On friday (Feb 8th) I got to c0-help lead a sectional rehearsal for High School tenors, who came to the school for a Men's choir festival. About 7 schools from across the state had their men's choirs show up to the festival. At the beginning of the rehearsal I noticed alot of the boys were standing with their hands in their pockets or wearing the sweater hoods. So as a choir member I asked those boys to take off their hoods and take their hands out of their pockets. Now after doing so in a polite way I still had to remind a few boys. Then I noticed that the few boys that I was asking to "stand in a proper singing posture" had an attitude look about their faces for the first 25 minutes of out 50 minute rehearsal.
We were working on Loch Lomond (arr. Ralph Vaughn Williams), then when we finished running the piece 3 times after all the corrections of vowels and unified english pronunciation. So we took a break and the boys sat down for about 3 minutes. During the 3 minutes I wanted to explain the background to the next song we were singing Rise-Up, which is a spiritual. So I was informing them of our pronunciation for the words; lord (lawd), and rise (roz).
After the breif break I had the group stand up and get some energy for the Rise up song. At this point I had them all do some "jump up downs" which is a great energy booster ( and you can play redlight-greenligh with it). Then we crouched down to the floor then jump as high as we could off of the ground 3 times, then the boys were ready to go to work on the song. This made great differences in their sound from Loch Lomond to Rise Up. During the second song all the guys had a great amount of energy and were smiling and asking great questions.
At the end of the 50 minute rehearsal we were not quite done with the piece and the boys were about to go to lunch, so I asked them if they would be willing to stay a few minutes longer to run the piece all the way through again, and all of them were really excited to stay and finish our work. I could see how proud they were about their rehearsal and their hard work. I think that even though it seemed to them as if I was playing the "mean guy" at the beginning, I am glad they realized I am a "good guy" and I was only trying to help their singing. After all of this the boys went off to lunch, and later I got to sit and chat with most of them during the lunch break, and they all were saying great things about the rehearsal.
Now I can understand how some teachers have to start out "stern" in rules and then lighten up alittle more, that way the students dont take advantage of the teachers or show disrespect. The rehearsal time with the boys was so much fun I wish that I could rehearse a Tenor section every day. I am now even more excited for my student teaching time.