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Effective Rehearsal Leadership
Time  Management  in  the  Choral  Rehearsal
Jo-­Michael  Scheibe,  DMA
Chair  and  Professor
Department  of  Choral  and  Sacred  Music          
USC  Thornton  School  of  Music                        
scheibe@thornton.usc.edu
Definition of Leadership
“Social  influence  on  mission  
accomplishment.    Getting  effective  
cooperation  of  other  people  and  to  
harness  the  resources  provided  by  
that  cooperation  to  the  attainment  
of  a  goal.”
Definition of “to Conduct”
Conduct  comes  from  the  Latin  word  
conducere which  means  to  lead  
together.
In  Webster’s dictionary,  the  word  is  
defined  as:  “to  direct  the  course  of,  or  
to  guide,  to  lead.”
So how do we lead and guide our students?
Goal  Setting-­ SMART:
S  pecific
M  easurable
A  ccountable
R  ealistic  and…
T  imely
Kathleen   A.  Foord  and   Jean   M.  Haar,  Professional   Learning  
Communities:  An  Implementation   Guide  and   Toolkit (New  
York:  Routledge,   2008),   104.
Goal Setting - SMART
• Specific:
– Should  be  shared  with  the  
choir
– Define  desired  result
– Avoid  using  terms  like  “more”,  
“better”,  “lots”,  etc.
S    pecific
M  easurable
A    ccountable
R    ealistic  and…
T    imely
Goal Setting - SMART
• Measurable
– Quantitative  results
– Define  results  that  can  be  
measured  by  someone  not  
involved
S    pecific
M  easurable
A    ccountable
R    ealistic  and…
T    imely
Goal Setting - SMART
• Accountable
– Share  the  goal  with  
someone  or  some  group  
to  which  you  are  
accountable
• Realistic
– Make  sure  results  are  
attainable
– Challenge  enough  to  
encourage  growth
S    pecific
M  easurable
A    ccountable
R    ealistic  and…
T    imely
Goal Setting - SMART
• Timely
– Need  for  a  specific  
deadline  to  reach  
expected  results
– Must  allow  sufficient  time  
for  full  realization  of  
results S    pecific
M  easurable
A    ccountable
R    ealistic  and…
T    imely
So  how  do  we  
become  
“SMART”er  in  
our  choral  
rehearsals?
S  pecific
M  easurable
A  ccountable
R  ealistic
T  imely
E  valuate
R  e-­do
Successful Rehearsals
• Qualities  of  Excellent  Rehearsals:
– Appropriate  music  selection
– Score  preparation  
– Rehearsal  time  is  well  planned
– Stimulating,  exciting,  and  creative  rehearsals
It’s All About Organization
Fibonacci Numbers and Golden
Proportion in Art, Architecture and Music
4 Distinct Traits of SMART Rehearsals
• Direction
• Duration
• Maximum  Intensity
• Would  be  success
Set Time
Duration  (time)
Direction 61.8%
Intensity
Motivation!
• A  traditional  60-­minute  rehearsal:
– Warm-­ups  (1+2+3  minutes)
– First  musical  composition  (5  minutes)
– Second  composition  (8  minutes)
– Third  composition  (13  minutes)
– Fourth  Composition  (21  minutes)
– Final  selection  (8  minutes)
• All  of  these  can  be  broken  down  to  
their  own  Fibonacci  numbers.
For Further Success
• Have  empathy  with  your  singers
• Try  to  solve  problems  with  gesture  rather  
than  words
• Plan  those  rehearsals
• Be  a  “Team  Leader”1
• Cultivate  “Exemplary  Followers”1
Shirlee  Emmons  and   Constance   Chase,  Prescriptions   for  
Choral  Excellence   (New  York:  Oxford  University  Press,  
2006),   237.
Motivation  is  the  most  
important  part  of  learning.
Twelve Roadblocks to Mutual Learning
•Ordering,  commanding,  
directing
•Warning  and  threatening
•Moralizing  or  preaching
•Advising  or  offering  
solutions
•Persuading  with  logic
•Judging,  criticizing,  
disagreeing,  blaming
•Praising,  agreeing  (i.e.  
phony  praise)
•Name-­calling,  ridiculing
•Interpreting,  analyzing,  
diagnosing
•Reassuring  or  
sympathizing
•Interrogating
•Distraction,  Sarcasm  
Thomas  Gordon,   Leadership   Effectiveness   Training  L.E.T.:  
The  No-­Lose   Way  to  Release   the  Productive   Potential   of  
People   (New  York:  Bantam,   1980),   60-­62.
A Successful Rehearsal…
• Is  treated  as  a  work  in  progress
• Has  expectations  or  goals
• Will  use  gesture  rather  than  speech  to  solve  
problems
• Starts  and  ends  on  time
• Has  a  list  of  music  to  be  rehearsed  on  the  
board
• Takes  place  in  a  clean  and  organized  room
A Successful Rehearsal…(cont.)
• Is  one  where  the  singer  shares  in  the  
responsibility  of  the  rehearsal
• Starts  at  a  level  the  choir  can  attain
• Is  one  where  the  conductor’s  body  is  free  
from  tension
• Satisfies  and  antagonizes  the  students  to  
learn  clear,  positive  goals
• Is  one  where  each  singer  has  a  sense  of  
ownership
A Successful Rehearsal…(cont.)
• Go  through  lots  of  music
• In  a  church  setting,  do  
anthems  more  than  once  
to  help  build  perfection
• Make  minutes  count
To Maintain a Rehearsal
• Use  humor
• Respect  your  singers
• Be  enthusiastic
• Score  preparation  -­ DO  IT!
• Value  choristers  time  by  being  prepared
• Warm  rehearsal  demeanor
• High,  attainable  (SMARTER)  goals

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Effective Rehearsal Leadership

  • 1. Effective Rehearsal Leadership Time  Management  in  the  Choral  Rehearsal Jo-­Michael  Scheibe,  DMA Chair  and  Professor Department  of  Choral  and  Sacred  Music           USC  Thornton  School  of  Music                         scheibe@thornton.usc.edu
  • 2. Definition of Leadership “Social  influence  on  mission   accomplishment.    Getting  effective   cooperation  of  other  people  and  to   harness  the  resources  provided  by   that  cooperation  to  the  attainment   of  a  goal.”
  • 3. Definition of “to Conduct” Conduct  comes  from  the  Latin  word   conducere which  means  to  lead   together. In  Webster’s dictionary,  the  word  is   defined  as:  “to  direct  the  course  of,  or   to  guide,  to  lead.”
  • 4. So how do we lead and guide our students? Goal  Setting-­ SMART: S  pecific M  easurable A  ccountable R  ealistic  and… T  imely Kathleen   A.  Foord  and   Jean   M.  Haar,  Professional   Learning   Communities:  An  Implementation   Guide  and   Toolkit (New   York:  Routledge,   2008),   104.
  • 5. Goal Setting - SMART • Specific: – Should  be  shared  with  the   choir – Define  desired  result – Avoid  using  terms  like  “more”,   “better”,  “lots”,  etc. S    pecific M  easurable A    ccountable R    ealistic  and… T    imely
  • 6. Goal Setting - SMART • Measurable – Quantitative  results – Define  results  that  can  be   measured  by  someone  not   involved S    pecific M  easurable A    ccountable R    ealistic  and… T    imely
  • 7. Goal Setting - SMART • Accountable – Share  the  goal  with   someone  or  some  group   to  which  you  are   accountable • Realistic – Make  sure  results  are   attainable – Challenge  enough  to   encourage  growth S    pecific M  easurable A    ccountable R    ealistic  and… T    imely
  • 8. Goal Setting - SMART • Timely – Need  for  a  specific   deadline  to  reach   expected  results – Must  allow  sufficient  time   for  full  realization  of   results S    pecific M  easurable A    ccountable R    ealistic  and… T    imely
  • 9. So  how  do  we   become   “SMART”er  in   our  choral   rehearsals?
  • 10. S  pecific M  easurable A  ccountable R  ealistic T  imely E  valuate R  e-­do
  • 11. Successful Rehearsals • Qualities  of  Excellent  Rehearsals: – Appropriate  music  selection – Score  preparation   – Rehearsal  time  is  well  planned – Stimulating,  exciting,  and  creative  rehearsals
  • 12. It’s All About Organization
  • 13. Fibonacci Numbers and Golden Proportion in Art, Architecture and Music
  • 14.
  • 15. 4 Distinct Traits of SMART Rehearsals • Direction • Duration • Maximum  Intensity • Would  be  success Set Time Duration  (time) Direction 61.8% Intensity
  • 16. Motivation! • A  traditional  60-­minute  rehearsal: – Warm-­ups  (1+2+3  minutes) – First  musical  composition  (5  minutes) – Second  composition  (8  minutes) – Third  composition  (13  minutes) – Fourth  Composition  (21  minutes) – Final  selection  (8  minutes) • All  of  these  can  be  broken  down  to   their  own  Fibonacci  numbers.
  • 17. For Further Success • Have  empathy  with  your  singers • Try  to  solve  problems  with  gesture  rather   than  words • Plan  those  rehearsals • Be  a  “Team  Leader”1 • Cultivate  “Exemplary  Followers”1 Shirlee  Emmons  and   Constance   Chase,  Prescriptions   for   Choral  Excellence   (New  York:  Oxford  University  Press,   2006),   237.
  • 18. Motivation  is  the  most   important  part  of  learning.
  • 19. Twelve Roadblocks to Mutual Learning •Ordering,  commanding,   directing •Warning  and  threatening •Moralizing  or  preaching •Advising  or  offering   solutions •Persuading  with  logic •Judging,  criticizing,   disagreeing,  blaming •Praising,  agreeing  (i.e.   phony  praise) •Name-­calling,  ridiculing •Interpreting,  analyzing,   diagnosing •Reassuring  or   sympathizing •Interrogating •Distraction,  Sarcasm   Thomas  Gordon,   Leadership   Effectiveness   Training  L.E.T.:   The  No-­Lose   Way  to  Release   the  Productive   Potential   of   People   (New  York:  Bantam,   1980),   60-­62.
  • 20. A Successful Rehearsal… • Is  treated  as  a  work  in  progress • Has  expectations  or  goals • Will  use  gesture  rather  than  speech  to  solve   problems • Starts  and  ends  on  time • Has  a  list  of  music  to  be  rehearsed  on  the   board • Takes  place  in  a  clean  and  organized  room
  • 21. A Successful Rehearsal…(cont.) • Is  one  where  the  singer  shares  in  the   responsibility  of  the  rehearsal • Starts  at  a  level  the  choir  can  attain • Is  one  where  the  conductor’s  body  is  free   from  tension • Satisfies  and  antagonizes  the  students  to   learn  clear,  positive  goals • Is  one  where  each  singer  has  a  sense  of   ownership
  • 22. A Successful Rehearsal…(cont.) • Go  through  lots  of  music • In  a  church  setting,  do   anthems  more  than  once   to  help  build  perfection • Make  minutes  count
  • 23.
  • 24. To Maintain a Rehearsal • Use  humor • Respect  your  singers • Be  enthusiastic • Score  preparation  -­ DO  IT! • Value  choristers  time  by  being  prepared • Warm  rehearsal  demeanor • High,  attainable  (SMARTER)  goals