by Duane S. Crowther
In response to numerous requests from teachers across the country, a series of four inexpensive student manuals have been prepared, one for each of the four units of the instruction course. These manuals, prepared in workbook format, are titled Choral Concepts—Student Learning Guide, for Units 1, 2, 3, and 4 aid in learning choir singing techniques. The saddle-stitched 32-page manuals are the size of octavo music so students can keep them in music folders with their performance music. Each lesson requires limited written participation by the student: filling in blanks on worksheets, recording materials written on the whiteboard or shown on an overhead projector, in PowerPoint projections, etc. Care has been taken to keep student time requirements for each lesson short, maintaining the objective of completing every lesson in 20 minutes or less. Binding the lessons for each unit separately, with a new workbook issued at approximately the beginning of each 9-week period, eliminates problems such as student rejection of a formidable-looking year-long workbook; daily storage problems caused by bulky workbooks for large numbers of students; and a student being left without a workbook for most of the year if his manual is lost. The booklets cost about the same as comparable-sized octavo music, holding the cost-per-student allocation to a reasonable level. But the workbooks contain so much valuable information that students will treasure them—there won’t be any of them left at school at the end of the term. That’s certain!
Student Learning Guide Unit 1 covers the following lessons: (1) Introduction to the Course; (2) Correct Sitting Posture; (3) Correct Standing Posture; (4) The Breathing Mechanism; (5) Controlled Breathing; (6) Voice-Part Classifications; (7) Vocal Ranges; (8) The Reed-Flute Tone Continuum; (9) Change-of-Color Points, and (10) Audition Preparation.
Student Learning Guide Unit 2 covers the following lessons: (11) Objectives of Vocal Training; (12) The Singing Mechanism; (13) Open Throat; (14) Personal Warmup; (15) Care of the Voice; (16) Vocal Resonance; (17) Good Singing Tone; (18) Tone Color; (19) Attacks and Releases; and (20) Effective Practice.
Student Learning Guide Unit 3 covers the following lessons: (21) Dynamic Levels; (22) Extending Vocal Ranges; (23) Head Resonance and Head Tone; (24) Humming; (25) Basic Musical Styles; (26) Correct Phrasing; (27) Vocal Flexibility; (28) Intonation; and (29) Introduction to the Phonetic Alphabet.
Student Learning Guide Unit 4 covers the following lessons: (30) Balance and Blend; (31) Singing the Vowels; (32) Diphthongs; (33) Articulation; (34) Enunciation; and (35) Pronunciation. It also contains four Unit Reviews, with three multiple-choice or true/false questions covering each of the lessons in the four Units. These questions provide excellent year-end reviews of the entire Teaching Choral Concepts curriculum.