Pearls of wisdom just drop out of Denise Eaton’s mouth with every sentence she speaks. In this episode, Denise and Ryan expand on some of the topics covered in her recent blog post (link in the notes below). There is practical advice here for every director, from first year to veteran. This episode WILL change how you direct or teach your choir!
Highlight to Tweet: “We determine the weather in rehearsal.” – Denise Eaton
“You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. Nothing stays the same.” -Denise Eaton
- Self-reflection and self-evaluation is essential to growth.
- Identify ineffective habits.
- Your choir should know the purpose and goals behind your methods.
- Know YOUR choir: the one that is really in front of you, not your choir from last year, and not the one you wish you had. This must inform your repertoire selection.
- Write a real lesson plan, that reflects your score study. Think through how you are going to teach each section, each part. View it through the lens of the learner.
- Score study is essential. You are less of a teacher without it.
- Record your warm ups, so you can check and see if you are getting the tone/vowel/pitch you want. All warm ups should have a purpose.
Thirty-five year veteran music educator, author and editor Denise Eaton is known for her innovative and practical teaching style. She willingly shares her ideas with a unique, humble and engaging voice, capitalizing on her experiences in the high school and collegiate rehearsal. Denise has presented over fifty workshops in Oklahoma, Georgia, Louisiana, Iowa, Ohio, Florida, Alabama and Texas, including Southern ACDA as well as multiple appearances at Texas Choral Director’s and Texas Music Educator’s Association state conventions.
The co-author of three sight- reading books: SMART (Sight Reading Made Accessible Readable and Teachable), SMART Minor, and InSight Singing. She is the editor of Choral Error Detection by Paul Hondorp and is currently writing her 4th book, STEPS: Strategies & Tools Encouraging Proficient Sightsinging.
An undergraduate from the University of Texas at Austin, Eaton received the MM in Conducting from Sam Houston State University where she currently teaches Secondary Choral Methods, conducts the SHSU Women’s Choir, coordinates the annual summer Teaching High School and Teaching Middle School Choral workshops, Area Choir workshop and the annual summer All-State Choir Camp.
Prior to her 2011 appointment at Sam Houston State University, Eaton had a highly respected career as a high school choir director for twenty-nine years where choirs under her direction performed for numerous state and regional conventions. A strong advocate for music education, Eaton served as the Vocal Vice-President and the President of the Texas Music Educator’s Association. She has been the choral editor at Carl Fischer and BriLee music since 2011.
- Denise’s blog post that this interview is based on
- Denise Eaton on Facebook
- InSight Singing: A Multi-Sensory Approach to Reading Music
- STEPS Strategies and Tools Encouraging Proficient Sightsinging
- STEP Further Flashcards
- Choir Nation group on Facebook – Going to TMEA? Meet up with other Choir Ninjas! Join the Choir Nation Facebook group for time and location.
- Email Patreon – Support the podcast!
Sight Reading Factory (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for 10 free student accounts!)
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