After browsing through the vendors, attending a concert in the beautiful Old South Church, and racing to beat the snow, it was time to check out some interest sessions. The first session I attended was presented by Elizabeth Cassidy Parker entitled “What Happens in Choir…Adolescent Development Through Singing.” Dr. Parker, an assistant professor of Music Education at Temple University and Boyer College of Music and Dance, discussed the role of singing in the development of adolescents. Because I just finished my senior student teaching experience and am getting ready to head out into the world for my first year of teaching, I was extremely excited to hear this session.
Dr. Parker’s presentation included audience interaction, use of multimedia, and lecture. During the beginning of the session, Dr. Parker posted four questions on the screen and asked us to find people we didn’t know to discuss the questions. This was a great exercise for me. I had the opportunity to discuss my point of view with ACDA members I didn’t know and meet some Ithaca College alums along the way. After our short discussions, we reconvened as a group for the rest of presentation.
This workshop spoke to me because it put into words why I decided to study music education. Dr. Parker discussed how in many situations, choral ensembles promote belonging and acceptance, help students find themselves as individuals and as members of groups, and enhance self-growth through performance. These elements are what drew me to choral music. Finding a place where you belong and finding self-confidence appeared to me as two underlying themes in the workshop. For many people, choral ensembles are a strong support system. Dr. Parker talked about the many facets of this support system, what issues sometimes arise, and how to overcome any obstacles. She closed her presentation by asking the question: “What’s your legacy?” And now I ask you all, what brought you to choral music and what legacy do you leave?
Curious to learn even more? Check out her session notes on the ACDA app!
-Caitlin Walton, IC ACDA Secretary
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