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ACDA National Convention -10 Hours I received 10 hours from the following sessions: Music Educator Round Table Discussion

(2 Hours), Virtual Choir 4 Bliss with Eric Whitacre and the Westminster Choir (2 Hours), the Undergraduate/ Graduate Conducting Competition (2 Hours), GIA Publishers Reading Session (1 Hour), High School and College Reading Session (1 Hour), and the Elementary School and Children’s Choir Concert Session. Throughout my time in Dallas at ACDA, I attended a number of different sessions. At the Music Educator Round Table Discussion, we had the opportunity to ask music educators questions about their journey as a teacher. The panel included university professors and conductors as well as high school, middle school, and elementary band and choir teachers. Some perceived objectives from this session included learning how to balance various aspects of your life when you become a teacher, some strategies you must utilize everyday as an educator, and why music is a strong and honorable profession to go in to. As I stated previously, the pedagogical strategy being used was questioning. This helped me tremendously in that it allowed me to understand what life, as a teacher would be like from various perspectives. The next session I observed and participated in was the Virtual Choir 4 with Eric Whitacre and the Westminster Choir session. Eric Whitacre is a prominent modern composer of choral music and was the guest presenter. This presentation included demonstrations by the Westminster Choir. Whitacre discussed his life as a composer. It was interesting because he also discussed a lot of his personal reasoning behind why he writes music and how he got into composition. The pedagogical strategy displayed by Eric Whitacre and the choir was a visual presentation and lecture. He had a number of pictures that contributed to his lecture. When I am choosing a piece by Eric Whitacre in the future, I will be sure to discuss certain strategies he himself mentioned in regards to dynamics and conducting his music specifically. This will allow others to understand what the composer wants from an ensemble when they are presenting his music. Furthermore, I attended the Undergraduate/ Graduate Conducting Competition. Dr. Amanda Quist as well as a number of prestigious university faculty members from around the world presided over the competition; moreover, two of our own students from Westminster Choir College participated in the Competition. A choir was formed so the competition could take place. Conductors would present themselves to this choir having never worked with them previously. They would then try to teach and work with the choir in front of them explaining different ways they could sing, strategies for approaching certain lines in the pieces, and an overall unification in the sound. This session portrayed a number of pedagogical strategies. Conductor’s problem solved with the choir and tried to portray a positive personality that would be affective with the group and appeal to the judges. I hope to be commanding as a music educator in the same way these conductors were.

At the GIA Publishers Reading Session and the University and High School Reading Session, we read through a number of pieces as a large group. Dr James Jordan presided over the GIA session and the Texas State Chorale and their director presided over the second. Both sessions had many of the same objectives. Whoever attended got a packet of music to read through. The purpose of these reading sessions is to work on sight-reading skills and to develop various strategies when singing as a group. Each presenter discussed why he or she chose this piece to place in the reading session. We worked as a group to sing through these pieces efficiently and adequately. I hope to use insights and sight-reading methods that I learned and use it in a classroom setting later on in the future. Lastly, I attended a concert session where I observed a variety of elementary honor choirs and children’s choirs combined. As I read through bios in the programs, I took away what it takes to really be a commanding presence and director in a young musicians life. The directors of these groups had amazing credentials and it showed through each individual group. I took away concert etiquette that should be used when working with younger musicians. Each group sang a wide variety of music. This session allowed me to acknowledge programming an elementary ensembles concert. If I ever teach at the elementary level, I hope to conduct my music classes in the same way that these people do on a daily basis. This was evident in their performances.