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Choir Assignments - Fun ideas!


I am a first year teacher and I'm looking for fun assignment ideas. I want my students to be doing more than just singing in my room, creating, collaborating, etc., but as a first year teacher I haven't quite figured out what works well and what doesn't. Just curious what some of you assign your students. I would love group project ideas as well as individual project ideas. Last year the teacher had them create a parody and they absolutely hated it and begged that I wouldn't make them do that this year - but I want them to work on something! Any ideas would be appreciated! Thank you! :) 

Emily Ayres
6-12 Vocal Music Director
Beresford, SD 
Replies (8): Threaded | Chronological
on September 30, 2015 7:11am
I'd be interested as well.
on October 1, 2015 6:01am
At the end of the year (after our last concert), I broke my middle school choir into groups of about 5. They then were each assigned about 3 songs that we had learned throughout the year (even including Christmas songs) and had to write a mini-musical using these songs. They had to create a script, sing a portion of each piece (a cappella or to a youtube clip if they found one), create a program to go with it, and perform infront of the class. They really enjoyed working on it, and some of the themes they came up with were quite funny and entertaining to watch! I graded them using a rubric of things I was looking for. 
Applauded by an audience of 3
on October 1, 2015 12:10pm
I do a lot of fun activities with my choir during the year.  I have them create mini-musicals and mini-operas, using songs they already know how to sing, but having them change the words to fit the theme of their show.
I have them compose Blues lyrics after teaching them the history and structure of Blues music.  They always have fun with this one!
Each one of my students has a Chromebook, so I have them make slide presentations of many things throughout the year, such as research on a particular musician, playlists for how they are feeling at different times (happy, sad, etc.) - the possibilities are endless on this one!
Last year I had small groups of students make their own "covers" to songs that they liked.  They recorded themselves singing the song, then came up with a video presentation for each one.  I did that at the end of the year, it was really fun, although somewhat chaotic.  :-)
Let me know if you would like more details, I'm happy to share!
Applauded by an audience of 2
on October 2, 2015 8:52am
I teach middle schoolers, so I am all about teaching cross-curricular units. Take a look at your scores for the poetry there, and see if any would lend themselves to a project for visual interpretation. I do "poetry glyphs" with my students where they assign visual symbols to represent the text. This works well with text loaded with imagery obviously, and aligns perfectily with common core Language Arts requirements.
I have also developed out a writing project where students write a memoir themed "The Soundtrack of My Life." This is something we work on all year, but turns out to be a favorite fun activity that integrates their own phones or whatever devices they have. That alone makes it a bit of a challenge, but has evolved into quite a quality project. I'd be happy to share resources if you'd like more information.
Look into the Arts Integration website at Kennedy Center. ArtsEdge- There may be something there for you as well!
Applauded by an audience of 2
on October 3, 2015 7:21am
Jennifer, I'd be interested in these resources and info if you don't mind!
on October 28, 2015 11:30am
I wam wondering if you can share  more about "The Soundtrack of My Life" project. I will really appreciate it.  Thank you in advance.
on October 25, 2015 7:35am
My students are required to watch a choir concert, take some guided notes, and write a short review of it. They do one per semester. I could share the document with you (student's instructions on the front, notes on the back) if you want. It's on google docs so you could download it and edit it however you want.
One group project that I do is send the students out in teams to get our promotional posters up in local stores. They form teams of 4-6, and I give the teams different territories of the local retail districts. They wear their choir T-shirts, and I supply them with posters, scotch tape, and a log to write down which businesses they visited, whether or not the business ever donates to school functions, and who the manager's name was. The students are supposed to offer to put the poster in the store window, and then they record a successful "kill" by taking a selfie with the poster. Then they post the photo on the choir's Facebook page.
I also separate all students into Harry Potter houses (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, etc) and they stay in the houses from year to year. We have lots of different competitions between the houses, and it adds a lot of fun and motivation.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on October 26, 2015 3:40pm
I have the kids do google slide presentations with a partner on pop artists or composer of their choice.  They show the presentation in class and I grade them with a rubric.  I also have them work in small groups to try a cappella singing.  First, they watch an a cappella video by Mike Tompkins on you-tube to get some ideas.  The rule is that they can only use their mouth to make sounds like singing and beat-boxing. I got this idea at an ICDA conference from Jill Wilson, Luther College.
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