School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041

Professional Development

Join the OU Department of Music for a series of professional development events for music educators on the campus of Oakland University. Most events qualify for State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs.)

Make it Pop! Techniques and Creative Methods for Choir
Saturday, March 11 from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Oakland Center, Gold Room A
Instructors: Cat Bennett and Alta Boover

Registration link:

Clinic Synopsis

Most students today connect with various popular music. Teaching popular songs and styles in formal choral settings often requires different techniques, methods, and creative approaches than typical. Such approaches can honor the music and musical culture as well as benefit diverse learners. 

Guest presenter, Dr. Alta Boover, will first address vocal techniques for achieving a healthy, authentic sound with various popular music. She will outline how a function-based pedagogy can be used to achieve specific stylistic goals. Attendees will have the opportunity to practice singing together and will further attain vocalises and exercises to take home for use in choir rehearsals. In addition, the basics of arranging pop songs for choir will be addressed; Attendees are encouraged to bring a pop song to begin arranging with MuseScore (a free composition software). Together we will also discuss the potential of various aural learning strategies and contemplate how various music technology and rock band instruments can be used in rehearsal and/or performance. 

This session is designed for middle school and high school choral educators and will have relevance for those who teach choir/singing at the elementary school level. 

Earn 3 SCECH's.

 Learning Outcomes

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • explain and demonstrate various techniques within a function-based pedagogy, applicable to popular music;
  • Describe and implement potential first steps in arranging pop music for choirs; 
  • Compare and contrast the potential benefits and drawbacks of various teaching methods, including aural learning; and
  • Compare and contrast the potential benefits and drawbacks of incorporating music technology and rock band instrument accompaniment in choir. 

Contact Dr. Cat Bennett at