phrase “my jealous husband.” I stopped and asked (questioning) what had to be circled. They
clarified the correct parts. I predicted that we would have significant articulation issues when
the community orchestra joined us.
Students broke into groups by sections to repair the issues they had identified.
Afterwards, students were asked what they learned. Summarizing, they suggested: “Be aware of
the notes after the page turn.” Many agreed that this was a problem. “Page 29 is not as easy as it
looks” was contributed. Then, I asked the students to sing the entire song at performance level.
At the third rehearsal, I began with the question (questioning looking for a prediction),
“What kind of a sound are we looking for when we know this was written for Russian altos?”
Laurie responded, “Very dark.” I asked (questioning looking for a prediction), “If we are going
for a very dark sound, what would one do to the vowels?” “Close them,” Mike answered. “Use a
lot a schwa [the neutral vowel] vowel” Mateo added. “Make lots of space in the back of the
throat by imagining a golf ball or something,” Andrew remarked. Some other students suggested
more air; another said adding weight and not tightening the throat. All of these answers served
reciprocal teaching through questioning, predicting, clarifying, and connecting.
I continued the discussion with the statement that color is often used as a metaphor for
tone quality. To develop that idea, I asked (questioning), “What does a dark sound look like?”
“Burgundy,” Ari suggested. I continued, “Change your image of your own body weight. Add
pounds to your body weight. Think about the instrument as being supported by something larger
than you might be. Think about those large green exercise balls. Think about sitting on one of
those to support the sound. The color of Ben’s sweater [one of the staff in the room] is an
example of the burgundy color we seek.”