Five keys to effective repertoire choice

Repertoire with a Purpose


Would you like to confidently select repertoire for your ensemble that will both inspire and challenge your students? With guidance from esteemed music educator Monte Mumford, learn to choose the right repertoire to achieve your ensemble’s desired educational outcomes. The Melbourne Youth Orchestras will host Repertoire with a Purpose, a course for teachers designed to support growth and improvement in the field. Find out more.


Five points to keep in mind when choosing effective repertoire for both community and educational ensembles.

Successful repertoire choice should:

  1. Provide ample opportunities for the nurturing of musical creativity, expression and inspiration.
  2. Provide for the necessary connections that allow for the transferal of both technical facility and musical concepts, introduced and developed in the warm-up and training portion of your rehearsal.
  3. Provide for the ‘all-important’ motivation, which should lead our ensembles toward the perfecting of manual dexterity, rhythmic vocabulary, articulations and expressive interpretation.
  4. Provide possibilities for exploring the wide range of human emotion through the exposure to and engagement with significant art music.
  5. When choosing repertoire, endeavour to maintain a balanced range of works, choosing music that includes: original, serious 20th and 21st Century compositions; faithful transcriptions, or arrangements of significant works and composers that retain the composer’s original intent, and finally include well-crafted works drawn from the popular/contemporary genre.


And further thought…

All of our repertoire choices generally pass through the following filters:

  • Our personal aesthetic criterion
  • Our personal taste
  • Our musical and extra-musical values


So, it is important to regularly examine our own understanding of quality music, and to commit ourselves to maintaining our listening through exposure to significant musical performances.

Learn how you can create Repertoire with a Purpose in the Melbourne Youth Orchestras’ course from 15 May-3 June. Find out more and book your place on the MYO website.


Images supplied.

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