The Open Mic: A simple performance based medium for shaping musical identity and developing a school choir
Abstract: This study explores the preparations, implementation and results of introducing middle school aged students to an “open mic.” After a decade-long teaching career I reached a point where student engagement, confidence and singing ability was exceptionally low. It inspired me to use new ideas and those new ideas led to the creation of this project. Allowing students to create their own performance schedule and repertoire is at the heart of the open mic and its success. I have created a video compilation of performances as well as surveyed school staff. The results of the project have changed the musical culture in the school in a positive and rewarding way for both teachers and students. This project also focuses on the management of the school choir and its development throughout the year. The choir has since grown beyond expectations. Increased voluntary participation in the open mic and the school choir demonstrates the project’s success. In addition, student confidence and engagement has increased and traditions have been put into place that motivate young performers and enhance the musical culture in school.
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