DMA Document: Graduate Choral Literature Curricula and Pedagogy
Where can a new professor of graduate choral literature find guidance when first teaching the class? Where can experienced professors of graduate choral literature look to innovate and evolve their curriculum? This paper describes the structure and content of graduate choral literature curricula and current approaches to choral literature pedagogy at six universities. In addition, a comparison of choral literature textbooks can help professors 1) select the most fitting literature for the courses they teach; and 2) utilize the way the book authors organize and sequence the material as a model for how to organize the subject matter of their own choral literature course. Topics include the following: 1) how many courses are included in graduate choral literature sequences, and how the subject matter is divided and organized among the courses; 2) what textbooks are used in graduate choral literature curricula; 3) what teachers and students do during class time in graduate choral literature courses; 4) what is required of graduate choral literature students outside of class time; 5) what types of assessments are used to measure student learning in graduate choral literature courses; 6) what underlying philosophical or practical considerations affect the design of the graduate choral literature courses; 7) how technology is used to enhance graduate choral literature curricula; 8) what choral literature professors might learn from the emerging pedagogy movement in the field of musicology.
Any choral music educators might use this information to enhance the way their students learn about choral literature, whether in a choral literature course, choral ensemble, choral methods course, or choral conducting class setting. The primary aim of this paper is for those who teach graduate choral literature to discover ways they could innovate their own courses by transferring exceptional aspects of the presented models to their own settings.