//3 Things in THIS Order that will Improve Every Choir!

3 Things in THIS Order that will Improve Every Choir!



Motivation comes before all else. Before we are a teacher, we are a motivator. We can only successfully teach students when they are motivated to learn.




In any choral program, we must have specific expectations for our singers; whatever they are, it is our responsibility to hold them accountable.


If we teach in an academic setting, our grading system is one means to hold students accountable, but that isn’t where accountability begins. It begins with setting clear and specific expectations that all students can follow. In a classroom environment, we must have guidelines that are clear and specific, and have a proper way to ensure students follow these. When it comes to routines, we must have a clear way that class starts, ends, distributing music, etc.


When it comes to grades, it’s more than being clear; it’s being on top of our students. When something is expected or due, we must know who has or has not completed the assignment. The more aware we are of what students are and are not doing, the quicker we can encourage them to be on top of their assignments.




When students understand what is expected of them, it is easy for them to become self-motivated. Since our goal is self-motivation, we need to teach our students how to hold themselves accountable. This compares first from self-awareness. Students should be aware of every expectation (this comes from accountability). All of the things we expect of our students are things they can expect of themselves. Here are some examples:


They can self-assess their rehearsal participation

individual and collective performance






By | 2021-10-09T05:03:34-04:00 October 9th, 2021|Uncategorized|

About the Author:

Adam Paltrowitz is a master educator, composer, conductor, and clinician. During his 23-year tenure as the Director of Choral Activities at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in New York, his groups have toured throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States. He also has pioneered a philosophy that every student is a soloist. Adam's choral program has also gained great acclaim for the cultivation of eight student-run a-cappella ensembles; some of these ensembles have performed on national and local television programs. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by choirs around the world. Adam earned his B.S. in music education from New York University, M.A. in vocal pedagogy from Columbia University - Teacher's College, and Ed.M. choral conducting from Columbia University - Teacher's College. ​Adam resides in Manhattan with his wife, Blair Goldberg, a professional Broadway actress, and their daughter, Lyla, and son, Nolan.

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