You know that feeling of coming home after a long day at work to a crockpot filled with a scrumptious supper? The early morning (or late night) prep was all worth it! Right? Carol Dickerson, our Design Editor for Preschool and Younger Children, has polled her colleagues and drawn from her experience to share their top five purposeful summer preps. You’ll reap the rewards in rehearsals and performances throughout your choir year.
- Review and Reflect – Hindsight is usually 20/20. Look over your curriculum from last year and decide what worked and what didn’t. Sometimes, things that seemed like a good idea or looked good on paper don’t quite turn out as expected and vice versa. Assess, and keep or discard accordingly.
- Reuse and Repurpose – The next step is deciding what to do with the “discard” pile. Consider donating materials that did not work for you or that you will not use again. Keep in mind that, even though you may get tired of an activity, it will be brand new to a new set of students. First-time teachers are usually thrilled to have another resource at their fingertips. Share the love.
- Remember and Record – Make post-production notes on any special programs you did while they are fresh on your mind. We always think we will remember that the chairs in the choir loft can’t be removed on Saturday night to make room for the Sunday afternoon Christmas program. But, making a list of details like that make planning and execution easier on the next go around: “contact the sound person earlier,” “assigning children definite spots on the risers worked much better,” etc. Extra credit for you: Make a specific list of responsibilities that can be delegated so that you can concentrate on musical issues and others can have a part in making the magic happen.
- Refresh and Reboot – Read through publications that you did not have time to read during the year. They will spark new ideas. You can do this sitting by the pool! Suggested reading: The Orff Echo, The Greenhouse Blog, The Chorister’s Guild magazine. Attend a conference or workshop. If you get even one new idea, it will be worth it. (Did we mention that WE have a workshop this summer? See below.)
- Relax and Regroup – If at all possible, use the summer to catch up on much needed rest and enjoy some special time with your family.