20 episodes

A podcast dedicated to discussing ways to create ensembles that prioritize people and their connection as singers to the music, and the belief that through that connection (and only through that connection), outstanding and beautiful music can occur.

Choral Connectivity: A People-First Approach to Singing Kirsten Oberoi

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 19 Ratings

A podcast dedicated to discussing ways to create ensembles that prioritize people and their connection as singers to the music, and the belief that through that connection (and only through that connection), outstanding and beautiful music can occur.

    Episode 20: Is There Joy?

    Episode 20: Is There Joy?

    "How do we help people gather the tools necessary to navigate life in a better way?"

    Roger Emerson is a "choral household name," known for millions of copies sold of his choral compositions and arrangements. What you may not know? Roger Emerson is filled with joy, and his first goal is to help spread that joy to students and conductors. In this episode, Roger reminds us that performance can be absolutely perfect, and not make music. Making music is about the humanity - the soul, the spirit, and most of all the joy. If you're ready to smile for a straight hour, make sure you check out this inspiring 20th episode!
    What are your favorite teaching moments that "may not have been perfect, but were perfectly sincere?"  Reach out to me and let me know your thoughts about this inspiring episode on Instagram and Facebook (@choralconnectivitypodcast), through the contact form on the website (choralconnectivity.com) or through my email (podcastchoralconnectivity@gmail.com). I want to hear from you!

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Episode 19: Reframing the Goals of an Ensemble According to What the People Are

    Episode 19: Reframing the Goals of an Ensemble According to What the People Are

    "Everyone should have the right to make music."

    Adán Fernandez is passionate about creating spaces in choral music that are people-centered and culture-centered. His work in the Catholic church with Coro Guadalupano (a Spanish-speaking choir) and his Simbayanan' Chorale (a Filipino choir) alongside his work with the National Children's Chorus has led him to inspiring conclusions when it comes to a culture-centered experience. Being from an immigrant family, culture has always been an important part of Adán's upbringing and teaching philosophy. You will be inspired by Adán's willingness to consider the people of his choirs (or orchestras!) as the first priority.

    America is a diverse society, so it is important that as American choral conductors we explore the choral world outside of our own experiences, whatever that may be. Reach out to me and let me know your thoughts about this inspiring episode on Instagram and Facebook (@choralconnectivitypodcast), through the contact form on the website (choralconnectivity.com) or through my email (podcastchoralconnectivity@gmail.com). I want to hear from you!

    • 51 min
    Episode 18: An Unconventional Approach to the Urban Chorus Classroom

    Episode 18: An Unconventional Approach to the Urban Chorus Classroom

    "Face it, I think the days where you have someone on the podium - just directing and telling students what to do and we have a successful program - those days pretty much are over."

    Having an unconventional approach doesn't mean throwing everything we learned in school out the window! Rather, it means finding new, exciting, people-first ways to get them "there". This inspiring conversation centers around Odell Ziegler's latest blogpost on ChoralNet, and offers some strong suggestions on how to keep a people-first approach a priority. Odell is a music educator originally from Illinois, who has spent a significant amount of time studying urban environments, and how choral music can often connect very differently with students in those environments.

    What are some unconventional approaches you have tried that are working for you this year? How are you changing your approach to reach your singers, with their best interest in mind? Reach out to me and let me know your thoughts on Instagram and Facebook (@choralconnectivitypodcast), through the contact form on the website (choralconnectivity.com) or through my email (podcastchoralconnectivity@gmail.com). I want to hear from you!

    • 1 hr
    Episode 17: I Don't Teach Music, I Teach People Through Music

    Episode 17: I Don't Teach Music, I Teach People Through Music

    How do you teach leadership? What does leadership mean in a choral setting? What is expected of choral leaders, and how can they best communicate with the conductor? What are the steps to becoming a great leader in your ensemble?
    Using John Maxwell's 5 Levels of Leadership, Dr. Keith Pedersen from Point Loma Nazarene University answers these questions. I spent my four years of undergrad singing in various choirs led by Dr. Pedersen, and to say he was an influence on me as a musician, educator, and person is an understatement. Dr. Pedersen's honest and down-to-earth approach to teaching leadership is evident in this episode, and it is an hour that any music educator will learn greatly from.

    As I reflect on this episode, I recognize how well Maxwell's levels of leadership fit within the context of a people-first approach. Level 2 (Permission) is based on relationship. "To grow at this level, leaders work on getting to know their people and connecting with them." (Maxwell.) This level comes before Level 3 (Production). "On this level, leaders who produce results build their influence and credibility."  Creating community, culture, and a people-first environment will build your choristers' trust in you and each other, which opens the gate to producing beautiful and high-quality musical results. Relationship and community come before anything else!

    How are you building on your Level 2 leadership, leading in to Level 3? Reach out to me and let me know your thoughts on Instagram and Facebook (@choralconnectivitypodcast), through the contact form on the website (choralconnectivity.com) or through my email (podcastchoralconnectivity@gmail.com). I want to hear from you!

    • 54 min
    Mini-Sode: Embracing the "Greater" and Igniting the Renaissance

    Mini-Sode: Embracing the "Greater" and Igniting the Renaissance

    "As you rebuild whatever arts program you may be involved with, I encourage you to remember that we are not back to "normal" - we are moving forward to something greater. To fully embrace this "greater," we may need to release a little bit of what has been to make space for what will be. We may need to challenge our traditions and set aside our comforts. However, those who've challenged conventions and forged ahead with unique ideas have started new eras and ignited a renaissance in the past."

    In this short mini-sode, I take just a few minutes to chat about this quote from my article in the Chorus Connection Blog; 5 Tips for Rebuilding Your Youth Choir Post-Pandemic. I feel passionately that we need to leave behind how it used to be, and embrace something new and different going forward. When we, as a choral community, decide that "normal" is gone, but "greater" is possible, we will reach new heights as artists and community builders.

    How are you embracing the "greater" and igniting the Renaissance? I would love to hear from you, and compile an episode as a resource to those who are ready to leave behind what has been to make space for what will be. Let me know your thoughts on Instagram and Facebook (@choralconnectivitypodcast), through the contact form on the website (choralconnectivity.com) or through my email (podcastchoralconnectivity@gmail.com). I want to hear from you!

    • 20 min
    Episode 15: Everything Can Be Changed; Remixing Music Education

    Episode 15: Everything Can Be Changed; Remixing Music Education

    "I want my singers to be happy; that's what it means to keep people-first!"

    This week, I spoke with Maria Ellis - Girl Conductor, entrepreneur, music educator, vocalist, and all-around wonderful human being. Maria is a popular clinician at choral workshops (and will be presenting at the ACDA Children's Choir Retreat in January!) and after listening to her passionate speaking for two seconds you'll understand why. 

    Through this episode, Maria and I converse about "remixing" music education, and diversifying instruction so that everyone can feel included. This sometimes requires setting aside the literacy competent to balance with aural skills, or really just feeling the music - a common style of learning in the Gospel tradition in which Maria's musical roots are planted. However, this also includes opening space for those who would like to learn foundational literacy skills later in life. Regardless, Maria teaches it, and does so without any judgement of her students. Additionally, Maria encourages everyone to not "other" any types or genres of music - especially music that has roots in America! Her perspective is a refreshing look at diversity, equity, and inclusion, and left me laughing, smiling, and inspired.

    How are you remixing music education?  How are you diversifying instruction to be sure that the melting pot of America is being reflected in your classroom? As Maria says, we can't wait for the textbooks to do it for us.

    Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Facebook (@choralconnectivitypodcast), through the contact form on the website (choralconnectivity.com) or through my email (podcastchoralconnectivity@gmail.com). I want to hear from you!

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

MSawtelle ,

Thought provoking and professional

Kirsten has created a professional and thought provoking podcast that pushes the listener to self reflect and discover new ways of reaching every student in our classes.

Liz_Schorr ,

Honest, relevant and full of the magic that is choral singing!

Building community through music is always at the forefront of everything Kirsten does. Each episode of this podcast is a meaningful exploration of ways choral educators can strive to build and strengthen our musical communities. Love listening and can’t wait to hear what comes next!

jason.luciana ,

The best choral ed podcast out there.

Kirsten Oberoi is at the forefront not only of choral education, but music education and the cultivation of an artistic and inclusive community. This podcast is a must-listen for any choral director who wants community, inclusivity, AND excellence to be the focus of their program.

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