Secondary Choral Track


American Heritage Choir, Utah

Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture, but a joy for the pupil; instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime”
—Zoltan Kodály

InterMuse offers a secondary choral track to meet the needs of Middle School, Junior High and High School teachers seeking for a comprehensive approach for teaching musicianship and literacy in the choral classroom. Coursework is built upon the following principles:

  • Singing is the primary form of musical expression in the choral setting. The voice is the universal instrument and is ideal for experiencing the world of music and for gaining musical knowledge. Vocal pedagogy and healthy singing are crucial to a successful choral experience for students and teachers. Students must become independent singers, and musicians. A cappella singing is essential to choral development, musicianship and intonation.
  • High-quality choral literature provides a foundation for true musical artistry. Music that is well-crafted can instill a thirst for quality music in students. Folk songs, Art Music and carefully composed choral works are the basis for the Kodály approach. Music of this type demands quality teaching. Teachers need to be well-trained, prepared, comprehensive and sequential in their teaching in order to aid students in becoming refined musicians.
  • Musicianship of individual choir members is essential for a joyful, meaningful, and fulfilling choral experience.  Various tools for musical growth are used in a Kodály-inspired choir.  Rhythm syllables, moveable-do solfa, tone ladders, the Curwen Hand signs, vocal production, absolute note names, reading and writing music staff notation, sight singing, part singing, and improvisation are a few of the teaching tools employed to engender musical development.
  • A sequential approach to teaching choral music carefully lays the framework for lasting musicianship.  The Kodály approach is experiential, discovery-based and active music making which leads students to increase their knowledge and skill in music. This requires teacher training in lesson planning, sequencing, student facilitating, and classroom leadership (management).

Over the course of three years, InterMuse Secondary Choral Track participants will study a curriculum developed by Matt Thornton for teaching musicianship to secondary students.  This curriculum is based on the works of Jerry L. Jaccard, Lois Choksy, and others. Participants will also gain access to comprehensive music literacy assessments, choral management ideas, rehearsal techniques, vocal pedagogy concepts and warm-ups, and other resources. They will also practice using choral music to help their students experience, discover, and practice musical concepts and skills.

Secondary Choral track participants will simultaneously take the solfége, conducting and elementary classroom pedagogy coursework at InterMuse. These classes provide vital depth to a choral teacher’s personal musicianship, as well as an understanding of the Kodály vision.