Elementary Workshops

Elementary School Children’s Choirs: Where Do I Begin?


Saturday, January 28, 2017 – 9:00 a.m. to Noon

Please join us at this FREE workshop as four seasoned elementary choral music educators share tips and tricks for building a successful choir program in your elementary school or church. Angela Wright and Kandi Stelling from the Kearney Public Schools and Laura Keller and Debra Eschliman of the Lincoln Public Schools will discuss many topics relating to children’s choirs: organization and scheduling, recruiting, warm-ups, teaching an octavo, two-part singing, challenges of small church children’s choir, tips for working without an accompanist, and MORE.

Sponsored by NCDA in conjunction with the Mid-West Nebraska Music Educators Group and the University of Nebraska-Kearney. For more information, contact NCDA R&R Chair for Children’s Choirs Tom Michalek:tmichalek0@gmail.com, 402.699.2342, or UNK Professor of Music Education Dr. Jan Harriott: harriottjm@unk.edu,308.865.8608.


Building Community Spirit Through Singing: Two Days with Peter and Mary Alice Amidon


Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8, 2017

Peter and Mary Alice Amidon from Brattleboro, Vermont are well-known musicians, recording artists, composers and music educators. They have published books of children’s folk dances for use in elementary general music classrooms, books of children’s singing games, produced many children’s recordings, and several adult choral works. Their materials are well-known and in use by music educators and choral directors throughout the United States. They are highly sought presenters at professional development conferences. Their presentation style is engaging for children as well as adults, musical, humorous, and in short, fun. The Amidons’ work focuses on inclusion, connection, team-work, and positivity.

Friday, April 7:

  • Two one-hour assemblies of children’s folksongs, story-telling and singing games. Watson Elementary School – Hastings, NE. Limited music educator seating available. (Sorry, no room for additional students.) Contact Tom to reserve: tmichalek0@gmail.com, 402.699.2342.
  • A conversation with the composer: Peter’s inspiration, techniques, and how to take the mystery out of composing. Hastings College Fuhr Hall – Hastings, NE. 4:00-5:00 p.m.


10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

An exuberant session of mostly a cappella SATB harmony singing both by ear and from written music: traditional American songs, African-American gospel, spirituals, and songs written by folks steeped in the aural tradition. The Amidons’ energy and warmth, their skills in teaching and directing and their gift for creating accessible and moving arrangements empower diverse groups of singers to have a rich and soulful singing experience.”


Saturday sack lunch provided to first 225 attendees. Reservations for Saturday are not required, but recommended by contacting Tom Michalek, tmichalek0@gmail.com, 402.699.2342.


Due to generous support from NCDA and other organizations, these events are FREE. Saturday’s session is open to the public, and is most appropriate for high-school and adult singers. Bring your high school choir or church choir! For additional information, contact Tom Michalek, tmichalek0@gmail.com, 402.699.2342.