I choose to start from Day One. The first week is spent creating relationships, getting students to collaborate and build their teams, and creating rules that make sense.
Building Relationships: I’ll talk more about this in another post, but realize that if you don’t take the time to build relationships with your students, they won’t care what you can teach them. They won’t care what they might be able to do with the knowledge. They just won’t care.
Collaboration & Teamwork: I think this is important in any classroom! However, I think it is vital in a choir room. The students and the teacher need to be able to work together in a way that is engaging, powerful, innovative, and open. If you don’t take the time to build the team and then continually refine it, you won’t have a team effort evident when the performances come. Your audience will see nothing exciting and the students won’t feel anything thereby not understanding what the music is all about.
Creating Rules: I like to allow input from my students but I admit that I still show the them how the ideas they share fall within four basic rules. Be Responsible. Be Ready. Be in the Present. Be Respectful. I post these as our overarching themes/rules and then we discuss how each of their ideas fit within that structure. Next year, I plan on taking that even further as I have learned this year that their ideas still need to be posted and sometimes we might need more visual reminders (me included).
Here are some other examples and articles about classroom management in the choir room.