Brenda Muench

music educator tech integration specialist

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2 Responses

  1. Carol Vrotny says:

    Hi Brenda! First of all, congratulations on a successful Christmas concert! This post is regarding Christmas conundrum. I have been thinking the very same things lately that you stated!

    How do you maintain a high level of learning and skills that are desired, and at the same time keep the joy going? I believe I made a discovery about that this past summer while putting together a summer musical theatre class. I tried mostly having the kids do games while learning their songs. I wanted to see if the show would turn out well with all of these games for short bursts of practice. I have not had a long career of musicals, but this was one of my best efforts. It turned out that the kids did every bit as well, if not better, and in a shorter amount of time, with a more game oriented approach that included focused bursts of skills, instead of lengthy repetitions at the quest for perfection. By “focused bursts”, I mean that I would hold up a breath mark for every time they were supposed to breathe for a short bit. This is one example.

    I saw a dvd with Henry Leck from Indianapolis Children’s choir last spring, and one of his comments really hit me. “It takes such intense, focused concentration to just watch his baton during rehearsal.” He mixes the rehearsals up with movement to keep the joy in the music. I have been trying hard to keep all of this in mind because I know that get so focused on trying to get the kids to get it right, that I used to stay TOO long on one detail to rehearse it. I am finally learning, how to do a better job of the “rehearsing” of the music, and still maintain student excellence. At least I think I am…

    Have you had any other responses to your podcast? I would be curious for more answers to keep a balance as well.

  2. Brenda Muench says:

    Carol –
    What a well thought out comment! It does take a lot of focus just to watch the baton and I think you are right to try and plan those “short bursts of focus”. I really think we all work better that way. If we can make the work seem more like play then everyone would benefit! Right?

    So far you have been the only person to respond to my tiny podcasts. Sorry it took me so long to find your comment. I’ve been overwhelmed by a lot of spam comments lately. I was just getting ready to delete all the comments without reading them when I happened upon yours! So glad I didn’t erase it!

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