Generating Choral Warm-Ups: Let them Do it!

Generating Choral Warm-Ups – Let them do it!

Steven Archambault
[email protected]
Turkey Hill Middle School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Notation

Level:

Middle School

Class:

Choral

Equipment:

Computer with a notation program installed, printer

Duration:

15 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Vocal students should have;
1. experienced simple 4 measure diatonic warm-ups that move by step in 4 bar phrases,
2. introduced to simple notation entry,
3. introduced to simple text entry.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 

Materials:

A computer with a notation program installed. The educator should pre-set up a warm-up template that has 4 measure blanks with a “name” text box set up for each line. The number of “blank” entries should equal the number of choral members participating in the warm-up writing. It might be advantagous to print a “warm-up” worksheet to allow students to brainstorm ideas outside of class.

Objectives:

Many vocal musicians read and sing notated music but often do not have an opportunity to create or manipulate notation. This activity gives those musicians a chance to compose a simple 4 bar vocal warm-up which is then printed and passed out for use during the year. The parameters of the warm-up will be dependent on the level of the indivicual group. This activity fosters creativity, personal ownership, a chance to experiment, introduces vocalists to a simple notational program (a hook)and quickly exposes vocalist to many different material.

Procedures:

1. Pre-set up – Explain project, demo, model and pass out a “warm-up” worksheet.
2. Set up a computer station within your rehearsal room with notation template set-up.
3. Student task: Create a 4 bar vocal warm-up that begins and ends on “Do”, by step, within a “fifth” using quarter and half notes. Vocalists will also enter their name.
4. Vocalist can rotate onto the station during rehearsal to enter their warm-up idea or at other specified times.
4. Once everyone has entered and “edited” their mini warm-up the director prints out the “new” warm-up packet, which includes the “composers” name, to use and experiment with in class.

Evaluation:

“Warm-up” Rubric

4 – Composer * 4 measure melody moves by step within a
5th using quarter and half notes
* melody begins and ends on “Do”
* name correctly entered

3 – Scribe * Same as above with some minor mistakes
or inaccuracies. Usable with minor
editing.

2 – Apprentice * Same as above with many minor mistakes
or a major mistake or inaccuracy.
Usable with major editing

1 – Novice * Many major & minor mistakes or
inaccuracies. Unusable needs to be
completely redone.

Follow Up:

1. Students can direct their own personal warm-up
or at least be credited for composing.
2. Warm-ups can be cycled up and down chromatically.
3. Generated warm-ups can be used for sight reading
Both in notation or using Do, Re, Mi, etc.
4. Students can expand and utilize other intervals or
parameters and create new warm-ups.
5. Discussions can be generated about the melodic and
harmonic elements/implications of warm-up
6. Vocalists can both self and/or peer assess their warm-ups

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