Recruiting and Retention Ideas for Beginning High School Choral Teachers

I. Basic Goals/Concepts at all Levels – Good Quality Builds Numbers

  • Good tone quality and solid vocal technique
  • Good intonation
  • Good phrasing and musicianship
  • Quality literature appropriate to level
  • Consistent rehearsal discipline and concert etiquette
  • Solid and consistent warm-up regimen

II. Connections from School to School – Communication Builds Numbers

  • Teacher connection from Elementary (5th-6th) to Middle (7th-8th)
  • Teacher connection from Middle to High School (9th-12th)
  • Teacher connection between High School Levels
  • Communication between vocal teachers

III. Teaching Concepts through Performance Literature-

  • Make sure music you pick is appropriate to age and level, varied in style and high quality

IV. Work at Good Communication

  • Important Role of Administration in scheduling help
  • Guidance Director and Counselors in scheduling help

V. Importance of Balance in Choirs

  • SATB! – The recruitment of and maintenance of men at all levels
  • Work at getting to know all your 8th graders
  • Look for new 8th graders who might enjoy a music elective
  • Work for Equal Balance at Select Levels
  • Emphasis on Curricular Choirs first!

VI. Identify Goals to School Principal

  • Explain you need quantity and quality to develop excellence
  • Identify how they can help you- and ask for the help!
  • Is there a Fine Arts Requirement?
  • Are we meeting state Core Curriculum Requirements

VII. Role of Student Leadership

  • Leaders insuring continued sign-up from level to level
  • Placing ownership on leaders to keep students signed up
  • Recruitment Push from 8th to 9th, and 6th to 7th, 5th to 6th– including visits, letters, concerts, promoting attendance at concerts at different levels, sibling and friend connections
  • Creating a Legacy and Traditions with Alumni- e-mails, opportunities to serve, MC concerts

VIII. Emphasis on Excellence in Curricular Choirs First!!!

  • All students must be in a curricular choir in order to participate in the “fun” extras- jazz, show, men’s and women’s choir, madrigals
  • If students singing well in curricular choirs- all extra-curricular extensions will as a by-product be more excellent as well!!
  • If vocal technique is solidly being taught in curricular choirs- change in style for extra-curricular jazz and show music will be an easier task- Solid vocal technique should transfer through all styles

IX. Publicize each success as it grows

  • How many kids you pull in each year
  • Get articles on front of newspapers
  • Have kids sing at public events, community meetings, board meetings
  • Have a parent assigned to publicize good works


[Lorraine Lynch is NJACDA Board Mentoring Resource for Beginning Teachers, and a Past President]

Jan. 2014 expired sites site down

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