Middle School Choir: Creating a Foundation for Healthy Voices
& Vibrant Programs

September 23December 15, 2019

Middle school choir can be daunting even for the most creative teacher. Through the 12 class sessions offered here, you’ll master the following concepts:

  • Understanding the Adolescent (Musician)

  • Traits and Skills of a Successful Teacher of the Adolescent (Musician)

  • Growth Mindset of Climate Development

  • The Place for Process, Procedure and Policy

  • Literature Selection as the Basis for Success

  • Management for Humans by the Humane

  • The Right to Be Wrong and the Wrongs of Being Right

  • Auditions, Assessments and Placements; and Communication – It Don’t Mean a Thing if You Ain’t Got That…Way to Talk to Parents, Kids, Colleagues, et al.

Class members will be expected to participate in online interaction and will develop Personal Discovery Artifacts (PDAs) that will enrich the class experience and create a supply of various documents useful in the classroom.

Instructor: Gretchen Harrison

image4Gretchen Harrison has taught choral music for over 30 years. After teaching in Blue Valley for 15 years, she is now the choir director at Frontier Middle School in the Olathe, KS, school district. Two of her choirs performed at the 2017 KMEA In-Service and Workshop, in Wichita, KS. Harrison has also been part of the artistic staff of Allegro Choirs of Kansas City since 2005. She directs one of the choirs in that program (Vivo) and assists with two additional choirs (Moto and Brio). Harrison earned a bachelor's degree in music education from Wichita State University and a master's degree in music education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In addition, she has completed Level III endorsement in CME (Choral Music Experience). After serving in various district- and state-level leadership positions, she served as National Chairperson for Junior High and Middle School Repertoire and Standards for the American Choral Directors Association, and is currently the National ACDA Repertoire and Resources Chairperson for Youth Services. She was recognized in 2003, 2009, 2015 and 2016 as Outstanding Middle Level Choral Educator for the Northeast Kansas Music Educators Association. The Olathe Education Foundation honored her in 2015 with their Outstanding Educator designation. Harrison is active in ACDA, KCDA, NAfME and KMEA, and has served as a guest presenter and clinician and has served in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois, and North Carolina.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288