ALAN McCLUNG, E.U.A.
Strategies to teach sight-singing successfully
In the past, singers supported their ability to read music by learning to play an instrument, most notably the piano. Today’s choral conductor is confronted with many singers who are unable to play an instrument, unable to read music, and use rote learning and sight-guessing as their primary means to learn music. For the contemporary choral conductor, the responsibility to teach music reading skills has become a skill-set requirement.
Consider how we learn any skill. We start at the beginning, practice each step, and move to the next sequential level. When systematic instructional strategies are appropriately sequenced and effectively applied, sight-singing becomes a skill accessible to all choristers, including unchanged, changing, and changed voices.
Alan C. McClung joined the University of North Texas College of Music faculty in 2002. In addition to supervising student teachers, he teaches graduate and undergraduate music education courses in choral conducting and secondary choral methods, including Up Front!, UNT’s eighty-voice pedagogical choir for music education.With a Ph.D. in Music Education from Florida State University, Dr. McClung's professional experience includes teaching and conducting at all levels. In addition to six European concert tours, his middle, upper, and college choirs have performed numerous invited concerts for a variety of state and regional music conferences. He has conducted a variety of state and regional honor choirs and has served as guest conductor for the award winning Landesjungenchor from Koblenz, Germany. As chorister and soloist, Dr. McClung spent three seasons singing with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Chamber Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw.
A distinguished choral music educator, he frequently presents at state, divisional,and national music conferences, including past master classes at Roehampton University, London, England. Articles by Dr. McClung have appeared in Southeastern Journal of Music Education, ACDA's Choral Journal, MENC's Music Educators Journal, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, and Journal of Research in Music Education. He is the author of Movable Tonic: A Sequenced Sight-Singing Method, a GIA publication, and the director of the Cambiata Institute of America for Early Adolescent Vocal Music.In 2015, he was named the new managing editor for Cambiata Press, a publishing company committed to quality music for the changing voice. A UNT Honors Professor, and the organizing chair for the 2012, 2014, and 2016 MS/JH National Conference for Choral Music, he will present, in 2017, at ACDA National Conference in Minneapolis and the Eleventh World Symposium on Choral Music and the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) in Barcelona.
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