• Welcome to the

    VocalEssence Classroom RESOURCE hub


Thank you for registering for VocalEssence WITNESS! Enjoy these free resources funded by institutions and individual donors. Scroll down to view a variety of resources created by curriculum writer Joanna Cortright and the VocalEssence Learning and Engagement team staff. We hope you and your students will use and learn from these throughout the school year.

Thank you for being a WITNESS Partner School!

Robert Graham, Learning and Engagement Manager | Conductor, VocalEssence Vintage Voices Program
Emma Jirele, Learning and Engagement Manager
G. Phillip Shoultz, III, Associate Conductor | Director of Learning and Engagement

Meet our Teaching Artists-click on their photo to read their bio!

2023-2024 Resources


    Teachers and Teaching Artists will use these questions and information to guide their conversation during the pre-workshop planning meeting. At the end of the meeting, be sure to complete and sign the "Planning Meeting Checklist" and return that to Rob Graham.

    After using the Planning Meeting Guide to help guide your conversation and planning process, please complete this checklist by placing a checkmark by each category discussed, and then the Teaching Artist and Primary Contact teacher are to sign and date the checklist form. Please return to Rob Graham via email.
  • Lesson: Meet Melanie DeMore
    Part 1: Meet Melanie
    In this lesson, students will either read a biographical article or view a scripted PowerPoint to learn about who Melanie is and more about her background.

    Part 2: Listening and Responding to Melanie's Voice
    In this lesson, students will listen to recordings of Melanie's deep, rich voice and respond via a worksheet activity.
  • PowerPoint that accompanies the Lesson Meet Melanie DeMore (to be used in Part 1 Lesson)
  • Student Resource for Background and Context:
    Introducing Students to the Gullah People of South Carolina and Georgia and Melanie's Connection to Stick Pounding
  • Lesson Plan: Leading wtih Love - The 2024 WITNESS Concert Theme

    This lesson introduces students to the 2024 program and concert theme, engaging them in a variety of activities including a word wall activity and acrostic poem worksheet to unpack the words "leading" and "love".
  • Lesson Plan: Learning the Song "Lead with Love" by Melanie DeMore

    This lesson introduces students to the song "Lead with Love" by Melanie DeMore, and includes opportunities to listen and respond to recordings, as well as learning to sing and create movement sequences to the song.

    Includes copy of sheet music from Justice Choir Songbook.
  • Lesson Plan: The Message in the Lyrics

    In this lesson, students will have the opportunity to use metaphors to further understand Melanie's lyrics and to come up with their own ideas for HOW they can lead with love in their own lives and communities. Extension activities allow for a wide variety of student creativity.

2022-2023 Resources

Performances and Additional Resources

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