How to get the most out of AGC classes
Term 1 lessons are now well underway and girls are settling well into their weekly rehearsals. To support you and your daughter throughout Term 1, we sat down with AGC Music Education Coordinator, Jess Huggett, to get her insights into how parents and daughters can get the most out of their year with the choir. Jess has been a tutor with the Australian Girls Choir for 15 years and holds a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Diploma in Education from Monash University. Jess has an incredible wealth of experience working with girls in the room as well as developing our musical curriculum.
Enjoy reading Jess’s tips for getting the most out of Term 1 classes below.
Give everything a go
First and foremost our classes are a fun and nurturing environment for girls to explore their creativity and musicality. For this reason, our lessons are always a safe space to try new things and give everything their best shot. At a young age, stretching and exploring their voice as an instrument is essential to their vocal development. Singing in an ensemble environment creates the perfect opportunity for vocal and physical experimentation in a safe and upbeat space with other girls.
Tutors are always looking to extend and push our girls if they are looking for it. Once they develop these fundamental skills, there is so much room for curriculum extension.
Present the best version of yourself in your weekly classes
Cultivating a positive attitude is something we encourage in our choristers at each lesson, as well as role model in our tutors. Coming to choir each week is an opportunity for girls to leave their day at the door and jump into their performing arts activities. Many parents remark on the wellbeing benefits they see in their daughter after choir rehearsals.
“My favourite time of the week is our car journey home from choir where, after happily singing her heart out with her friends, we have the very best mother-daughter conversations.”
Andrea Jackson, mother of Baillie
Presenting the best version of yourself in class is also about presentation and taking pride in appearance. When you come from school to a rehearsal, take that extra minute to give your hair a quick brush and pop your ribbon in. This might seem like a small thing, but small rituals can really change her psychology and get her into a performance mindset. This helps model professionalism from a young age, which will support girls advance through the choir and take on the many leadership opportunities and professional performance gigs we make available to senior choristers.
Have a growth mindset on and off the stage
There is so much to be gained from putting yourself forward and trying your hardest regardless of the outcome. In the classroom, your daughter will always be encouraged to take on challenges, whether that’s new choreography, a song with complex harmonies, or an audition experience. Sometimes this means experiencing obstacles and disappointment, which we encourage girls to see as an opportunity for growth. The approach tutors take also has a huge impact on this, and our classrooms are a place where girls are encouraged to take risks and take on challenges. You will notice our tutors always encourage and celebrate hard work and effort (which cultivates a growth mindset) rather than praising choristers for being ‘talented’ (which cultivates a fixed mindset).
Get to know the ‘AGC Family’
They are your main point of contact for all things AGC. Concert days, rehearsal logistics, uniform questions, etc. They’ll let you know what’s coming up each term and are also available for any wellbeing or pastoral care matters you might like to chat with them about.
Your tutor is there to support and nurture your daughter’s musical development and can give you feedback on how she’s going in class and provide extension if ready. Having an open and communicative relationship with your daughter’s tutor is also incredibly valuable as you’ll be able to let them know what you hope your daughter will get out of the choir and they can better nurture that. For each parent it’s different, it might be about social skills, a creative outlet, musical development, or developing their confidence and physical presence. Letting your tutor know this means they can allow for this during the weekly lesson.
The other choristers will make your daughter’s time at choir fun and uplifting. Parents comment on how rewarding it is for their daughter to have a social group outside of regular schooling where they can come together with other girls over a common interest in music. Over time these girls will blossom into lifelong friends.
Good luck in classes this year. Remember our staff are always here to support you.
It’s not too late to enrol for 2020
We have a few places remaining at our rehearsal venues around the country. If you think your daughter may like to join the choir this year, then this is your chance to try a free class in March before we close Semester 1 enrolments.