Ok, I was never labeled a chorus teacher, never a natural singer, BUT I expect a lot out of my students and try to be the best educator I can be for them. This year I had a mission that was driven by students prodding me last year to start one, and that was a chorus. The programs at the schools I work at had died out due to over scheduling and the retirement of the previous teacher. I had missed directing ensembles so much that when students came to ask me about one I readily agreed to fight tooth and nail for it this year. Luckily my administrators as very supportive of the arts agreeing quickly to the start of the programs. One just started this week and runs during the recess and the other has been going for 6 weeks after school. None of the 100 total students I have now have ever been in chorus until I arrived, now my after school chorus is beginning to read chorus music, run rehearsals like clockwork and sounding wicked awesome and my recess chorus after their first rehearsal is excited and ready to work hard. Didn’t think a few years ago I’d be brave enough to do this but seeing the progress made, the dedication my students have to these groups, and the genuine smiles on their face I can’t help but well up with pride. With the help of my supportive school community these students have a new opportunity to experience the wonders of music outside of the general music classroom. I’m not looking for them to be perfect, they’re only in elementary school! All I ask is they practice, try their best, and have a good time…holey heck..I’ve got a chorus!
Congratulations! I get very sad sometimes because it seems the only people who sing anymore are those who are paid to do so. I had a wonderful after-school honor chorus in my last school. I did have a maximum number that I would take, but anyone in the 5th grade who wanted to be in was in. Then I went to 4th, then 3rd. The younger kids knew that they could be in the choir the next year. We sang at the mall at Christmas, at the nursing home, plus concerts. Keep them singing!
Wishing you a song in your heart,
CONGRATULATIONS!! I don’t have the experience of starting a choral program from scratch, so I am looking forward to reading more of your updates about your progress and the kids! They are lucky to have someone that is willing to fight for them like you are! 🙂