My memory is flawed. It must be. There's no way that my recalled experience of almost every chorister I knew in HS being able to match pitch could be at all accurate if the nature of this bunch of students is indicative of normal vocal development. I remember a few peers who tended flat or sharp, but I don't remember ever hearing a singer practice a warmup where the piano goes up in pitch and the singer yells the same 3 notes over and over again. I also remember a number of timid peers, but "timid" meant that I might have had trouble hearing them from 10 feet away if they were singing solo, but I am now witnessing numerous students sing with such anxiety that I can stand 3 feet from them and barely discern a whisper.
Do I sound angry? Maybe my rant is unjustly fueled by the sea of dissonance I was drowning in today. I'll get myself a beer and relax sometime this evening, then I'll return to re-read this post.
Edit: I spoke to a friend from HS tonight and she reminded me that the directors where we went used a specific method to shape the junior-senior concert choir from those who are new as freshmen and sophomores; the "weed out the bad singers by humiliating them" method. In contrast to this, and given the smaller size of the current HS I'm working at, I much prefer Mrs. D's approach; allowing all who want to sing to do so in as comfortable an environment as possible. I will tell her about this tomorrow. I think it will make her feel good.
Theory is progressing well. A student finally remembered to bring in some music so we listened to last year's district chorus perform Dello Joio's "A Jubilant Song" (iTunes (the recording below, not hers)).
A Jubilant Song (Norman Dello Joio) - Richard Zielinski Singers
The 3rd GM class was WILD today. I had even been warned at lunch by one of their teachers, and he took the opportunity to mention that one student was not on his medication today. Wow...he was right. For the first time, Mrs. D stepped in (near the end of class) with a fury to settle the class down. I suppose I'm glad it took this long for that to happen, but I really hope I can get a better response from that class tomorrow. Rough day.