’s Website

I have taught middle school students for well over 20 years.  I currently teach over 340 un-auditioned choral students.  I have up to 84 students in one class by myself.  I could never have managed that as a young teacher, but along the way, I have learned several tips and tricks to help me successfully manage this age group of students in a positive learning environment.

Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!

I started my career in North Carolina where I taught for 5 years. In the beginning, I struggled enormously with classroom management.  My middle school students totally “ran over me”.  I was unstructured, inconsistent and ineffective.  I was discouraged and felt like a total failure.  I felt alone.  I thought often about quitting teaching and doing something else.  I was armed with a masters degree and absolutely no idea how to teach this age group.

I am not a quitter, so I kept going.  I observed other teachers, and slowly began to figure a couple of things out that helped me hang in there.

I continued my career in New Jersey for the next 6 years.  It was there that I saw an amazingly gifted choral educator who had created the most magnificent middle school choral program I had ever seen.  She graciously allowed me to observe her teaching a few times, and that was when things began to click for me.  I began to realize how to relate to and successfully teach this age group.  That is when my programs began to grow exponentially.

Episode 118: Leveling the Playing Field with Dr. Chantae Pittman

On this episode Dr. Chantae Pittman joins me in the ongoing conversation surrounding the philosophy of choral music education. Why are we there? What is our function? Just how critical is it that students who complete a term or more in vocal music in school are able to reach some level of music reading proficiency. Dr. Pittman outlines her daily routine in the classroom and describes how literacy fits in for her in the classroom. I have a wonderful opportunity here to bounce my ideas off of an accomplished colleague. Tune in and hear how Chantae’s band background informs her current vocal education background, and more. This episode was fun for me because I learn a lot from speaking with colleagues each week. Tune in and share that benefit!

Dr. Chantae Pittman
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Ep-118.mp3
Episode 118
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Dr. Chantae D. Pittman is the Director of Choral Activities at Campbell High School in Smyrna, GA in the Cobb County School District, and adjunct professor at Georgia College and State University. Dr. Pittman is passionate about all forms of music. She is a proud graduate of Tennessee State University having received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 2010. She has since earned a Master’s Degree in Music Education at VanderCook College University (Chicago, IL, 2013). In May 2021 Dr. Pittman graduated from The University of Georgia where she completed her Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Choral Music Education. During her 13-year career in choral music education she has taught students from elementary through high school.

Due to that experience, and her demonstrated commitment to excellence in performance, she is highly respected as a choral clinician, music education consultant, instructor, grant writer, and adjudicator. She is very active as a soprano soloist and choral musician as a member of the Grammy award winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus since 2011, and the Atlanta Women’s Chorus since 2020. Having performed with orchestras, choirs, and small vocal ensembles throughout her career as a musician, Dr. Pittman proudly continues to learn, grow, and develop as a musician and pedagogue. She is a proud and active member of the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Educators Association (NEA), Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), Sigma Alpha Iota, Professional Music Fraternity, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!

Find Dr. Pittman on Instagram

Episode 117: Finding My Voice with Benedict Sheehan

In this episode I have a chat with GRAMMY nominated conductor and composer, Benedict Sheehan of the St. Tikhon Monastery Choir. This passionate conversation begins with Benedict’s advocacy for people, like himself, who stutter. As you will hear, it is important that we remember that EVERYONE has something to say. We need only listen. We then discuss the ways the GRAMMY nominations changed his routine, his love of the Orthodox Church music tradition and how it has shaped his sound aesthetic. Finally, we approach the concept of the “composer’s voice,” and the importance of a frame of reference from which to approach the music. Tune in to hear these items and more discussed on the Choralosophy Oxford series!

Benedict Sheehan
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Ep-117.mp3
Episode 117

Composers Recommended by Benedict

Two-time GRAMMY® nominee and American Prize-winner Benedict Sheehan has been called “a choral conductor and composer to watch in the 21st century” (ConcertoNet) and “a remarkable musician” (Choral Journal). He is Artistic Director and Founder of the Saint Tikhon Choir and Artefact Ensemble, and Director of Music at St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary in Pennsylvania. His works are published by Oxford University Press and others, and his award-winning choral recordings and performances have received widespread critical acclaim.

Described as “an up-and-coming conductor” (The Oregonian), “a rising star in the choral world” (Catholic Sentinel), and as having “set the bar for Orthodox liturgical music in the English-speaking world” (Orthodox Arts Journal), composer and conductor Benedict Sheehan is Director of Music at St. Tikhon’s Seminary and Monastery in Pennsylvania, Artistic Director of professional vocal ensemble The Saint Tikhon Choir, and CEO and co-founder of the Artefact Institute, a collective of “culture creators.” Working closely with his wife Talia Maria Sheehan, a professional vocalist and visionary music educator, the Sheehans have become two of the most sought-after clinicians in Orthodox sacred music in America. Benedict has appeared frequently as a guest conductor with the professional vocal ensemble Cappella Romana, where his performances of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil had one reviewer so “emotionally overwhelmed” that she was “attempting to hold back tears” (Oregon ArtsWatch). In 2018 he was instrumental in producing the monumental world premiere of Alexander Kastalsky’s Requiem for Fallen Brothers (1917) at the Washington National Cathedral. The project culminated in a 2020 Naxos recording on which Sheehan served as a Chorus Master and an Executive Producer. Benedict is in high demand as a composer. His works have been performed by the Grammy-nominated Skylark Vocal Ensemble, the Grammy-nominated PaTRAM Institute Singers, Cappella Romana, the William Jewell Choral Scholars, Te Deum, the Pacific Youth Choir, and many others. His new work Gabriel’s Message was recorded and released in 2020 by John Rutter, Bob Chilcott, and The Oxford Choir. Skylark’s recent recording Once Upon A Time (2020) features a “story score” by Benedict which has been called “evocative” (Gramophone), “quite extraordinary” (Limelight), “brilliant” (MetroWest Daily News), and “otherworldly” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). His music is published by Oxford University Press, Artefact Publications, Musica Russica, MusicSpoke, and St. Tikhon’s Monastery Press. Benedict lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and seven daughters.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
YouTube Version
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

Episode 116: What is Our MAIN Job?

Is creating a welcoming, inclusive, fun, engaging and safe learning environment enough to be an excellent choir teacher? I say no. Is choir an activity or an academic course of study? You can get a PhD in it. It is an academic subject. In this episode, I “dialogue” with many of you who joined a fantastic collegial discussion about the soul and the future of our profession.

In a school setting, I actually think it is immoral to deprive students of a rich music literacy (reading) education, taught to proficiency.

Chris Munce

Me, “We need to teach literacy and vocal pedagogy as our core academic content. When kids feel confident in their abilities in these areas, they are more likely to enjoy choir long term and stick around. They are also more likely to feel like they belong because they know they can contribute.”

The claim

Straw man #1: “We need to obsess about sight reading, train little unfeeling machines who can read anything and have flawless techniques and sing like robots. It also does not matter if kids feel happy or like they belong in the class. If they aren’t good enough, we can just kick them out.” Y’all…Rigor and accessibility are NOT opposite sides of a coin.

Straw Man #2: “Those aren’t the only things that matter.” I didn’t say they were.

Straw Man #3: “But modern music notation is not used in all cultures, so by centering it in your curriculum, you are sending the signal that those cultures are inferior.” Well, you would have to be in my classroom to know that. And you aren’t. It is possible to make literacy a focal point, and have students still understand that it is one tool of many that are used to learn music.

And I haven’t even started talking about the neurological benefits yet… that’s where we get into moral imperative territory. In a school setting I think it’s actually immoral to deprive kids of this. I know…strong words…

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

It’s like youth sports. We could acknowledge that winning is more fun than losing. So it is important to teach kids to play the sport well so that they win more than they lose. It can be simultaneously true, that it’s not “all about winning“. There are other lessons to be learned by playing on a team. However, as the coach it would be ridiculous for me to say that the core part of my job is not teaching the fundamental skills of the game to beginning players. they learn the lessons of teamwork, and community etc. through learning the game, not separately.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Ep-116.mp3
Ep 116
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Episode 115: The A Cappella Revolution with Rob Dietz

A Cappella guru Rob Dietz joins me this week to tell his story of passion for the “Pop A Cappella” genre of ensemble vocal music. Rob is well known in this sub-genre of choral music for his work on “The Sing Off” and collaborations with groups as wide ranging as Pentatonix, to Flo Rida and Incubus. In this conversation, we explore the common threads of “A Cappella” and “Traditional” choral ensembles as well as what makes the small pop vocal groups special to Rob and the genre’s growing number of practitioners. We also discuss how choral directors, like me and many others who are NOT well versed in this style can effectively begin to expose our students to this outlet. Tune in and stay at least for the beatboxing demo! 😉

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Ep-115.mp3
Episode 115
Visit stageright.com for top of the line, affordable staging options like risers, acoustical shells and more!

Rob Dietz is a multiple CARA winning singer and vocal percussionist who has been arranging, composing, teaching, and performing contemporary a cappella music for over twenty years. Based in Los Angeles, Rob is best known for his work as an arranger and group coach for NBC’s The Sing-Off. Through his work on the show, Rob has had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the top talent in the vocal music world, including Pentatonix, Peter Hollens, The Filharmonic, Voiceplay, and many more. He has been a contributing arranger for performances by world renowned artists including Smokey Robinson, Flo Rida, Sara Bareilles, Incubus, and Pat Benatar. His arrangements have been featured on several TV shows, including America’s Got Talent (NBC), To All The Boys: P.S I Still Love You (Netflix), and Pitch Slapped (Lifetime).

Find Rob on Twitter or Insta at @rdietz55
www.sightreadingfactory.com is the best literacy tool on the market today. Enter Choralosophy at checkout to get 10% off memberships for you AND your students!

A native of Ithaca, NY, Rob got his start singing in high school as a member of the a cappella quintet, Ascending Height, with whom he wrote and produced the first ever album of all original music at the high school level. He graduated from Ithaca College in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in music and an outside field in business. While at Ithaca, Rob had the honor of directing the all male-identified group, Ithacappella, with whom he twice advanced to the finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. He was also a member of both the Ithaca College Chorus and the Ithaca College Choir -the college’s select, touring vocal ensemble.

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

As a performer, Rob is an award-winning vocal percussionist, and his distinctive sound has been featured on several TV shows, including FOX’s Glee and The Late Late Show with James Corden. Rob was the founding vocal percussionist for both The Funx and Level, groups that gave him the opportunity to work with legendary performers including Jay Leno and Demi Lovato.

Rob has a deep passion for a cappella education, and is a founding co-director (along with Ben Bram and Avi Kaplan) of A Cappella Academy. In addition to his work with Academy, Rob is also the director of Legacy: an auditioned, community youth a cappella group based in Los Angeles. Since the group’s inception, Legacy has performed twice at Carnegie Hall, and has won the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival’s Scholastic Competition, the Southwest semifinal round of the Varsity Vocals A Cappella Open, and the Finals of the International Championship of High School A Cappella at Lincoln Center. Rob is a sought after presenter and clinician who has led vocal music workshops at events such as the National A Cappella Convention and the ACDA National convention. He is the author of “A Cappella 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Contemporary A Cappella Singing” available from Hal Leonard.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.

Alongside his work in contemporary a cappella music, Rob is also an avid choral composer, with work published by Alfred Music Publishing and GIA Publications. In 2021 his piece “The Gift” received a jury commendation as part of the King’s Singers New Music Prize competition. His pieces continue to be performed by choirs from all over the world.

Mentioned in this episode

Car Thoughts: Thank you for your mistake

In this episode, I reflect on the psychology of gratitude, and on the importance of helping our students develop a healthy relationship with their own mistakes, and even flaws and weaknesses. Not because we don’t care about high achieving ensembles, but precisely for this reason.

Car Thoughts Episode
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Car-Thoughts-Gratitude-.mp3
Thank You for Your Mistake
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Episode 114: Boys Keep Singing! With Martin Ashley

A Choralosophy Oxford Series episode!

One of the most challenging aspects of being a teacher of singing is dealing with the male changing voice. Not only are we undereducated on the physiology of the issue, we are often inconsiderate of the psychology as well. In this conversation, I have called in a true expert to help us parse this out. Professor Martin Ashley is the editor-in-chief of the research journal of the Association of British Choral Directors, and has done EXTENSIVE peer reviewed work on not only the male changing voice during puberty and at all stages, but also the issue of the struggle to keep boys singing. Join us as we discuss an overview of the body and mind of the adolescent male singer, the issues that face choir directors in teaching during the change and much more.

Find Martin’s Series for Cambiata voices!

Martin Ashley
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Ep-114.mp3
Episode 114
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Martin Ashley is currently editor-in-chief of the research journal of the Association of British Choral Directors, having retired as Head of Education Research at Edge Hill University in 2013. Trained as a middle school music teacher, he worked in a variety of school settings before moving to the University of the West of England, gaining a post-doctoral fellowship for musical learning and boys’ understanding of voice. An AHRC funded collaboration with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and University of York resulted in significant outputs on “cambiata” and the adolescent male voice. He has published widely on singing during early adolescence, working with a paediatric specialist on the timing of puberty and voice change. He has published work on historical trends in puberty, Tudor pitch and the sixteenth century mean voice. His most recently published book was Singing in the Lower Secondary School for OUP and his forthcoming book is Dead Composers and Living Boys. In response to the covid pandemic, he assembled a small team of virologists and public health professionals to produce a rapid response review for ABCD and a smartphone app to monitor risk mitigation in choral singing, for which he received the Sir Charles Grove prize for outstanding contribution to the musical life of the country.

Mentioned in the episode

Car Thoughts: Back to School with No Masks and Normalizing Noise Making

Anxiety from within is normal. The belief that students can’t overcome the anxiety can often come from the teacher’s approach. It is critically important to normalize “singing without fear.”

In this car thoughts conversation, we reflect on starting the first “normal” school year in three years. This is a significant opportunity to return normalcy to our students of all levels. I also offer ideas for teachers to consider when thinking about the first days of school, as well ways to structure the first rehearsal’s priorities. How do we set up the expectations that lead to a successful school year?

Also included are ideas about back to school retreats, the CDC’s relaxation of Covid caution recommendations, and the importance of “normal.”

Make Singing Sounds with your Mouth Holes!
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Car-Thoughts-Make-Noise.mp3
Car Thoughts

It is important that your first day of school is dominated by singing.

Chris Munce
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
JD Frizzell

Everyone CAN Get an A, But Not Everyone Will

A Summer Refresher on Grading and Assessment at Alabama ACDA

This episode is in many ways, the live presentation SEQUEL to Episode 21: Everyone Can Get an A.

In music Education, we frequently lament cultural attitudes about music not being a “real class.” If we present courses without rigor, academic standards or measurable achievements, we are walking right into that criticism. However, our jobs depend on enrollment numbers, and we feel pressure to give A’s. But, there is where we run into tension. If we make the grading more rigorous, many teachers fear, then kids will quit. In my experience, this is the opposite of what happens, provided that every student regardless of “talent” can see a realistic path toward getting an A. That does NOT mean they will all make the choice to rise to that occasion, however. You know what they say about leading horses to water… Join me as I outline my philosophy on program, culture and belonging building through increased standards and rigor. We have confused “rigor” with “talent” and “accessibility.”

Tune in for a presentation either audio or video complete with rubrics, grading practices, writing curriculum, grading on growth, setting individual goals for students and much more. For the FULL presentation, slides and ad free video, visit the Patreon.

Everyone Can Get An A, But Not Everyone Will
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Everyone-Can-Get-an-A.mp3
Grading and Assessement

Past Grading and Assessment Episodes

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Episode 113: Are We Doing Anti-Racism Wrong? with Dr. Sheena Mason

*Racism* is the social construction that necessitates our continued & (mostly) blind belief in & upholding of “race” ideology & its correlated languages/practices. We just continue to fool ourselves into thinking that “race” is *just* “skin color,” phenotype, DNA, or culture.

Dr. Sheena Mason

With the rise of anti-racist discourse and initiatives, many people are unintentionally promoting racist ideas and missing opportunities to identify and celebrate functional diversity, or diversity of thought over perceived diversity based largely on phenotype and social constructions. Dr. Sheena Mason earned her PhD from Howard University. She is now at SUNY Oneonta in Oneonta, NY, as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in African American literature. Dr. Mason has been thinking about and working on ways to discuss race and racism in a way that she believes can move us in the right direction as a human race. Sheena and I discuss the ways these ideas could be the next evolution of race deconstruction in education and in culture. We also discuss how this can be accomplished WITHOUT ignoring the injustice that has flown from the belief in race.

Dr. Sheena Mason

The core tenets of the Theory of Racelessness are as follows:

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Ep-113.mp3
Episode 113

While not rooted in biology or science, she explains how the concept of race continues to be naturalized and viewed as something “of nature.” The camouflaging of racism as race remains, in large part, why many people and institutions have failed to partially, entirely, or meaningfully address racism even when actively participating in anti-racist efforts. Once liberated from race(ism), you will feel lighter, uplifted, seen, and valued.

Signs that Some Race Activism May be Misguided (If the shoe fits)

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Theory of Racelessness educates organizations & institutions on how racism masquerades as race in society.

PREORDER THE BOOK

Dr. Sheena Mason earned her Ph.D. in English literature “with distinction” in May 2021 from Howard University. She joined the faculty at SUNY Oneonta in Oneonta, NY, in August 2021, as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in African American literature. She has taught at the College of William and Mary, California Lutheran University, and Howard University. Her book titled Theory of Racelessness: A Case for Philosophies of Antirace(ism) is scheduled to be released by Palgrave Macmillan on September 23, 2022. Additionally, she co-authored “Harlem Renaissance: An Interpretation of Racialized Art and Ethics,” a chapter of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Art examining what, if anything, is the proper role of race in the aesthetic productions of or about members of racialized populations.

Dr. Mason works actively to improve and free our language and, therefore, our thoughts. In “No Malcolm X in My History Text” (2018), she examines the iterations of the folklore figure Staggerlee, the figure’s relation to the public sphere, and racism. Ultimately, she concludes that Staggerlee persists in the American imagination and is a simultaneously and paradoxically subversive and stereotypical figure, highlighting the pervasiveness of racism and society’s response to racism. In her scholarship, Dr. Mason consistently and unwaveringly works to promote anti-racism through her publications and teaching.

Vist Dr. Mason on YouTube

Episode 112: Arts of Personhood and Shining Eyes

LIVE at Alabama ACDA

“Who am I being that my children’s eyes are not shining?”

Benjamin Zander

This week I had the honor and privilege visiting with ACDA members in Alabama at their state Conference. We must turn the mirror on ourselves to ensure that we are WORTHY to stand in front of our students. After all, we have some level of control over whether or not we are a part of their school. They have almost none. So I say, it’s on ME to make sure that their experience in my class is enriching, engaging and life affirming. In this discussion, we will discuss the importance of the teacher’s “mind, body and spirit” health. We also discuss the concepts of Anti-Fragility, and Cognitive Distortions that lead to unhappiness and professional ineffectiveness, as well as the wisdom of “The First Days of School” by Harry Wong. This is a jam packed hour full of challenges and ideas for you to consider before you begin your school year. The slides for this presentation are available on Patreon.

Chris Munce at Alabama ACDA
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Ep-112.mp3
Episode 112
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
YouTube Version

Ep 111: The Righteous Musician with Reena Esmail

True diversity is the varied life experiences and cultural upbringings that lead us to our widely disparate moral “palettes.” As we gather together in classrooms, ensembles, businesses and organizations we talk a good diversity game. But rarely do we attempt to measure these things in our diversity matrix. This episode is a “Choralosophy Book Club” discussion about a book that gives us the tools to do just that.

Reena Esmail

Reena Esmail returns to the show to discuss the book “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion” by Psychologist Jonathan Haidt. If you are interested in how YOUR mind brings you to your decisions about right and wrong, about good and evil and much more, then this book and this conversation is for you. Western philosophy has emphasized reason and logic over emotions for thousands of years. This tendency still prevails, but a growing body of research proves that emotions should no longer be regarded as secondary to logic.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Ep-111.mp3
Episode 111

Moral judgments arise from our intuitions because humans are fundamentally intuitive, not rational. In addition, the reasoning that follows our intuitions does not work like a judge, guiding us to sober moral wisdom. It works more like a lawyer, justifying our moral judgments to others and ourselves, supporting our reputation and our self-interest.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

If you want to persuade others, appeal to their sentiments.

If you want to win a moral argument, never say “you’re wrong.” You can never win someone over to your principles through purely rational arguments. Instead, if you want to persuade the other person, first of all smile and be a good listener. THIS is being an effective ensemble member, teacher and EVEN the path forward for more effective political activism. But it only works if you are genuinely able to hold the possibility that it could have been YOU that was wrong all along. Or, that there was never a “right” answer to be found anyway.

Discussed at the end of the episode.

Indian-American composer Reena Esmail works between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music, and brings communities together through the creation of equitable musical spaces. 

Esmail’s work has been commissioned by ensembles including the Los Angeles Master Chorale,  Kronos QuartetImani WindsRichmond Symphony, Town Music Seattle,  Albany Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta,  River Oaks Chamber OrchestraSan Francisco Girls ChorusThe Elora FestivalJuilliard415, and Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Upcoming seasons include new work for Seattle SymphonyBaltimore Symphony OrchestraSanta Fe Desert ChoraleAmherst College Choir and OrchestraSanta Fe Pro Musica, and Conspirare.

Esmail is the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s 2020-2023 Swan Family Artist in Residence, and Seattle Symphony’s 2020-21 Composer-in-Residence.  Previously, she was named a 2019 United States Artist Fellow in Music, and the 2019 Grand Prize Winner of the S & R Foundation’s Washington Award.  Esmail was also a 2017-18 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow. She was the 2012 Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (and subsequent publication of a work by C.F. Peters)

Esmail holds degrees in composition from The Juilliard School (BM’05) and the Yale School of Music (MM’11, MMA’14, DMA’18). Her primary teachers have included Susan BottiAaron Jay KernisChristopher Theofanidis and Martin BresnickChristopher Rouse and Samuel Adler. She received a Fulbright-Nehru grant to study Hindustani music in India. Her Hindustani music teachers include Srimati Lakshmi Shankar and Gaurav Mazundar, and she currently studies and collaborates with Saili Oak. Her doctoral thesis, entitled Finding Common Ground: Uniting Practices in Hindustani and Western Art Musicians explores the methods and challenges of the collaborative process between Hindustani musicians and Western composers.

Episode 110: Creating Laboratories for Friction with Mónica Guzmán

Mónica Guzmán

Classrooms have become ground zero for the problem of political polarization. What is being taught, who is teaching it, how it’s being taught, how it is funded, etc. Are we teaching Critical Race Theory, or are we not? Should we be? If the Roe v. Wade case comes up, what is the teacher’s posture? These and many questions have become a toxic political football. The problem of this polarization impacts the classroom in a unique way largely because many people on all sides of political conversations do not want their children caught in the middle. As a result, I believe that teachers are morally bound to model curiosity, radical inclusivity of viewpoints, as well as the respect that most easily comes from “trying on each other’s shoes.”

Sadly though, our politicians, teachers unions and professional organizations don’t model this. We are swimming in almost an entirely politically homogeneous pool within the education profession. The problem is that our students AREN’T. It’s time for us to share the pool. I am joined in this talk by author and journalist, and recent TED Talker Mónica Guzmán to discuss why most of our assumptions about the beliefs of others are probably wrong.

We are so divided, we are blinded. Opening our eyes means being less certain, more courageous, and a LOT more curious about the views we don’t want to see.

Mónica Guzmán

A “laboratory for friction” is a term Mónica uses to describe the ideal classroom in which the educator has made the radically inclusive decision to intentionally create a space in which students are able to learn from each other through open dialogue and the safety to be the only dissenting voice.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Ep-110.mp3
Episode 110
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Mónica Guzmán, author of “I Never Thought of It That Way,” is a bridge builder, journalist, and entrepreneur who lives for great conversations sparked by curious questions. She’s director of digital and storytelling at Braver Angels, the nation’s largest cross-partisan grassroots organization working to depolarize America; host of live interview series at Crosscut; and cofounder of the award-winning Seattle newsletter The Evergrey. She was a 2019 fellow at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, where she studied social and political division, and a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, where she researched how journalists can rethink their roles to better meet the needs of a participatory public. She was named one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle, served twice as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes, and plays a barbarian named Shadrack in her besties’ Dungeons & Dragons campaign. A Mexican immigrant, Latina, and dual US/Mexico citizen, she lives in Seattle with her husband and two kids and is the proud liberal daughter of conservative parents.

Sign up for a one year membership today and get a month free!
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

https://www.instagram.com/moniguzman

https://www.facebook.com/reclaimcuriosity

Two Other Episodes Related to Political Polarization in Education

Episode 109: Doing the Business of Choir with Alex Gartner

Do you think of yourself as a “choir leading business person?” I am going to guess that most of you don’t, and I’m going to suggest that maybe you should. There are aspects of leading any type of choral program that require business acumen in order to excel. This makes many of us bristle as artists because we love to stay wrapped up in the emotional and in the art. But the reality is that we often have to call upon skills that our training programs didn’t prepare us with. They didn’t teach us tax law, or marketing or accounting, but we have to develop these skills or our programs fall apart. So I had a conversation with Alex Gartner about that very thing. Tune in as we discuss the business of doing choir.

Alex Gartner

Find the Book!

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Ep-109.mp3
Episode 109
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Sign up for a one year membership today and get a month free!
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Alex Gartner serves as the Artistic & Executive Director of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus in Pensacola, FL. Under his leadership, the organization has grown to impact nearly 25,000 individuals throughout Northwest Florida, including over 5,000 youth, through innovative programs, performances, and organizational practices. He also serves the American Choral Directors Association as the Children’s and Youth R&R Coordinator for the Southern Region, is an all-state coordinator for the Florida Music Education Association, and previously served on the national arts education council with Americans for the Arts. An active clinician, guest conductor, and composer, his arrangements are available through many reputable publishers. Check out his latest work on social media or at www.AlexGartner.com.

Episode 134: The A Cappella Connection with Deke Sharon

When you perform, it’s your job to go out there and save a life. Deke Sharon This week, I welcome the “Father of Contemporary A Cappella,” Deke Sharon onto the show. We discuss the origins of the modern “A Cappella” genre as well as the “family tree” of other types of A Cappella vocal music…

Car Thoughts: Student Led Sectionals

“Whoever is doing the talking is doing the learning.” Jen York-Barr In this special car thoughts I will not only DESCRIBE how I use sectionals in rehearsal, I will show you! (Video recommended) I am a big believer in student ownership, and there are few better ways to accomplish this than building a culture of…

Episode 133: Should We Pay Student Teachers? With Dr. Tina Beveridge

Is student teaching a “class?” or a “job?” Does this practice need a revamp in the face of the current teacher shortage? In this episode, I invited Tina Beveridge on to hash out a disagreement. A few months ago, I created a TikTok expressing my opinion that student teachers don’t “deserve” a paycheck. Mostly based…

Episode 108: Dropping the Covid Ball with Dr. Nikki Johnson

The Return of Covid Conversations!

Sadly, many of us in education have lived at the epicenter of the Covid Wars. Possibly the biggest political football during the pandemic has been what to do with the kids, and what to do with schools. For those of us in choral music, we lived at that intersection along with a hysteria created at first by our very own professional organizations. This contributed to a perfect storm of lost positions, cut programs, recruiting problems and a laundry list of misplaced apprehensions about singing. Facts that I am still not sure we have all come to terms with. Of course, it is important to remember that in this cross fire were students and community members displaced from life affirming and often life saving educational and humanizing opportunities. While it is always reasonable to weigh new risks against old norms, it is not reasonable to present our preferred policies as if they have no downsides worthy of heavy consideration. In this episode I speak with Pediatrician, and Covid Policy Advocate Dr. Nikki Johnson about the “Harm Reduction” approach to Covid Policy, the political blinders we all wore or still wear, and many errors in reasoning to which this contributed. One of the big errors singers have made is the role masks play in our safety.

Dr. Nikki Johnson

We also discuss the difference between a high quality signers mask designed to STAY ON while you sing… (Like the new Resonance 95 from MyMusicFolders.com Don’t forget to use your promo code!) and just wearing any old mask for any amount of time, flopping your jaw around willy nilly. Finally, we do a bit of prognosticating about ways to process in a more healthy way in the next wave.

A look back to this audience’s appeal to ACDA about Covid Messaging signed by over 250 colleagues.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Ep-108.mp3
Episode 108

A rational approach to Covid policy for our schools and institutions is forward looking, measured and responsive to the most recent information and community health outcomes.

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Sign up for a one year membership today and get a month free!

Materials Referenced in the Episode

NYT Article Mentioned RE Mask effectiveness vs. Mask POLICY

The US was an outlier on School Closures

Early in the Pandemic, Europe Was Much Quicker to Get Kids Back to School

Urgency of Normal Toolkit

Episode 132: Learned Helplessness with Christine Sefein

Is it possible that the over-politicization of classroom education could be contributing in some way to the epidemic of mental health problems amongst teens and young adults? Clinical Psychologist, and child of Egyptian immigrants, Christine Sefein thinks we should not ignore this possibility. The modern vogue for activism that kids are learning focuses on the…

Year in Review! Top Episodes of 2022

2022 was an exciting year on this show! The first solid year of weekly episodes, a wide range of topics. (Only ONE Covid episode, thank God.) We saw lots of growth in the audience, exciting LIVE recordings, and so much more. In this episode, I have curated some of my favorite moments from YOUR 10…

Episode 131: Going Beyond Good Intentions with Robyn Hilger

In part two of my conversation with ACDA Executive Director Robyn Hilger, we pick up right where we left off last week in Episode 130. I begin by asking Robyn about the ACDA national conventions session line up. We discuss what is there, and what is missing. We move from there into a deep discussion…

Episode 107: Retention Matters MORE than Recruitment

Episode 107

Straight out of the archives! Most of my live presentations are reserved for Patreon Subscribers, but I felt so strongly about the ideas in this presentation, I decided to air it out for everybody. It is my belief that when we talk about building choral programs, or any program for that matter, we do WAY too much playing from behind and not enough building for the long haul. Are the numbers too low? Then surely we have to recruit! Well, we do, but if we are focused every year, every day on RETENTION, then we are saving for a rainy day. We become squirrels storing the nuts.

So, what are the The Missing Elements?

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Ep-107.mp3
Episode 107
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
YouTube Version

Episode 106: If Every One Agrees, We Can’t Have the “Difficult Conversations” with Micah Horton

Many people think they are speaking truth to power, but they are really just preaching to the choir. This episode deals with the role of political discourse in the lives of all citizens, and educators in particular. The future of education is hanging in the balance right now as I see it, based on the highly charged political rhetoric related to public or state school governance, as well how these issues intersect with “the culture wars.” We can’t afford to oversimplify, or “Meme-ify” issues of Educational Equity, and access for students to high quality education. Micah Horton came in person to the studio, which always makes for an easier conversation. Often times, we buy in to the incentives of social media and signal our positions, rather than actually engaging in conversations about solutions. And sadly, the next generation sees our refusal to engage, and may be modeling it.

Micah Horton
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Ep-106.mp3
Episode 106

Micah Horton is the director of choirs at Olathe North High School and serves as the Director of Worship Music at Second Presbyterian Church in Kansas City. Micah holds a Masters of Music Education from the UMKC Conservatory, where his research focused on Demographics & Perceptions of Racial Diversity in Middle & High School Choir Programs. He also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Music Composition and Psychology from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. As a performer, he has been featured at state & national conventions, and has appeared on numerous recordings as both a vocalist and instrumentalist. He frequently gigs & accompanies on guitar, electric bass, and mandolin. Micah currently sings tenor with Te Deum and with the Tallgrass Chamber Choir. He has served on numerous building, regional, and state-level committees relating to DEI, teacher retention, and choral literature selection/performance practice. From 2017-19, Micah served as the Resource Chair for Multicultural Perspectives for the Missouri Choral Directors Association, and was the 2021 Prelude Award recipient for MCDA. He is a New Jersey native, proud husband & father, and a Philadelphia sports fan.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Episode 130: The Value of an Outsider with Robyn Hilger

The American Choral Directors Association is the largest organization of choral musicians in the world. ACDA sets the tone and direction of choral music in the US and has a major impact on the global choral music community as well. The newly appointed Executive Director of the organization, Robyn Hilger seeks to usher in a…

Episode 129: Channeling Emotional Contagion with Dr. Gary Seighman

There is an often felt, but rarely quantified sense within ensemble music experiences that something truly MAGICAL is happening that changes us profoundly. However, recentscientific discoveries (link to sources below) are adding a more concrete validity to that which experienced musicians already intuitively know. Studies that reveal the physiological and psychological processes of cooperative effort,…

Episode 105: Work Less Hard, Have Better Choirs

Sound too good to be true?

Well, it is if you are thinking that there is a quick and easy pill to swallow in order to get to that next level in your career. You know, the one where you simply, issue wisdom, wave your arms, say inspirational things, and the choir just SINGS! In reality, we all dream of this, but getting there isn’t easy. That’s why I can’t pull the trigger on selling the “Choralosophy Method” even though many have asked for it. I just don’t know if that would be ethical. Because fundamentally, we master our craft one tiny victory and defeat at a time. I truly believe that finding your groove in the classroom has more to do with the work you do on you than the method that you choose. It is the refinement and reinvention of our philosophies and practices that can make each year better than the one before.

In this episode, I will attempt to distill down what could be called the “Choralosophy Method” if I were to choose to sell it…and then let you listen for free. All of the episodes mentioned are linked below.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Ep-105.mp3
Episode 105
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Watch on YouTube

Episode 104: Don’t Abandon the Canon! With Dr. Anika Prather

Dr. Anika Prather

Like many topics in education, we have strains of the same philosophical divides in music education as we do in other areas of education. This week, my guest Dr. Anika Prather is the perfect person to address and offer a bridge to one of those divides. She has a background in both Music Education as well as Theater and Literature. In this episode we discuss educational philosophy related to the “Western Canon” in both literature and in music. Trying to make sense of the various approaches that range from “Classical Education” to the “Decolonize the Classroom” movement. The discussion centers around the idea that both extremes when taken as wholly sufficient philosophies miss some very important aspects of history. Maybe a hybrid approach is needed.

“If we are properly decolonizing education, it should change HOW we teach, not WHAT we teach.”

Dr. Anika Prather

No teacher can teach ALL of the repertoire from all of the cultures, and we shouldn’t lose sleep over it. What matters is that we instill curiosity in our students to go out beyond our classrooms and seek more.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Ep-104.mp3
Episode 104
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Dr. Anika T. Prather earned her B.A. from Howard University in elementary education.  She also has earned several graduate degrees in education from New York University and Howard University.  She has a Masters in liberal arts from St. John’s College (Annapolis) and a PhD in English, Theatre and Literacy Education from the University of Maryland (College Park).  Her research focus is on building literacy with African American students through engagement in the books of the Canon and self-published her book Living in the Constellation of the Canon: The Lived Experiences of African American Students Reading Great Books Literature recently.  She has served as a teacher, supervisor for student teachers, director of education and Head of School.  Currently she teaches in the Classics department at Howard University and is the founder of The Living Water School, located in Southern Maryland.  The Living Water School is a unique Christian school for independent learners, based on the educational philosophies of Classical Education and the Sudbury Model.  She is married to Damon M. Prather an engineer and has an MBA (Wisconsin-Madison). He also serves as the financial manager of the school.   She and her husband Damon, have three young children, and they reside in the DC metropolitan area.

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

Anika is also a performing artist and incorporates, music, drama and storytelling into most of her presentations. She has produced and written the songs for her 2 jazz albums and her music can be heard at https://soundcloud.com/anika_tene .

Visit Dr. Prather’s YouTube channel
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

Episode 103: Finding My Voice with Brittney E. Boykin

In Collaboration with Oxford University Press to Bring You Great Conversations

B.E. Boykin

In the next edition of the Oxford Series, I am excited to bring you a new voice in their catalog, Brittney E. Boykin. I had an open and refreshing conversation with her about her journey through the choral world as a conductor, teacher and then composer. Navigating life in the choral world as a Black Woman, cultural sharing vs. appropriation, the sea-change that was 2020, work-life balance and more. “When I think of diversity within the classical music world, there is diversity within sound, within ensembles, within colors.” – BE Boykin

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Ep-103.mp3
Episode 103

Find Brittney on Graphite Publishing

When I think of diversity within the classical music world, there is diversity within sound, within ensembles, within colors.

B.E. Boykin

Find Brittney’s Publishing Company, Klavia Press

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com

B.E. (Brittney Elizabeth) Boykin is a native of Alexandria, Virginia and comes from a musical family. At the age of 7, she began piano lessons and continued her studies through high school under the tutelage of Mrs. Alma Sanford. Mrs. Sanford guided her through various competitions, such as the NAACP’s ACT-SO competition where she garnered 1st place for 3 consecutive years in the local competition, as well as being awarded The Washington Post “Music and Dance Award” in the spring of 2007.”

Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

Boykin then pursued her classical piano studies at Spelman College under the leadership of Dr. Rachel Chung. After graduating Spelman College in 2011 with a B.A. in Music, Boykin continued her studies at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. During her time at Westminster, she was awarded the R and R Young Composition Prize just a few months shy of graduating with her M.M. in Sacred Music with a concentration in choral studies in May, 2013.

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Boykin’s choral piece, “We Sing as One,” was commissioned to celebrate Spelman College’s 133rd Anniversary of its founding at the 2014 Founders Day Convocation. She has also been featured as the conductor/composer-in-residence for the 2017 Harry T. Burleigh Commemorative Spiritual Festival at Tennessee State University. Boykin has been commissioned and collaborated with several organizations, including a number of ACDA divisions, the Minnesota Opera and the Kennedy Center. She obtained her PhD from Georgia State University with an emphasis in Music Education and is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Episode 125: Making the Case for Choir with Tom Metzger

Advocacy Episode! Our jobs as music educators, sadly, MUST include the ability to persuasively and passionately make the case in our communities that group singing opportunities are crucial. That includes keeping choirs in our churches and in our schools and community organizations. It includes having conversations with local leaders, fundraising and more. But, what makes…

Episode 102: Belonging Isn’t Top-Down

A hybrid episode! We run the risk of oversimplifying educational concepts, packaging them in seminars and professional development sessions for sale, and actually HARMING students. Or at least not helping them. Educational theories often carry precious little evidence, but we as educators frequently feel ill equipped to question them. Often times these oversimplifications are simply Utopian visions of education. One of the buzzwords that gets this treatment in my view is “Belonging.” I have been reading a book called “Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity” by Cobb and Krownapple. In that journey, as well as in my conversations on the show, in real life, and online it has become clear to me that there are many questions still to be ASKED about this topic before we can even begin to have enough hubris to think we can answer it.

Chris Munce
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Ep-102.mp3
Episode 102

This episode started out as a car thoughts episode, which I extended with a walkthrough of two graphics that I see as questionable from the book.

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com
Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

Episode 124: Teaching in a Famous Classroom with Myles Finn

So, what happens when you post a video on the internet from inside your classroom and it goes viral with millions and millions of views?! It’s up to you! This happened Myles Finn and he decided to use his powers for good, creating a TikTok account with approaching SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND followers that shows life…

Episode 124: Teaching in a Famous Classroom with Myles Finn

So, what happens when you post a video on the internet from inside your classroom and it goes viral with millions and millions of views?! It’s up to you! This happened Myles Finn and he decided to use his powers for good, creating a TikTok account with approaching SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND followers that shows life…

Episode 123: The Belonging Buffet

Obvious: All humans need to feel connected and have a sense of belonging. Less obvious: Teacher’s have less power to actually achieve this with all students than we think. We can WELCOME all students. But belonging has to be mutual and organic. Hot take: not ALL students need this from their school or ALL of…

Episode 101: The Science of Program Building with Dr. Seth Pendergast

Dr. Seth Pendergast of Colorado State University joins me to dig through the critical aspects of recruiting and retention. As we are (hopefully) coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, my sense is that many K-12 choral music educators are looking to grow or rebuild their choral programs. The pandemic often limited singing and many choral music educators may have lost students over the past two years as they were limited in their vocal activities. We now enter a time where we have the opportunity to rethink our programs and their priorities. This also means that we have a high stakes need to get it RIGHT. The reasons that students engage in school music programs, or don’t is very complicated and nuanced. It’s more than having a donut party, and letting them sing their favorite music. We also need to explore and be creative with what music programs can look like in different TYPES of school environments. What does one research based approach say about this topic?

Dr. Seth Pendergast

Read Dr. Pendergast’s NAFME Article

Seth Pendergast is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at Colorado State University where he teaches courses in vocal music education, creativity and technology, graduate music education courses, and choral ensembles. He studies motivation and participation in the music classroom and his most recent scholarship includes publications in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, Choral Journal, and Update: Applications of Research in Music Education. In addition to his work as a teacher/scholar, Seth is an active clinician, conductor, and adjudicator. He completed his Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of Utah in 2018.

“The person doing the thinking is the person doing the learning.”

Alice Keeler
https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Ep-101.mp3
Episode 101

Find Seth on Twitter

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.
The best sight singing tool on the market. A must have for any band/choir or orchestra teacher and their students. In class and at home tools to build their literacy at their own pace. Enter “choralosophy” at checkout to get 10% off every time you renew at http://www.sightreadingfactory.com
Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Episode 121: When Magic Happens with Chanticleer

The twelve men of Chanticleer and I had a fast paced round table discussion about what it’s like to be at the Choral music mountaintop in the ensemble, about the vocal gymnastics of counter tenors, the unique space that the group occupies somewhere between “choir” and “chamber ensemble” as well as their thoughts about what…

Episode 120: Jake Runestad Live in My Classroom!

In this episode, filmed in front of a “live studio audience” in the form of my students, I have the opportunity to sit down with one of our generations finest compositional voices, Jake Runestad. With the help of my students, we have a spirited conversation about the value and genesis of creativity, the special nature…

Episode 100: Sing Softer, You’re Off Key with Beth Munce

This episode is a milestone. The 100th full length episode of the podcast. Since my wife Beth was the FIRST guest on the show, I thought it would be good to go full circle, and bring her on again!

Being a music teacher is an important job. It is, or should be about SO MUCH more than the “collection and curation of musicians who are already good.” But how often is that our quickest route to career success? In this episode Beth and I take the gloves off and dive into the topic of the ways in which choir directors of all levels, with all of the best intentions, can often say or do things that either do not help singers become better, or even make the singer worse. “Raise the soft palette” when the problem is actually tongue tension. “Blend!
when the result is actually just removing resonance so you can no longer hear the problem. “Open your mouth to the size of the 3 Oreos” when every mouth is a different size, and much more.

Beth Munce

We also go a bit hard on the problems with ranking, or rating competitions for beginning singers. The systems, often governed by the same organization that governs basketball games in many places, can actually disincentivize quality feedback for singers.

https://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/choralosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Ep-100.mp3
Episode 100

The Unique Nature of Singing by Beth Munce

Enter Choralosophy at checkout for a 10% Discount. Own your own site license with each PDF purchased. Print as many as you need!

While many of my singing and teaching of singing philosophies and approaches have shifted or changed…some I would completely redo differently if I had the chance…one that hasn’t (and this is a hill that I will die on) is that there is a place in music for EVERYONE.

Sorry Trevor

The unique nature of singing is that 1) we all have a different instrument: everyone’s lung capacity, torso length, pharyngeal shape, tongue size, etc…are all different!! So there is not a one size fits all approach to singing. It is different for everyone. And everyone learns differently! Add that into the mix. Plus every person has to learn how to coordinate their muscles, where to feel resonance, how to learn to resonate effectively and efficiently, and how to adjust this approach when their bodies and hormones are changing. It’s a lot! Plus, 2) unlike starting piano or band where the first time you pick up an instrument is with your teacher (where they can tell you “put this hand here, this finger here…”) in choir, EVERY kid has prior experience in singing/phonation whether that be with the radio, with mom, in another choir, etc…some of these habits are good, some detrimental (don’t get me started on some of the bad singing examples on the radio!). The point being, you are having to redirect those already insulated neural pathways. Retrain those muscles. And this takes time and concerted effort. Some kids give up and don’t want to put forth the effort. I tell my students that learning to sing is like you are renovating a home as opposed to building one from scratch. And some houses need more work than others! 

Enter Choralosophy at Checkout for a 5% discount when you shop for folders, robes and other gear for your choir program! www.mymusicfolders.com and www.mychoirrobes.com

Some of my proudest moments in teaching have been the kid whose mom thought he was “tone deaf” and he ended up being able to perform a solo successfully and make concert choir to be with his buddies…the girl who was the only one of her peers who auditioned for an honor choir her sophomore year and didn’t make it, who went on to make All-State choir her senior year…the boy who was so awkward and shy and could barely make a peep who went on to get a full ride scholarship in vocal performance and has had an active adult performance career. Those stories of hard work and perseverance are my favorite. The kid that didn’t think they could or was the underdog who worked their butt off and ended up excelling!!

Receive 10% Discount on your orders at http://www.graphitepublishing.com where you will find the works of Jocelyn Hagen, Eric Barnum, Timothy C. Takach,
Paul Rudoi and MANY more.