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Communication Artistry in the Choral Music Setting: Keys to 21 st Century Skills Southwestern Division MENC/TMEC Conference June 13, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Communication Artistry in the Choral Music Setting: Keys to 21 st Century Skills Southwestern Division MENC/TMEC Conference June 13, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Communication Artistry in the Choral Music Setting: Keys to 21 st Century Skills Southwestern Division MENC/TMEC Conference June 13, 2011

2 Introduction Of all the arts, choral music is the most closely tied to linguistics. The combined artistic beauty derived from well composed music and inspired lyrics are celebrated through our best choral works. However, only the most proficient conductor/teachers are able to inspire their students to connect performance techniques with linguistic understandings. This session explores the phoneme and how great choral music experiences develop linguistic awareness for all ages. Special emphasis will be placed on how choral music experiences enhance communication skills for adolescents in a world where “WorkKeys” skills have become critical to lifelong success.

3 Outcomes Participants will consider prominent features of choral music which are essential to artistic communication. Participants will examine text as an educational component of choral music. Participants will articulate factors of choral music education which may enhance work skill development in adolescents.

4 Prominent features of choral music which are essential to artistic communication. Decoding skills – Phonological features – Phonemic awareness – Sight identification-vocabulary Comprehension – Semantics/syntax-vocabulary and grammar – Fluency factors

5 Considering texts Your first assignment is to imagine performing…..

6 Star Spangled Banner Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

7 Decoding the “Banner” When you envisioned performing this piece: – Did you perceive it instrumentally? – Did you sing it in your head? – Was your perception of the piece a combination of vocal and instrumental? How you decode music may relate to how you enable students to decode music.

8 A Red, Red Rose - Robert Burns O my luve is like a red, red rose That's newly sprung in June: O my luve's like a melodie That's sweetly play'd in tune. As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in luve am I, I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry.

9 I Shot an Arrow I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight. I breathed a song into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For who has sight so keen and strong, That it can follow the flight of song? Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroke; And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.

10 Phonemic Awareness Is it all about the rhyme scheme? What features make the poetry/lyrics meaningful? Singable?

11 Phonemic or Semantic? How does word choice affect imagery? How does word choice affect musicality? Does musicality alter meaning? Does diction affect meaning or does meaning affect diction?

12 The Music-Lyric Connection The relationship between music composition and inspired lyrics – Timing and stress – Intensity adjustments – Inflection through pitch/timing accuracy

13 The Dreamkeeper Langston Hughes Bring me all of your dreams, you dreamer Bring me all your heart’s melodies That I may wrap them in a blue cloud cloth Away from the too rough fingers of the world

14 The Road Not Taken Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear, Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I marked the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

15 The Vanna Effect A matter of co-articulation We draw attention to: – Consonant placement and timing – Vowel modification Does choral reading enhance literacy?

16 Examples How does diction affect musicality? What language factors affect choral music? – Phonology, phonemic awareness – Semantics and fluency – Comprehension How do these factors affect the qualities of language ?

17 Educating through Choral Texts Language levels of text FrozenFormalNeutralInformal Conver- sational Intimate

18 Frozen and Formal Mass Oratorios (scripture) Anthems Formal poetry Hymns Example: Sing Unto God – The Greatest of These

19 Neutral, Informal Story songs Folk genre Folk poets and poetry History- ballads Politics and advocacy Cultural norms Example: The Ship Carol

20 Conversational Jazz Blues Country Pop Gospel Praise genres Political Examples: That Lonesome Road

21 Intimate Love songs Lullabies Vocal improvisation

22 Language Levels: Music/text considerations Frozen Formal Conversational Intimate Neutral Informal

23 Brain Research: Cognitive processes The ability to recognize music is contained in the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that also plays a key role in learning and in the response and control of emotions. (Petr Jana, Dartmouth Center for Cognitive, Neuroscience, Journal of Science, 2002).

24 Empathy: An important “soft skill” Nina Kraus:

25 INVENTIVE or High Order Thinking (HOTS) COMPREHENSION-Finding Meaning WORD CHOICE (semantics) Symbol systems define meaning »Vygotsky and Bruner Vocabulary growth aids THINKING »Repertoire must be relevant, varied and authentic GRAMMAR (syntax) Chord progressions

26 Applications to Work Skills Developing the full package – Ability to code shift to different language levels – Comfort with public performance (speaking) – Ability to work collaboratively with others under the direction of a “boss” – Ability to stay with a task and move toward perfection

27 Summary: A Common Analogy

28 Building the Perfect House STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS. – The timing, pitch and structure of the music – Must be accurately built – Will reflect the cultural style of its architecture

29 But--What’s inside the walls? The understanding of the language itself The nuances associated with the language – Vowels – Consonants – Placement of the décor Onset and offset timing, tone color blend

30 The Music-Lyric Connection Music and lyrics that are not the best match – Can we overcome a piece that is not a great match if we like the music and like the lyrics? – Music and lyrics that are a great match Will they always produce a great performance?

31 Interior Design— Using the Lyrics Applying the expressive controls help create the meaning A mismatch between the expressive controls and the actual semantics of the language is problematic. What you do with the music has to be honest with the lyrics? It’s like putting ultra modern furniture in a Victorian house—very few listeners will respect the choice so you will have an audience of one.

32 So how do we best honor the composer and his/her music? – Establish artistry through work-keys foundational skills. – Understand that musical artistry IS literacy.

33 Contact information Elaine Bernstorf, Ph.D. CCC-SLP –; – 316-978-6953 John Paul Johnson, Ph.D. – – 316-978-6607 Cathy Hunt, Ph.D. – – 785-670-1519

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