HomeBlogsJustinAdamsMusic's blogTales From the Spit- Random Ramblings, The Sing-Off, A Cappella Education Association

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The snow has started falling here in NY State and I thought it was time to play catch up here on my blog.

First things first, I posted a tweet earlier this week (follow me at @JGlodichMusic) and a Facebook post (Justin Glodich) saying how "A Cappella is Taking Over!".  Think about it... We saw the Season 4 Premiere of The Sing Off on Monday, had Pentatonix rock out "Hey Momma/Hit The Road Jack" on Conan on Tuesday, and were treated to two more episodes of The Sing Off on Wednesday and Thursday! If that wasn't enough, Pentatonix debuted at Number 10 on the Billboard Charts with their album, Vol. 2.  ANNNND, Pentatonix's rendition of "Little Drummer Boy" is currently number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.  For a group that won Season 3 of The Sing Off, and doesn't receive much, if any radio airplay, thats pretty impressive.

So, as I was gearing up for the season premiere of The Sing-Off, I had Twitter open, waiting for the witty play by play from Dave Baumgartner (@davebaumgartner).  If you have not read tweets by Dave, a fantastic vocal percussionist, during previous seasons of The Sing Off, you are missing out.  Anyways (note to reader, I tend to go off on tangents and rant once in a while... don't let that deter you from reading!), watching the premiere, I feel safe to say that there are at least 3 groups that could win this season.  I give Kudos to the show for having a judging panel that actually offers constructive criticism to its competitors, rather than publicly shaming them on national television.  Now many would say that Sara should be back, but I think that Jewel is fitting in just fine... seriously, anyone but Nicole S. is fine with me!

Why the major props to constructive criticism? Back in 2007, I was the vocal percussionist for a group called The Fault Line.  We reached the National Semifinals of Season 2 of NBC's America's Got Talent.  Our first performance received critical praise from David Hasselhoff and Sharon Osbourne.  Piers Morgan offered constructive criticism to us, which we promptly took with us and helped us in the long run.  We consistently toured for 2 years after we were eliminated.

Cut to today, I am now in my fifth year of teaching and have seen a shift in understanding how preparing music works.  So many students I have met over the years from presenting workshops have developed what I call the Glee mentality.  Let me explain, for those of you that watch Glee know exactly what I am talking about.  It goes something like this... "Oh man, I feel (insert emotion here) today, and Mr. Shue said that this week's assignment was (insert totally random topic here), so I am going to sing this song for you without any preparation whatsoever, and thanks to the magic of post-production and television, I will sound flawless!"  The Glee mentality provides students with a false pretense of how much work goes into preparing music.

Back to The Sing Off... Vocal Rush is an accomplished HIGH SCHOOL group that formed in 2011.  There is one person on that stage who deserves just as much recognition as the performers, and that is Lisa Forkish, the director of the group.  As a teacher, I know just how much effort and time goes into making a group dynamic function to its highest capacity.  Lisa Forkish is an unsung hero on national television, but to Vocal Rush, I guarantee she means EVERYTHING.  Same goes for the other groups participating.  Each individual performing has at least 1 music teacher that sticks out in their minds as the catalyst for their musical endeavors.

This past week, the newly formed A Cappella Education Association lauched its website.  Kudos to JD Frizzell the National President of AEA for creating such a beautiful, media-rich website.  Don't believe me?  Go check it out for yourself, www.acappellaeducators.com It's free to become a basic member, but a little extra dough will give you a LOT of extra features.  The AEA is committed to the creation, proliferation, & development of a cappella groups, programs, and curricula across America through pedagogical guidance, musical resources, networking opportunities, and collaborative support.  Scan the website and you will see people like Lisa Forkish (Vocal Rush), Brody McDonald (director of Eleventh Hour), Ben Spalding (director of Forte), and even little old me who are taking an active role in cultivating a cappella education into established music curriculum across the country.  Check out who your state representives are... Don't see your state being respresented and are interested in becoming that person?  Send an email and let us know!

Like I said, A Cappella is Taking Over... and to me, that is wonderful :-)