Category Archives: Teaching Choir

Pender’s at the OCDA 2016 Summer Convention

On July 11 and 12, Pender’s Music Co. will be at the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association 2016 Summer Convention in Norman showing off a large selection of new music for choir, elementary, and voice. We’ll also have OMEA All-State, OCDA All-State, Circle the State, and regional honor choir music in stock!

You can check us out and browse our selection any time between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on either of the convention days. See the OCDA’s full schedule for new music reading workshops and special interest sessions, and be sure to visit us if you like what you hear – we’ll have all the materials from the readings and sessions available for purchase.

OCDA 2016 Summer Convention

All-State and Circle-the-State packets, along with elementary music, all ready to go to the convention!

Sing-a-bration 2015

Join Us: Lewisville Convention Center at the Hilton Garden Inn
785 SH 121 • Lewisville, TX 75067
Thursday, July 9 thru Saturday, July 11

ONLINE ADVANCE REGISTRATION CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT JULY 6
On-site registration is available. Please arrive by 8:30 am to register at the door.

Full workshop includes Sing-a-bration, Joy of Singing, and John Jacobson Choreography
Order Full Elementary Workshop Now | Order Full Secondary Workshop Now

Pender’s Sing-a-bration Thursday, July 9 
This multi-level reading session, representing music from Alfred Publishing, Shawnee Press and Heritage Music Press, is divided into two tracks, each with separate rotations, locations and online registrations.
Elementary: General Music & Beginning Choir $55 Order Now
Secondary: Middle School, High School, Beyond $55 Order Now

Sing-a-bration Clinicians

CLINICIANS: Greg Gilpin, Shawnee Press; Andy Beck, Alfred Music Publishing; Douglas Wagner, Heritage Music Press

Hal Leonard Joy of Singing Friday, July 10 
Courtesy of Hal Leonard: The most popular reading session in the nation, now in two tracks! It’s the best of the best for school choirs. Attend the Elementary session, which will include Classroom Materials and Beginning Choir Music or the Middle School/High School session—both with all five nationally known composers and arrangers.
Elementary: Classroom & Beginning Choir $55 Order Now
Secondary: Middle School, High School, Beyond $55 Order Now

Joy of Singing Clinicians

CLINICIANS: Laura Farnell, Rollo Dilworth, John Jacobson, Roger Emerson, Mac Huff

Joy of Worship & 
Pender’s Sacred Choral Session Saturday, July 11 
(These two sessions are presented together)
Review the best new church chorals for adult choir $55 Order Now

Joy of Worship Clinicians

CLINICIANS: Joseph Martin, Brad Nix, Patti Drennan, Pepper Choplin

Hal Leonard John Jacobson Workshop Saturday, July 11 
This fun, fast-paced motivational session is designed for choral music teachers at all levels and their students. Enjoy John’s humor, enthusiasm and energy as you learn full staging for up to 20 songs, and get ideas for an additional 20. Not only that, join special guest Laura Farnell for even more songs and ideas. Includes free DVD download, music packet and choreography notes.
Music teachers at all levels $60 Order Now
Student (no music packet) $50 Order Now

Hal Leonard John Jacobson Workshop

CLINICIANS: John Jacobson and Laura Farnell

ALL ATTENDEES RECEIVE:
Morning coffee & light lunch
Complimentary music packets*
10% discount on all items purchased at workshop
*Music packets of most of the music presented. Prices and workshop details subject to change.

Registration opens April 1 for Sing-a-bration 2015

SING-A-BRATION HOTELS:
Hilton Garden Inn (workshop site)
785 SH 121 Bypass | Lewisville TX 75067
972-459-4600
Rate: $124 per night Thurs-Sat*
Hampton Inn & Suites
2650 Lake Vista Dr | Lewisville TX 75067
972-315-3200
Rate: $89 per night Thurs-Sat*

*Discounted rate with group code “PENDER.” 
Wednesday reservations are $10 more. Deadline to book with special room rate is June 22, 2015.

Keepin’ it Real: Music [Education] in the Social and Digital Age

Companies large and small go in and out of business all the time, much like the ebb and flow of the tides each day. There is no sector of business immune to it, and sometimes there seems no rhyme or reason for it either. The business of sheet music is no different. Sheet music stores and sheet music publishers rise and fall, rise and fall, akin to a lilting melody in a song.

Some make it and some don’t. Take Carl Fischer sheet music, a tried-and-true music publisher that is celebrating 140 years of service this year to 1,400 sheet music retailers worldwide, Pender’s Music Co. being one of them. Consider this: when the founder of Carl Fischer first opened up for business, he didn’t sell sheet music at all. Carl Fischer, the business, was a musical instrument repair shop, and there is really little in common when comparing band instrument repair with the writing, designing, printing, publishing and distributing of a piece of sheet music.

But what about Southern Music Company, a business that was both a sheet music retailer and a music publisher, too? In February of this year, after 75 years of retailing and publishing, the San Antonio mainstay for music educators, performers and students everywhere closed its doors for good. Of course, it must be noted here that Lauren Keiser Music Publishing eventually took over the publishing division in June, but still, it’s the sign of the times —  rise and fall, rise and fall.

Like Carl Fischer, Pender’s Music Co. is also celebrating an anniversary, albeit only 45 years and counting. And somewhat similar to them, our primary focus in the beginning wasn’t sheet music either. Think soda fountain, art supplies, school supplies and more (a little bit of music), sold right on campus to college students. But even more similar? The acceptance of change, and the willingness to adapt to it, with a little bit of risk-taking for good measure.

That’s what small business is best at. That’s what a family-owned business is best at: the germ of the idea, the drive to make it happen, the willingness to cut your losses when necessary, the stick-to-it-ive-ness to ride the rise and fall, the dare to dream big all over again.

And what does all of this have to do with music education, social media, and the digital age? Quite a lot. Over the past few days, we’ve seen the viral video of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” as arranged and performed by the 3Penny Chorus and Orchestra. The 3Penny Chorus and Orchestra is a volunteer pickup ensemble conducted by Arianne Abela, a choral music conductor and educator who graduated from Yale’s School of Music Masters Program in choral conducting in 2010. And Colin Britt, who arranged the music for the group, was one of her classmates. He is now on the faculty at the Hartt School of Music.

We’ve also seen Korean singer’s Psy “Gangnum Style” as performed by the Ohio University Marching Band. These classically trained musicians, educators and students have put their own spin on popular music of today and shared it via social media to millions of people. Brilliant! It’s certainly a positive spotlight on choir, orchestra, and marching band.

As music educators, music makers, and the companies that supply needed goods and services to them move forward, it will be important for everyone to try and adapt to the changes of how media and information is transmitted nowadays. Embracing technology and its power of connecting people to people and products and services to people will be vital to staying strong both in education and in business. Sheet music, just as recorded music and published books before it, is rapidly transforming itself into a more digital-friendly medium — point of purchase digital downloads, online score and part perusal, streaming sample audio, etc. But let’s not forget that the content — that piece of sheet music with the lilting melody — remains the same, and the value of it is truly immeasurable.

Browse the new Carl Fischer Concert Band titles for 2012: listen to recordings, view full scores, shop online!

Work Backwards for Success

A Choir Teacher Prepares for the New School Year

[by Guest Blogger, Denise Eaton]

We are people of “beginnings” but I have found that teaching requires something more from me. Instead of thinking about the beginning of the year, think backwards. Make a list of the things that went well last year and the things upon which you would like to improve. Be very specific about both your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. One example could be that you feel very good about your ability to teach repertoire, but your classroom organizational skills need improvement. While thinking in that vein, begin planning to implement the “how to’s,” “what to do” and “what not to do’s” which will effect a successful beginning.

Confession: After twenty-nine years in the profession, I still attend the “Tried and Proven” and “Jump Start Your Year” -type sessions at conventions because I fret over what to do at the beginning of the year. They target young teachers but I am proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks. It is crucial that there be a thorough classroom management plan in order to establish boundaries and expectations between you and your students. Procedures for checking roll, getting in seats, distribution of music/materials, picking and putting up folders, etc. must be well thought-out. Anticipate and have a plan for anything and everything your students will “throw” at you and know that it is impossible to over prepare.

Consider the concepts you taught last year, how you would like to build upon them, and any new ones you would like to teach this year. My list consists of:

  •  Continued rhythm growth: Extracting rhythms from repertoire, review of rhythm and relative duration (a very basic presentation of note values), and through selected drills from the Sueta Rhythm Vocabulary (ask your band director – he/she should have Sueta and many more you could use).
  • ŸInterval identification and drills: We begin the year speaking and singing steps and thirds, steps and thirds, steps and thirds. It is impossible to over enforce these basic tenets of sight reading throughout the year. Next we’ll begin the introduction of fundamentals from the SMART Book  in the tonality of the song(s) being introduced.
  • Ÿ Sight Reading: My high school Chorale used to begin the year sight reading The Lord Bless You and Keep You. Since it is four-part, it is at least eight days of sight reading, as everyone learns all four parts. The order of teaching events consisted of : chant text in rhythm, audiatesolfegge, and then sing solfegge.  The “amen” section is a great place to begin as the choir can successfully make the transition from syllables/neutral syllables to text. The song will be a great way to get them singing, but we would also begin some sort of sight singing series, be it SMART, Jenson, or portions of each.
  • ŸRepertoire: [All the time] I’m listening to CDs, digging through my “possible” music stacks, ordering single copies of songs heard while judging, attending festivals, and conventions.  Initially, my “possible” stacks start off high; I put anything and everything I think I might be able to teach plus all that my choir might be able to execute. It is then time to play through the songs, looking at range, harmonies, etc. all the while paying particular attention to exposure of each part.  This helps determine whether the song will show off a choir’s strengths or draw attention to their weaknesses. Eventually, there is a short stack for each choir. After much study and thought to what will provide a varied and interesting program, next is score study and teaching material preparation. It is always good, however, to keep a few songs in reserve; once you have actually heard your choir and you get to know their collective strengths/weaknesses, your repertoire choices could change.
  • ŸAssessment: Implement some creative ways to assess your students. Assign a part learning assignment using technology (Carl Fischer and BriLee have FREE down-loadable part-by-part recordings online); and writing assignments – nothing long and elaborate – merely a tool to get to know students better and to assess their strengths and weaknesses as communicators. In addition to their writing, the students will develop a word bank of musical terms and any vocabulary I use when teaching that they can not readily define. Rhythm counting drills are always fun and can be made into a competition/game between sections.

In closing, I hope that by working backwards, you can move forward as a teacher this year. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, to ask questions and to share your ideas with trusted colleagues in order to get feed-back and encourage dialogue. We are all in this together!

— Denise Eaton, a former TMEA President and active educator, joined the editorial team of Carl Fisher in 2011, where she serves as their choral editor. Carl Fischer, and their sister company, Theodore Presser, are leading publishers of educational choir sheet music, band sheet music, piano sheet music, orchestra sheet music, and much more.