A Case for Quality Music

Some teachers strongly consider the desires of the students when choosing music and teaching technique to be used in their classes.  It is important to these teachers to find music the students like.  These teachers often provide activities which are very student oriented and very enjoyable for the singers.  This is the approach used by most beginning teachers because it provides expedient results with a minimum of masterful skill as a teacher.

Other teachers choose music and teaching technique based on strong educational and aesthetic tenets.  It is important to these teachers for their students to develop the musical skills and critical understanding derived from such music as master works, folk song arrangements, spirituals, and contemporary festival and contest music; music with melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic content of diversity; and music with texture that renders the independent part-singing found in traditional music of different styles and time periods.  It is a masterful teacher who is experienced and skilled enough to teach early adolescents the value of this type music and bring them to understand the importance of singing it.  The beauty of this approach is that the literature proves itself.  Once the students have been led to sing it, they soon realilze that it is even more appealing than media music or music directed specifically to the students' unique adolescentristic desires and tastes because they recognize that it is music of quality.

If mid-level choral students are convinced that teachers really care about their well-being and that the choices and decisions their teachers make are altogether for the students’ benefit, they will give their undying loyalty to that teacher.  To put it another way, if students trust the teacher, they will unquestioningly sing the music the teacher chooses because they believe the music is beneficial to them.  Only a masterful teacher can expect and be worthy of such student obedience.

It behooves publishers to provide an educationally and aesthetically sound product for teachers of mid-level students -- a product (1) that will demand their best efforts so they will reap the joy of being critical music makers their entire lives, and (2) that their vocal instruments are capable of producing (written in their comfortable singing tessiturae)