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date: 25 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Much has changed in the choral rehearsal room over the past two generations, particularly in regard to the role the choral conductor assumes—or commands—in the rehearsal process. This chapter discusses the ever-evolving stereotypical roles of the conductor, while examining alternatives to traditional leadership models with particular emphasis on the encouragement of student engagement and peer-based learning. In addition to the facilitation of collaborative learning exercises, the chapter outlines a specific process of written interaction with the choral ensemble. This section is inspired by the renowned “Dear People” letters of Robert Shaw. Finally, in response to the recently revised National Standards for Music Education in the United States, the author discusses possible implementation of the Standards in a performance-based classroom. In the shadow of the relatively recent phenomena of collegiate a cappella groups, these student ensembles have created a new paradigm for peer-led instruction.

Keywords: choral conductor, Peer-based learning, Student engagement, Robert Shaw, National Standards, a cappella

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