Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Sing As One

Tisa Craig
Polk County Schools


Prepare students for district festival, all-state, competitions, or even singing the two-part songs performed in the World's Largest Concert by rehearsing with recorded music featuring their parts played alone, progressing to students singing their parts accapella and, finally, performing with other parts in an ensemble with piano accompaniment.


The student sings songs (e.g., descants, rounds, partner songs, and two- and three-part songs) maintaining own part and using proper breathing techniques and a pleasing tone, with and without accompaniments.


-Sheet music for each festival, all-state, etc. - one per student
-Piano/keyboard (optional)
-Overhead projector and transparency of checklist (optional)
-Recording of Part I alone for each piece of music
-Recording of Part II alone for each piece of music
-Recording of the accompaniment for each music selection
-Proper playing device (CD/casette) as needed (1 or 2)
-Hard copy of checklist if transparency is not used


1. Purchase or borrow enough of the selected pieces for each student to have one.
2. From the music, choose the simplest piece for 2-part singing and decide what vocal warmups should be used in rehearsal to ensure proper breathing technique, enunciation of consonants, and vowel sounds so the ensemble sings not only accurately but also with a pleasing tone.
3. Make or obtain a recording of Part I alone.
4. Make or obtain a recording of Part II alone.
5. Make or obtain a recording of the accompaniment for each selection.
6. Set up the proper playing device (CD/casette player)in two separate sections of the room. If a piano or keyboard will be used, set it up where needed.
7. OPTIONAL: Obtain an overhead projector and make a transparency of the checklist (Associated File).


DAY 1:
1. Begin rehearsal by singing vocal warmups that will best enable students to sing as an ensemble with accuracy, proper breathing, and a pleasant tone.

2. Distribute sheet music to each student.

3. Direct students to listen and follow along with their written music the selection as performed on the recording. Part I (sopranos)singers should follow their part while Part II (altos) singers follow their part in the written music.

4. Ask students what they think judges will listen for in the performance of this piece. Write their suggestions on the board.

5. Remind students of the vocal warmups they just sang. Go down the list on the board checking off the items that were addressed in rehearsal.

6. Discuss and instruct remaining items. If there are repeat signs, d.c. al fine, d.s., or codas, make certain students understand what page and measure to turn to in each instant. Define any symbols or terms for which students are unable to give the meaning when asked.

7. Direct Part I singers to the side of the room (or practice rooms) already set up with tape or cd player and the recording of their part. Students should take their written music and use the time given (approximately 30 minutes) to rehearse their part.

8. Take Part II singers to the other side of the room and have them rehearse as their part is played on the piano or keyboard. If a recording is used for Part II as well, move from group to group assisting as needed.

9. Once the rehearsal session is complete, direct students to move back to the performance area (risers/chairs however the room is set up). Turn the overhead projector on to display

10. Turn the overhead projector on to display the checklist (Associated File)to remind students of how their performance will be assessed and later not only by their director but also by judges at competition.

11. Rehearse as a group, directing students to the recorded accompaniment of the piece. Using the checklist give feedback as to what was good and what needs attention. Rehearse as needed and as time allows.

Day 2:
1. As students enter the room, give them the sheet music rehearsed yesterday.

2. Sing vocal exercises.

3. Remind students of the goals set yesterday.

4. Inform students that the real proof they can sing their part is to sing accapella.

5. Ask Part I singers to stand and sing their part given the starting pitch only. Conduct their singing and assist as needed.

6. Work through any problem areas.

7. Follow steps 5 and 6 with Part II singers.

8. Next, direct the entire ensemble's singing with the recorded accompaniment.

9. Discuss any problems and work on those areas.

10. Inform students that this time when they perform, a recording will be made for assessment purposes.

11. Record students singing while directing the piece.

12. If time permits, use the checklist (Associated File) on the overhead for assessing the group's performance or listen to the recording and complete the checklist to discuss with students in the next rehearsal.

13. Once students have conquered the first piece as evidenced by the checklist used for assessment, select the next piece and rehearse using these procedures.


In this formative assessment, students are recorded singing with recorded accompaniment only the piece they have been rehearsing. The teacher conducts the singing, being careful not to sing along. Once the recording has been made, the teacher may play it back and complete the checklist (see FILE) on an overhead projector while students watch, giving feedback and allowing class discussion. The teacher could also listen to the recording at a later time and complete the checklist, assessing the performance then give feedback in the next rehearsal. If the piece was performed correctly, there is no need to continue rehearsing it in parts and the chorus may move to the next piece.


This lesson plan could be used for three and four part singing as well.

Ensembles may perform songs in foreign languages, as is usual for festival and all-state music.

Web Links

Teachers may obtain sheet music and recordings of selections performed in the World's Largest Concert held each March, as well as other music and links useful to music educators.
Excellent resource for music educators

Attached Files

Performance Checklist     File Extension:  pdf
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