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Sometimes, you have students who impact you deeply. And sometimes...you ask them to be on your podcast. Why talk about students all the time, when you can just talk to them? In today's joyful and laughter-filled episode, I chat with my recently-graduated student George Potenza about his experiences in choir from 6th-12th grade, what was impactful, …
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Today's story-filled episode features Erik Jacobs, a middle-school-choir expert from northern Virginia. We talk about students and teachers and how to build individual relationships with each student to engage them and get buy in. We also chat about something we agree on wholeheartedly - the importance of inclusivity in the choral classroom and fie…
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In today's episode, we speak with Adrian Dunn - a critically acclaimed singer, composer, and conductor - about his story, his compositions, and his truth. This conversation inspires all to think about the cultural context of the pieces we teach, and the importance of understanding the "why" of yourself, your singers, and your audience. You can chec…
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Inspired by a quote from the book Untamed by Glennon Doyle, podcast host Kirsten Oberoi chats today about creativity and imagination in the classroom, in the choral field, and in life. In what ways have you busted open the glass ceilings? How have you imposed yourself - your ideas and thoughts and dreams - onto the world, leaving it changed forever…
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Today's episode features an exploratory conversation with singing voice specialist and trauma-informed voice car facilitator Megan Durham. Through this episode, Megan and I talk and philosophize together, as well as explore language, choices, intentions, and more. Megan and I come from two different perspectives - one-on-one voice perspectives and …
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Today's episode is the continuation of last week's episode with the inspiring members of October Project, who discuss their "Book of Rounds" and more! Through the end of our conversation, we discuss Julie's intent for her lyrics in the world, as well as how the three work together in collaboration through music. Check out the remainder of this epis…
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Today's epsiode is the first of two parts with the inspiring members of October Project, who discuss their "Book of Rounds" and have inspiring conversation regarding performance, connection, and more. Composer Emil Adler, writer Julie Flanders and vocalist Marina Belica of October Project are award-winning, genre-defying recording artists and produ…
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Why is music education research important? How is it connected to practice? What are the big questions being explored? Today's conversation with Dr. Kelly Bylica revolves around music education research and advocacy. We discuss Brené Brown's definitions of "fitting in" versus "belonging", and how perhaps Music Education Advocacy needs to step away …
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Today's passionate conversation is with Dr. Jace Saplan, Director of Choral Activities at Arizona State University and the Artistic Director of the Nā Wai Chamber Choir. Our conversation weaves together many important topics, including (but not limited to:) conductor mindset and living into your identities outside of choral music honoring others an…
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People want to repeat intentionally impactful experiences. Today, I felt inspired coming off the South Shore Children's Chorus Winter Concert last Sunday. I take some time to discuss "relevance", especially when it comes to how singers and audience members are engaging in choral music. Additionally, I read & riff from my latest article on the Choru…
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Arreon Harley-Emerson is the President and CEO of Equity Sings, serving organizations with consulting on matters of governance, fundraising, strategic planning, management, and creating cultures of diversity, equity and inclusion. He also serves as the ACDA Diversity Initiatives chair. Arreon's passion and joy is in every moment of this episode, as…
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This week's conversation is with Ruthie Millgard, the Artistic Director of San Diego Children's Choir. With her high school level singers, Ruthie makes time for improvisation and "circle songs" in rehearsal (and even, often, in performance!). Through these improvisation exercises, students are allowed to explore musical phrases and are given lots o…
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We continue with our conversation this week with Kayla Gautereaux who teaches voice lessons and vocal pedagogy at Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. Hear from an expert at what YOU can do in your choral rehearsal to help create easier, repeatable, and sustainable vocal pedagogy habits for your individual singers. Be sure to join our …
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Happy new year! Enjoy hearing about 5 lessons I learned this year. Be sure to join our community on Facebook and Instagram, and if you are inspired by the content, please support using Buy Me A Coffee! Check back every Thursday for a new inspiring episode.โดย Kirsten Oberoi
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If you love this content, and you want to give back, please consider a donation of any size to the South Shore Children's Chorus! Singing is a way to transmit love, and voice teacher and pedagog Kayla Gautereaux encourages her students at Berklee College of Music & Boston Conservatory to do that every lesson. In the first part of this two part epis…
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Liana Salinas shares with us her inspiring story of growing up as a chorister with the Miami Children's Chorus, determining at a young age that she would become the Artistic Director one day, and living out her dream! In this episode, Liana shares incredible stories and her take on a people-first approach philosophy through her work with the choir …
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With over 800k followers on TikTok, Myles Finn has become a relevant face in the choral field. His social media presence began with a fun musical show announcement for his theatre students, and has grown to include fun warm-ups and teaching techniques to inspire us all. In this episode, Myles encourages us to hold interpersonal relationships as a h…
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Dr. Joe Svedsen from the University of Nevada Las Vegas shares with us his passion for music education philosophy. This episode is a philosophical deep dive into the differences between a people-centric and a music-centric teaching philosophy, how that impacts our singers, and what each style looks like in the classroom. Buckle up for this intensiv…
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Our first international guest, Lynsey Callaghan tells us her story in this episode, and what led her to found the Dublin Youth Choir in 2017. Lynsey's passion for holistic music teaching is evident through the whole episode. She talks the very intentional ways she ensures that every single singer in DYC is seen and heard at every rehearsal, and the…
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In this week's episode, Reagan Paras (Director of Choral Activities at Anna Maria College) vulnerably shares his story and experiences with us. Reagan reminds us that we have a holistic responsibility to children that supersedes the academic responsibility. Music is pervasive, and at the core is the emotional connection and humanness that music tea…
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Jason Alexander Holmes, Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Boychoir, shares how culturally responsive teaching changed his experience and lead to his future in music education. His experiences with his middle school choir teacher embracing his value in the classroom has opened his eyes to see and recognize value in his own students, encouraging a …
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Composer, teacher, and choral entrepreneur Ryan Main shares his inspiring story with us today about how he came to the field of music. Ryan's story is unique, as he is now a force of nature in the world of choir, but he didn't sing in choir until his sophomore year of college. Ryan walked in to an audition for choir totally unprepared, but the chor…
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Welcome back to Choral Connectivity, where we explore the meaningful ways that teaching singing can affect human nature, discuss teaching philosophies, and celebrate amazing stories of people who are doing incredible and meaningful work in the choral field. I have a full season of amazing guests and conversations, but first, let's dive into "why." …
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"...creating spaces and styles of music making where whatever music lives inside people that wants to come out is encouraged; inspired to come out and to engage with other people. I think everyone has song inside them, creativity inside them, has beauty inside them. I think a people-first approach to singing makes everyone feel safe, wanted, and up…
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Welcome back! After a bit of a hiatus due to a busy season, Choral Connectivity is BACK! Today's episode features Arreon Harley-Emerson and Brittney Stanton of the Choir School of Delaware as they speak about their organization and upcoming conference, Bent but Not Broken. I first met Arreon this past January at the ACDA Children's Choir retreat in…
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"Choirs have this wonderful way of being a nurturing place for the act of discovering what you didn't think you could do - all these new aspects of yourself through making sound/feeling that sound in your body." Composer and Artist Moira Smiley speaks eloquently in this episode about having an open mind beyond your own experience when it comes to b…
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"How do we help people gather the tools necessary to navigate life in a better way?" Roger Emerson is a "choral household name," known for millions of copies sold of his choral compositions and arrangements. What you may not know? Roger Emerson is filled with joy, and his first goal is to help spread that joy to students and conductors. In this epi…
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"Everyone should have the right to make music." Adán Fernandez is passionate about creating spaces in choral music that are people-centered and culture-centered. His work in the Catholic church with Coro Guadalupano (a Spanish-speaking choir) and his Simbayanan' Chorale (a Filipino choir) alongside his work with the National Children's Chorus has l…
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"Face it, I think the days where you have someone on the podium - just directing and telling students what to do and we have a successful program - those days pretty much are over." Having an unconventional approach doesn't mean throwing everything we learned in school out the window! Rather, it means finding new, exciting, people-first ways to get…
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How do you teach leadership? What does leadership mean in a choral setting? What is expected of choral leaders, and how can they best communicate with the conductor? What are the steps to becoming a great leader in your ensemble? Using John Maxwell's 5 Levels of Leadership, Dr. Keith Pedersen from Point Loma Nazarene University answers these questi…
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"As you rebuild whatever arts program you may be involved with, I encourage you to remember that we are not back to "normal" - we are moving forward to something greater. To fully embrace this "greater," we may need to release a little bit of what has been to make space for what will be. We may need to challenge our traditions and set aside our com…
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"I want my singers to be happy; that's what it means to keep people-first!" This week, I spoke with Maria Ellis - Girl Conductor, entrepreneur, music educator, vocalist, and all-around wonderful human being. Maria is a popular clinician at choral workshops (and will be presenting at the ACDA Children's Choir Retreat in January!) and after listening…
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"If we broaden our perspective, we realize it doesn't really matter if a chord is out of tune or someone needs to miss a rehearsal to visit the doctor." Dr. Jaclyn Normandie is the author of the book The Mindful Musician: Finding a Healthy Balance. As I am reading this book, I am inspired by her philosophies and her strong approach to challenging t…
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"It's about working together in kindness and love and spreading peace and positivity in this troubled world we live in." This is just one of a million amazing quotes that came from this conversation with Tom Brand and Rebecca Rosenbaum of the Elm City Girls Choir & United Choir School located in New Haven, CT. These two conductors and visionaries m…
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In this unique episode, I speak with Adam Reinwald and Sara Langworthy - Beer Choir Twin Cities owner and enthusiast. Beer Choir is a fun and communal way to get people singing together in a no-pressure, no-commitment, super welcoming environment. Adam and Sara talk about what Beer Choir events or like, and how they reach the goal to always make th…
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In this episode, I speak with choral colleague Brad Dumont, who has choral experience at almost every level. In a single week, Brad works with a church choir, a community choir, a collegiate choir, and a children's choir. In all of the aspects of his work, Brad evaluates his choices to ensure a people-first approach in everything he does. As a resu…
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In Episode 10, I have a conversation with a longtime friend from college, Jonathan Seligman. Jon is in his seventh year of teaching at Casillas Elementary School in Chula Vista, CA in a music program he built at the school from scratch. Jon shares an incredible amount of wisdom and passion in this episode, including an inspiring and emotional story…
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This week, I speak with Mike Kregler, jazz pianist, choral composer, and choral accompanist. He provides the valuable insight on the choral community from an accompanist point of view, discussing some of the unique differences of vocal study (an instrument inside of you that was built) versus playing an instrument that is not a part of your body. M…
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In this episode, I speak with Dr. Krishan Oberoi, Director of Choral Activities at Providence College, Artistic Director of the Falmouth Chorale, Principal Guest Conductor and Founder of SACRA/PROFANA, and also...my husband! Krishan has a unique story that brought him to choral music, and has had a major philosophical shift over the past six years …
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"You can write an amazing score or an amazing song, but it can sit in a drawer forever if there's no people to sing it." This episode is near and dear to my heart, as I interview two of my long-time students. This past summer at our South Shore Children's Chorus Summer Choral Intensive, these two singers came up with a saying about my direction: "s…
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This week's episode kicks off the SSCC Series, where I chat with the staff of the South Shore Children's Chorus (Quincy, MA) that I founded in 2016. Here, I speak with Liz Schorr - an expert in engaging in mindfulness in the classroom and creating equitable space using trama-informed approaches and responses with students. Inspired greatly by the B…
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This week, I speak with choral colleague Dale Duncan, a middle school choral conductor in Atlanta and creator of the S-Cubed sight singing program. We dive into what creates a culture of acceptance in a classroom, as well as swap student stories that prove a people-first approach is inspiring and worthwhile. The episode may seem long, but you won't…
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A basic description of our job as choral conductors or music teachers is to get a bunch of humans to make the specific noise at specific times to the best of their ability. There are standardized ways of getting these specific noises to happen, and also common terms that we use to describe the noises. As a conductor and teacher, I pay specific atte…
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On this episode I speak with Dr. Jamie Hillman, the Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting at the University of Toronto. Dr. Hillman and I discuss his experiences and philosophies with people-first approaches to singing. His vast experience ranges from starting a choir with incarcerated men at a prison in Massachusetts, through adjudicating solo and chor…
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This week, I speak with friend, choral colleague, and music educator Justine Hansen, who poses the question: Do we need to commit to a large shift away from performance-based music education? Why is there so much research that Music Education is one of the best things we have to offer humankind, and yet public school education systems aren't "follo…
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Why do choral directors feel the need to audition their singers prior to them joining the ensemble? Community and children's choir singers are often too afraid of auditions to even show up, no matter how inviting you make it. In this first episode, we'll discuss how choral ensembles should reexamine closely their audition processes, and present a p…
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