Sunday, December 29, 2013

Congratulation Labels

One of my true loves is children's choirs. After having conducted elementary through high school choirs, singing in collegiate and professional choirs, and listening to hundreds of recordings and live performances, I am convinced that there is no sound more beautiful to my ear than that of a child singing.

Today I am going to share one of my tips for motivating your singers in choir. Before I do, a little background on my choral work...

I currently conduct three ensembles. My school choir is about 90 voices and is a non-auditioned 4th and 5th grade ensemble. Outside of school, I conduct the two training choirs for the Boulder Children's Chorale. These choirs are made up of about 40 1st-4th grade singers. All of my ensembles rehearse once a week for 45 minutes, outside the school day.

With such short rehearsal times and large ensembles, I have been challenged to figure out how to work on individual musicianship and singing skills while still teaching my singers quality repertoire. One technique that I have had with great success are my "Congratulations!" labels. These are simple labels I print on to Avery mailing labels (30 per sheet) that I pass out during rehearsal. I actually got the idea from a first grade teacher who gave her students a label that said, "Congratulate Me" when they completed their entire reading list in the classroom.  I modified the idea to fit my needs and created labels like...

"Congratulate Me! I sang with beautiful tone in choir today!" 


"Congratulate Me! I sang with perfect vowels in choir today!" 

When I catch a student doing something in rehearsal that is noteworthy, I just walk up to them and give them a sticker. I love these labels for several reasons:
1. They allow me to quickly acknowledge individual students without stopping the rehearsal
2. They motivate students to improve their individual performance
3. They give students a conversation starter with parents- I have had many parents come to me saying things like, "Lucy was so excited to get her sticker in choir today. She told me all about singing in her head voice."
4. They are super easy to make and use!

My students (especially the younger singers) love getting recognized during rehearsal. I always love seeing a student smile when I hand them a sticker, and usually they continue to work hard and improve throughout the rehearsal after they have been recognized. A little positive encouragement can go a long way towards keeping your students engaged and excited about choir!

I have posted a set of choir labels for you to download and print on my TpT store for free! Just visit my store at...


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