Band Directors Teaching Choir-Solo and Ensemble Pt. 1

Here at Stanton’s12VBF_ConspirareHandel, we’re aware of the rising number of music teachers working outside of their specialty.  Cutbacks have forced many instrumental specialists to begin teaching choir-but never fear!  In this series, we will try to give some advice on where to start, as well as recommending some “tried and true” products that will help you become a great choral educator!

Just when you’ve gotten comfortable with the daily running of your choral group(s), it’s time to begin preparing for Solo and Ensemble festivals. The general procedures for vocal and instrumental music are often similar, but there are some differences that new choral teachers should be aware of.  This post will focus on solo literature.

Memorization-Unlike instrumental events, vocal events must be memorized.  Though a piece might seem easy on the surface, the memorization of text and/or musical elements can be an issue for some.  Consider the number of verses, language,  and the difficulty of entrances or phrase endings when thinking about a student’s ability to memorize.

Pianists-An accomplished accompanist is extremely important, especially when young singers are involved.  While a live accompanist is always best, many standard vocal collections now come with a CD.  This can be an invaluable tool for a student who may not get much rehearsal time with an accompanist or instructor.  Click here to see a selection of collections available with accompaniment CD’s.

Literature-While most instrumental solos are available as singles, most vocal literature can be found in collections.   These budget-stretching books can have many solos that appear on your state list, often at different difficulty levels and/or in different ranges.  Don’t forget to order an original copy for the accompanist as well.  Click here to see our best-selling vocal collections.  For students in junior high/middle school, check out our previous blog post on this topic.

As always, individual states’ rules vary.  Please check your state rule book  for more information.

Still not sure which collections to invest in?  Don’t be shy about asking for help, especially if you are new to the choral world.  As always, the experienced choral directors at Stanton’s are thrilled to help you select materials, make recommendations, or give advice.    Contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, extension 1 or visit our store.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Previous posts in this series: Warm-Ups and Rounds; Sight-Singing; SAB or 3 Part Mixed; Help! I’m Not a Pianist!


Categories: Concert Band, Music Education, Orchestra, School Choral, Solo & Ensemble, Teacher Materials

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2 replies


  1. Band Directors Teaching Choir: Solo and Ensemble Pt. 2 « Stanton's Sheet Music
  2. Band Directors Teaching Choir-SAB or SATB? « Stanton's Sheet Music

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