Item description for John Bertalot's Immediately Practical Tips for Choral Directors/H-28103 by John Bertalot...
Overview How can you get a musical booster shot? By reading John Bertalot's Immediately Practical Tips for Choral Directors. The dialogue between Bertalot as a master choral director and a student who has much to learn reveals how passion for choir work is the special ingredient that can make things happen! Read and learn about the techniques Bertalot has gleaned from his many years of conducting amateur and professional choirs of children and adults all over the world. Be inspired by his insights and learn from his common sense advice.
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Studio: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.52" Width: 5.88" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 1994
Publisher Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN 0806628103 ISBN13 9780806628103
Reviews - What do customers think about John Bertalot's Immediately Practical Tips for Choral Directors/H-28103?
Very helpful, especially to church choir directors Nov 10, 2005
I wasn't sure what to expect after starting this book, but I find it to be an immense help to any choral director.
John Bertalot is the Director of Music at Trinity Episcopal Church in Princeton, New Jersey, and has a good deal of experience to draw from in this book.
The most important aspect about Bertalot's book is that it is set in dialogue style--it reads more like a novel as a master choral director shares his insights on a typical week of life as a choral conductor with a bright, young protégé.
Bertalot writes this with the church choral director in mind. Many tips relate specifically to being a church director, and community choir/school choir directors will not be able to utilize every important bit of information. There is also a little bit about how to practice the organ, which I thought was outside the book's subject matter.
That said, Bertalot has a great deal to say about the non-conducting related aspects of being a choral director. Rehearsal pedagogy is discussed, though I found it a little light in this area, but the main focus is on administrative aspects-the audition process, creating and sustaining interest in order to create a strong music program--these are Bertalot's strengths.
Some readers evidently do not seem to appreciate Bertalot's dialogue style. In this fictionalized week, the master conductor does things the ideal way, and everything therefore seems to happen perfectly in Bertalot's world. I think Bertalot is trying to show readers how things can be improved and made smoother by illustrating the ideal method. It also makes it more enjoyable to read. On the other hand, this may put off some readers by making it seem "holier than thou."
If you don't mind his writing style, Bertalot's book is an invaluable resource to a church choir director, and any choir director can find helpful ideas to utilize in their own experience.
terrible Aug 23, 2004
John Bertalot lives in a fairy-tale -Whenever John Bertalot encounters a problem with his choirs, he has an immediate solution and tada! it works flawlessly. It feels like JB has never been in real life situations where something might not work. -His writing style is irritating. Instead of a useful textbook, he tries to make his points with a story about a pupil who visits him. We have to read through very uninteresting descriptions of what they have for dinner, where they do their shopping...
Fills in the missing pieces Sep 26, 2003
I agree with all positive reviews of this book, and would add that I appreciated the insights on what we typically skip over in preparation for directing music. Specifically, learning how to say "Thank you" and the non-music-degree skills of letter writing, telephone calls, miscellaneous secretarial duties, and dragging the choir chairs around the room. Other authors and lecturers either don't think of mentioning these things, or simply don't have the guts to tell us like it is.
The format of the book made it a pleasure to read instead of a chore to get through.
One of the best!!! Feb 22, 2002
Bertalot's practical tips for choral directors should be a must for professionals as well and even more for non professionals in choral conducting.
It is a splendid, almost infinite source of inspirations, hints, tips and, what counts most to my opinion, gives to choral directors all the basic's about the relation to and the work with singers. One sentence that impressed me most (because it's so simple): 'You have to love people if you want to be a good choirmaster'.
This book should be translated into German and other languages wordwide!!! I'm going to write some further reviews for german choir magazines.
Why we need more full-time church musicians Apr 19, 2000
When I encountered the author shortly after reading this book, I said that I wished it had existed when I was just starting out as a choirmaster. He said, "So do I." With little experience even singing in a good choir or observing an excellent director, I had tried to make up for that deficiency by studying as many books about choir training as I could find (typically dating 1880-1940)-- but not with much profit. Indeed the most detailed treatise, by William Finn, probably did my choir's tone, and my own habits, more harm than good. Much of this art is too ineffable to be captured in a book.
But Mr. Bertalot's book differs from the others and would have been valuable. Much of it is common sense (which is not to say that the suggestions would always occur to one on one's own). There are many details, too, about dotting i's and crossing t's: Yes, not only a highly successful, enthusiastic, and energetic choirmaster is speaking to us (rare), but one whose musical tastes and ideals are the worthiest possible (rarer). And yes, he is telling us how his success depends on keeping his choir room tidy, filing papers away in the correct folders, following up anyone's unexpected absence with a phone call or postcard, and writing thank-you letters for any favors received.
Such advice is in the tradition of Bach: "I have worked very hard, and anyone who works as hard can do as well." Or Edison: "10% inspiration, 90% perspiration." This should come as encouraging, even inspiring news to those who have been bitten by the ambition to train an excellent choir, and who probably feel unprepared for the task and isolated from living paragons or mentors. Encouraging, at least, to those who retain enough of their youthful energy and idealism not to be daunted by the overall magnitude of the challenge.
And that is another feature of the book which makes it particularly valuable to the beginning professional. Mr. Bertalot wrote this and his other book (5 Wheels) shortly before retirement-- a retirement which must have surprised many because his manner remained so youthful in its enthusiasm and joi-de-vivre. This outlook shines through clearly in the style of the book as well. Are you young, enthusiastic, and idealistic? That's good, he will tell you. Then he will impart wisdom which preserves and builds on those strengths.