The MS choir has been driving us a little crazy. When, in our last rehearsal before performing, they look at us like we're crazy when we ask them who sings a section of a song first and who joins later, we worry.
We performed for the school at an assembly today...and were embarrassed. Mrs. D had to tell students on stage to stop talking, then she had to start a song over because of a non-functional beginning. Soon enough, the assistant principal had to remove three girls from our choir (from stage) because they were talking so much.
The assistant principal, Mrs. D, and I all spoke to each of those girls, one at a time, after the assembly. On a tangential note, the assistant principal tore into the students with wording that was slightly beyond the harshness that I expected, or that I was entirely in agreement with. I'm either still a softie or he was in a really bad mood. Maybe both.
We had another complete rehearsal with the choir at the end of school, which allowed us to prepare for the public concert this evening. The singers told us that other students said they "sucked," and we just looked blankly at them. Mrs. D lectured to them about how being disruptive is not cute (a phrase inspired by a boy whose cuteness gets him a pass on misbehavior) and how they didn't "show up to sing." I added on to this by providing two solutions for the issues brought up. First, as students who've been in my classes know I like to do, I told them that they need to give an honest effort, and that would solve the musical symptoms of not showing up to sing. Second, I told them to relax and be confident, and that would resolve the musical symptoms of being anxious. I know it's easier said than done, but I had to.
After all of that, we started to sing. Mrs. D gave the pitches for the first song, and WOW! It all came together! I didn't know these students could sing so well. It was confident, in tune, and focused. We were amazed. This ended up being a stunning rehearsal.
The concert went better than the assembly, though not quite as good as the rehearsal. Overall, they stepped up and I was proud of them. Mrs. D had warned me that middle school choir is like a box of chocolates. You never—