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male singers (redirected from Reaching out to and retaining male singers)

Page history last edited by mainellama4@... 8 years, 11 months ago


* studies show a positive correlation between male ensembles in Middle School and High School retention


A dissertation by Jana Grace Williams in 2011 articulated some important findings:

* (Male) Participants ranked "friends in chorus" as the primary reason for participating (41.4%)

* "not enough room in schedule" (30.7%), followed by "being made fun of" (28.8%) are the primary reasons males do not participate.

* Suggestions to increase male choral participation included more male role models, positive media endorsement, and beginning male singing at a young age.

* Implications for music educators include the need to address the issue of male harassment and homophobic labeling.




Graduation requirement specifically for music; half year of visual art, half year of performing art

71% of all York High School graduates since 2008 have performed in at least one chorus concert,

one third of the YHS student body performs in a choral program each year


Spend time at your Middle School interacting with those male singers

sit in with them

guest conduct a rehearsal or two

if you are your own feeder program, then bring some HS males to a couple of MS rehearsals


"Baritone Day" for MS and/or a district day for 5-12 male singers

guest clinician

guest male a cappella group (collegiate!)

combine w/neighbor towns


Showcase selection in concert

one selection with just the male singers

thoughtful about the selection process; engaging for the gents


In-rehearsal video critiques

show videos of "model" choirs to emulate... and make sure the male singers are featured!


Make it about singing, not the literature

If programming popular music for concerts is so effective, then why are we still having this conversation about retention? Loose the "cool" approach and start promoting authentic choral experiences


Bribery goes a very long way...

class competition for the most recruits - this actually works!



if you can't/don't relate to where the gents are coming from cognitively, mentally, emotionally and culturally, no amount of "strategies" is going to help you retain any of them; get out there and know the culture of your school - class advisor? interact with those you don't know at lunch duty? athletics?


Rehearsal atmosphere: professional AND engaging

you will recruit/retain male singers by running a program they respect more than they "like" -

if you were in those kids' shoes, would YOU like being in your rehearsal? Why or why not?



My personal conviction: If your kids know you genuinely love them - all of them (especially the troublemakers) - but not at the sacrifice of your professional agenda, they will follow you. Create an atmosphere that the kids want to be a part of, regardless of the subject area, and foster program growth and male recruitment and retention that way. See what happens!!!




















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