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

Choral Connectivity: A People-First Approach to Singing

Nov 22 2021 • 54 mins

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!