Chantry Olsen is the instructor of both the jr high and high school choir programs. With years of experience, a Bachelor’s in Music, and a passion to help others learn, Mr. Olsen is well-equipped to teach any student who walks through his classroom door. He dreams of seeing 50- plus students in his choir and encourages everyone to try it out.
Our junior high choir class is currently only available to 7th and 8th grade students. All students within these two grades are welcome whether or not they have a music background. As interest grows, we may include 6th graders in future classes. Each year students will start with the basics so that they can continue to build their foundation in music. Students can expect to learn the following from our curriculum:
“There’s this long-standing vision of teaching choir by rote. This is where a teacher plays the notes on a piano and the kids sing and read the words. I want my students to actually be able to look at the music, read it, and sing it without it being played on the piano!” —Mr. Olsen
Students will be instructed on how to read music on the paper and then how to sing the music off of paper without a piano. This way, students correctly learn how to read notes, control their voice, and sing.
Learn more about the difference between our Jr High and High School Choir programs here:
There’s a $25 fee every year. This fee goes towards keeping the program running as well as providing money for field trips and buying polo shirts for performances that the students will get to keep.
We keep it simple with a black polo, black pants, and black shoes.
There are five performances each year. One at the end of each quarter and a performance at Music in the Park at Lagoon which occurs at the end of the year. Students really enjoy this performance! They’ll perform in the morning and get to enjoy the park for the rest of the day. Two other popular performances are the Winter Songs concert and the end of the year concert. In these performances, the choir usually sings show tunes and current pop music.
Students are graded mostly on participation. However, there are some rehearsal trackers the teacher uses to make sure they’re learning the skills they’re required to learn. When it comes to the grade, each day students will grade themselves. Some of the questions that are asked include:
After students grade themselves, the teacher collects the grades and then submits them.
When it comes to students with disabilities, our director is dedicated to meeting students where they are and works with them individually to help them succeed. Striving to create an environment where everyone respects and values each other is our top priority. The choir class is a team no matter someone’s struggles. Mr. Olsen has also made part recordings and submitted lyrics to be brailled.
During the beginning of the year, students start with easy songs and fun tunes to get them excited. As the year goes on, they are introduced to harder music to help them grow in their abilities. Because Mr Olsen teaches both junior high and high school, he has a complete vision of the program. He aims to set a good foundation in jr high so that when they get to high school and/or audition for the advanced choir, he can expect more and continue helping students develop.
We suggest everyone comes with a desire to learn how to sing! We believe anyone can sing if they take the time to learn. The instructor’s goal is to take a student with a desire to learn and teach them how to sing!
Our pianist plays scales up and down on the piano. We have students warm up really well so that their voices are ready to sing. After this, depending on how high they sing or within a certain range, the instructor will suggest a vocal range. This exercise can also help them feel the difference of singing high and low. Then, with his suggestion, each student places themselves where they feel they should go.
If you have the desire to sing, you’re welcome to participate and we have a place for you in our choir. Having our students feel like they are valued and a part of something is what we strive to provide. Choir doesn’t work with just one voice, we rely on all our students’ voices to create magic!
We encourage respect and open communication while learning and having fun. Whether a student wants to try out for a solo, accidentally sings the wrong note, or makes mistakes, our classroom is a safe place to be!
Do you love to sing? Choir could be an amazing place for you to explore your music talents and gain more self-confidence! If you think you’d enjoy this extra-curricular class, please talk to your school counselor about joining our program! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the instructor.