Middle school choir directors will find this course of great ideas to help enhance their curricular and/or extracurricular choirs. Explore warm-ups, movement, and classroom management techniques that will keep your students engaged. In addition, the boy’s developing voice, the benefits of a cappella music, and repertoire that will excite and challenge your students are covered. An overall emphasis focuses on meeting standards with a well-balanced choral curriculum by focusing on music theory in rehearsal, projects, and meaningful assessments.  


Participants are asked to bring two pieces that have worked well with their ensembles, as well as a few warm-ups to share.

Instructor:Puja Ramaswamy


Puja Ramaswamy is the Director of Vocal Music at Eisenhower Junior High School in Darien, Illinois.  In addition to teaching four grade level choir classes, she directs three auditioned choirs, the spring musical, and the variety show.   Her choirs have had the opportunity to travel and compete in Nashville, St. Louis, and Hershey, PA. and have most recently received Division I ratings at the Illinois Grade School Music Association State Contest.

Ms. Ramaswamy graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in both Music and Philosophy in 2006.  In her time at UIC she also founded and conducted Lake Affects, a vocal jazz ensemble.  She attended VanderCook College of Music and completed her Master of Music Education in 2008.

Ms. Ramaswamy is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA).  She served as the MS Girls’ Honor Choir Chair for the 2014 ACDA Central Division Convention in Cincinnati and has worked with the CASA Tunes to Teens program to bring acappella resources to her school.  She is also a member of the Apollo Chorus of Chicago and has performed with them at various venues including Ravinia, Symphony Center, and the United Center.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288