This March, our local music teachers association is organizing a World Music Festival. In preparation for it, I decided to find repertoire for each of my students that represents a different country. It’s quite a big task to find engaging ethnic pieces for a bunch of students all at once, so I thought I would document the steps I go through to make this a more efficient operation. (This is how I select repertoire at the beginning of the school year and for other festivals throughout the year, too. Even when I go to the music store to scour the books, I take my supplies and go through the same steps!)
STEP ONE: Gather the necessary supplies – note pad, pencil, and sticky flags.
STEP TWO: Go through file cabinets and pull out every book or sheet music that has the name of another country or something representative of another country in the title.
STEP THREE: Write out each student’s name on the note pad.
STEP FOUR: Play through each piece and determine if a particular student would like the piece. If so, write the student’s name on one of the sticky flags and affix it to the sheet music or book. Then, write the title of the piece next to their name on the note pad.
STEP FIVE: Repeat step four until every student has been assigned a fun piece!
STEP SIX: Excitedly anticipate each student’s lesson when I can introduce them to their new repertoire and watch their eyes light up. I think I love having them start new music as much as they do! 🙂
I’m sure there is some more technologically advanced method for doing this, but for some things I’m still a paper and pencil person. By the way, this World Music theme has turned out to be a great way to try out new repertoire that I might otherwise overlook. I think I should try focusing on a specific theme like this every year. Does anyone have suggestions for successful themes they’ve used in their studios/recitals?