August 2012 | Southwestern Musician

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VOCAL NOTES IMPORTANT DATES August—Renew your TMEA membership and preregister for the 2013 convention. August—Attend your fall Region meeting (see page 2 for details). August 20—Liability insurance through TMEA expires. October 2—Convention housing opens. December 31—TMEA convention mail/fax preregistration deadline. January 24—TMEA convention online preregistration deadline. February 13–16, 2013—TMEA Clinic/ Convention in San Antonio.

Practical matters B Y


O V E R S T R E E T - G O O D E


s choir directors, our first focus is on the rehearsal— what music we have selected for our choirs, what sightreading and theory components we are studying, and how we are pacing our rehearsals. As busy as we all are, what can we do to make our lives easier in that rehearsal setting and on a daily basis? The following are some practical suggestions for the beginning of the school year that I hope will be beneficial: Websites: If you are computer savvy (or if you have a student or parent who is), establish a choir website that contains everything anyone could ever want to know about your program—handbooks (rules, expectations, grading policies, attendance policies), maps, calendars, audition information, order forms, and more. For ideas, visit websites created by colleagues across the state. Handbooks: Whether you make a handbook available online or as a hard copy, have the student and parent sign an acknowledgement form stating they have received a copy of your policies and procedures. This can be useful if a conflict occurs during the year. (Examples of music program handbooks are on the TMEA website in the Music Teacher Toolkit under the Resources section.) Preview concert: Get your students singing the first day of school (every other class will be passing out paperwork and doing other boring things). Perform a concert during the first two to three weeks of school. This is an opportunity to present your choirs to the parents as well as to collect forms and money and answer questions. Warm-up CDs: Record a CD of your typical daily warm-ups and have this available anytime you are absent from school. Make copies for pre-Area and Area candidates to use over the holidays before those important auditions. You can also upload those warm-up tracks to your webpage. Use the warm-up CD at solo and ensemble contest so that the students who arrive early but sing late can warm up closer to their performance time. Daily goals: Write your goals and objectives for each class on your chalkboard or whiteboard. This can include sightreading exercises (specific pages or exercise numbers), theory (worksheets or exercises), and literature to be covered.

Think now about what you can do to help support your success throughout the coming school year. 36 Southwestern Musician | August 2012