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Contributors: Sandra Babb, Bronwen Fox, Talia Greenberg, Stuart Chapman Hill, Tara Sievers-Hunt, Michele Kaschub, Mary Copland, Kennedy Chi-hin Leung, Tom Lopez, Wendy Northrup, Stephen A. Paparo, Sarah Price, Carlos Xavier Rodriguez, Julia Shaw, Philip Silvey, Janice Smith, Brent C. Talbot, Raymond Wise, Paulina Wai-Ying Wong.
By seeking to open the act of composing to students of all ages, colors, classes, and backgrounds, Strand and Kerchner seek to demystify the act of composition itself. . . . The chorus is the ideal place to affect this kind of change.
From the Foreword
Musicianship: Composing in Choir is a pioneering and practical answer to one of the great music education mysteries: how to effectively bring music composition to the choir room at all levels, in alignment with the National Core Arts Standards. Written and edited by Jody Kerchner and Katherine Strand together with a team of 18 nationally recognized teachers, researchers, and musicians, this book is truly a landmark publication.
Central to this book are engaging project-based activities for individuals, small groups, and full ensembles. The authors’ goal is to provide singers with exciting new tools for exploring music. By promoting comprehensive choral musicianship, teachers will celebrate their students’ creativity, and their own.
Section 1, Principles and Foundations, provides a rationale for the critical importance of including composition in the choral classroom, pedagogical principles upon which to base composition activities, and practical examples that can be taken directly from the page into the classroom.
Section 2, Looking in on Composing in Choir, shares the latest the latest in practices and research related to teaching arranging and composing at a variety of levels and choral styles, with practical ideas suitable for a wide range of choral programs, student ages, ability levels, and interests.
Section 3, Composition Projects for Choir, includes lesson plans with goals, outcomes, and procedures for page-to-classroom activities. Examples include composing ostinatos, rounds, partner songs, and songs over a bass line, lessons on arranging, leveraging technology, and using composition to teach sight singing. These lessons are a gold mine of ideas for choral educators and students alike. Every lesson has been “test-driven” with diverse student populations.
Ultimately, Kerchner, Strand, and their team show that composing and arranging are not superhuman gifts, activities, or experiences that need to occur in solitude: Creativity and composition should be for everyone. With Musicianship: Composing in Choir, teachers and their students have access to tools and ideas that have the potential to transform their music making.
Jody L. Kerchner is Professor & Director of Music Education at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she is the secondary-school music and choral music education specialist. She is also founder and conductor of the Oberlin College Women’s Chorale and the Oberlin Music at Grafton Prison Choir. Her research interests include music listening, choral pedagogy, reflective praxis, empathetic leadership, and music teacher preparation.
Katherine Strand is Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Education Department in the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she teaches classes in participatory music practices, curriculum, and qualitative research methods. She taught K–12 choral and general music in rural and urban settings and served as choral director for the Virginia Governor’s School for the Visual and Performing Arts and Humanities. Her research interests include teaching for creativity, multicultural music pedagogy, and curriculum.
Clint Randles, Series Editor, is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at the University of South Florida School of Music in Tampa, Florida.