Ensemble Learning Goals

I’m filling music folders for my ensemble for next year, and that always puts me in the mood to set some goals for the individuals in the group. If we are open to it, we can reflect on and learn from our shortcomings to become better educators. While I think there are many things I do consistently well with my group, here are four things I want to do even better next year for the sake of my students:

  1. Focus On Text – this is something I’ve been getting better at (hard for a harmony-head like me). Above all, I want to make sure that text is a primary consideration, not something added after the notes and rhythms are learned.
  2. Individual Musical Knowledge – making sure that all of my students can speak accurately and intelligently about the music they’re singing.
  3. Personal Accountability Training – I’ve experimented with many different ways, with widely varying results, for personal accountability without undue individual stress (think, no solo part tests). With more thought and consideration, maybe this will be the year I get it right!
  4. Leadership & Character Education. Specifically, I desire more intentional leadership/character discussion in rehearsal. Setting an example, but also calling out outstanding leadership and character, and frank discussion about these traits.

What are some ensemble learning goals you can set for the year? How can you make your teaching better later by thinking more now, when you have the time?