Teaching and Managing Performing Ensembles
A "How To" Manual for Teaching Band, Orchestra or Choir in Middle and High School
By Dennis Granlie
After teaching successfully for twenty-five years in four high schools ranging in enrollment from thirty-two (yes thirty-two students in the entire high school) to slightly more than two thousand, Dennis Granlie became a district music supervisor overseeing teachers in twenty buildings K-12. In eleven years as an administrator he conducted over five hundred clinical teacher observations working with nearly sixty different teachers in band, choir, orchestra and general music. In his first four years of retirement, Granlie worked as a music consultant and a mentor visiting more than seventy schools, from inner-city to remote and rural, observing music teachers in their classrooms.
Based on these experiences and observations, Granlie has put together a manual for teaching performing groups. It does not represent THE way of doing things. Instead, it presents a basic approach that can be the foundation for starting off on the right foot in a new teaching position, or for modifying your teaching approach if you are looking for new ideas. It includes practical information about managing time and paper, classroom management, preparing for concerts and festivals, traveling with groups, organizing and conducting rehearsals, as well as "tricks of the trade" for teaching advanced musical concepts, and much more. The ideas not theoretical; they are best practices gleaned from observing both outstanding and struggling teachers. The aim is to help directors work smarter, not harder, and bring their ensembles and students to their highest musical potential.
Although weighted toward teaching band, this manual is meant to be adaptable to all types, levels and sizes of performing groups and includes specific information about teaching choir.
Mr. Granlie was the NFHS Music Association's "National Citation" award recipient for 2006.
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