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A Participant Reflects on the 2012-2013 Music Educators Workshop

We recently met with Lindsay Brown of PS/MS 161, a participant in this year’s Music Educators Workshop (pictured at the far right below with the other workshop fellows and Joe Miller, Director of Choral Activities at Westminster Choir College). Beginning with the 2013–2014 school year, Carnegie Hall is expanding this program to serve instrumental as well as choral teachers and feature monthly interactive workshops with top music educators. Here's what Lindsay had to say.

What part of this year’s workshop had the most impact on you as an educator?

The biggest impact on my teaching came from specific instruction on the methodology used by the guest faculty to achieve high levels of musicianship and tone quality in their choirs. For example, the techniques and sequencing that Dianne Berkun used to develop the head voice, chest voice, and head-chest blend in what she calls Cross Choral Training were invaluable to me. I appreciated the opportunity to watch the faculty instruct their students, hear the phenomenal voices of the choirs, and observe their ability to perform intensely challenging rhythms and chromatic voicing with such precision. I also found the trip to Westminster Choir College helpful for many reasons. Observing Joe Miller lead his choir through a select set of exercises to improve vocal strength, tone quality, and note accuracy was helpful. It was beneficial to sing alongside the Westminster Symphonic Choir and be a part of the positive, challenging, and creative community he creates. Additionally, I spent time in the Westminster Choir College bookstore and came away with two books on singing technique and one on repertoire.

What is the value of working with a larger community of music educators around the city?

It is valuable to be part of this community of music educators because it gives me the opportunity to discuss the challenges and successes of my choir with people who are knowledgeable and experiencing similar things. It was helpful to brainstorm with these educators and to hear different perspectives on how to solve similar problems. Most music teachers teach in isolation. Unlike classroom teachers or science teachers, who tend to be on teacher teams grouped by grades, music teachers are most often the only ones teaching their subject. This program offers the opportunity to partner with directors who teach a similar demographic to discuss repertoire selection. But it also offered contact with educators who teach completely different grades and demographics, offering exposure to a wide variety of teaching styles and levels of expertise. A sample of the wide variety of music classrooms found in New York City was represented in this program, making for interesting discussions and reflections.

What would you say to another educator who is considering applying for the Music Educators Workshop?

I highly recommend this workshop to any educator looking to be inspired by master musicians and improve their skills. The combination of teaching intensives, observations of and by master teachers, opportunities to sing with outstanding choirs and ensembles, attend concerts, engage with other music educators, and share resources is a rare opportunity and should not be missed.

Apply now for the 2013–2014 Music Educators Workshop.
Application deadline: May 31, 2013

Music Educators Workshop