Music Education & Leadership Skills for the Youth Choir Director by Ashley Danyew

Music Education & Leadership Skills for the Youth Choir Director

An online training course for youth choir directors

As a youth choir director, you know what it's like:

  • The goofy jokes they tell and their unique sense of humor
  • The socially-awkward phase
  • The new technology and social media platforms kids are into these days
  • The hormones and voices that seem to change overnight
  • The drama of their daily lives
  • The journey of figuring out who they are, what they're good at, and what matters most in their lives

You’re their choir director, but you’re also their mentor, counselor, and spiritual leader, an encourager and guide, a friend and confidant, and yes, a music educator (even if you don’t have a music degree!).

And you take this responsibility seriously.

Of course, you want to instill in them a love of learning and a love for music and you want to help them grow in their faith.

But you also want to do the hard work of building community and creating space for everyone that's looking for a place to belong.

You want to help them figure out who God is, who they are, and who they are becoming; help them navigate this season of adolescence and come out on the other side having learned something about themselves, and each other.

So, where do you begin?

What topic do you start googling first? How do you manage these various roles, give your best to your choir, and not get burnt out in the process?

You could try piecing things together on your own, reading articles and searching for quality resources and age-appropriate music in your spare time, but really - spare time? Who are we kidding.

What if there was an easier way?

What if...

  • You learned about a small mindset shift that could change the way you and your youth choir members approach learning?
  • You no longer felt intimidated by the uncertainty of changing voices and instead, could meet your singers where they are and create a safe, supportive environment that invites and encourages them to participate?
  • You developed your skills as a music educator so you could lead and teach with confidence?
  • You started choosing music that says something and connects with your singers in meaningful and personally relevant ways?
  • You left rehearsal each week feeling proud and grateful for the work you’re doing, for the connections you’re making, and for the supportive learning environment you’re helping create?

Welcome to Music Education & Leadership Skills for the Youth Choir Director

I created this course for you, the dedicated youth choir director.

Whether you're working with a choir of six or forty-six, this course will help you develop the essential skills and teaching strategies you need to direct and lead your choir with creativity and confidence.
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You'll learn how to:

  • Work with changing voices
  • Teach pedagogically-appropriate vocal technique and choral methods
  • Help your singers develop music-reading skills
  • Foster the development of musicianship, listening skills, awareness, and musical understanding
  • Evaluate choral anthems and choose music at an appropriate level for your youth choir (and their changing voices)
  • Plan effective, engaging rehearsals, week after week
  • Lead your youth choir with confidence

Here's what you can expect:

A quick peek behind the scenes!

What's Inside:

  • 15 video lessons, divided into four modules
  • Lifetime 24/7 access to all the course content, from any device
  • Comments feature so you can ask questions, get feedback on your ideas, and interact with others in the course
  • Hands-on activities and projects to help you plan for the year ahead
  • Digital resources, templates, and related course materials
  • Email support for the duration of the course: answers to your questions and feedback on your ideas are only an email away!

Our Course Curriculum

You'll get instant access to all four modules and related course content.

Hi, I'm Ashley Danyew

Church musician and music educator based in Rochester, NY. I'm passionate about helping church musicians and teachers lead, teach, and inspire others creatively and confidently.

I have a Ph.D. in Music Education and a Certificate in Arts Leadership from the Eastman School of Music and 15+ years of church music experience, including starting, directing, and accompanying choirs of various ages; planning and playing for worship; and overseeing a music program.

I created this course to help you develop and refine your teaching skills so you can lead and direct your youth choir with confidence and be the best teacher you can be. 

I'm excited to meet you inside!

What's included:

Video Icon 16 videos File Icon 9 files Text Icon 5 text files
Welcome & Introduction
Welcome Video
3 mins
Module 1: The Learning Process
1.1 Fixed vs. Growth Mindset
6 mins
1.2 Creating Meaningful Experiences
4 mins
1.3 How We Learn Music
11 mins
1.4 Leadership Skills for Church Musicians
5 mins
1.5 Activity: 25 Leadership Skills for Church Musicians
160 KB
Module 2: What to Teach
2.1 Developing Vocal Technique
9 mins
2.2 Understanding Breathing
5 mins
2.3 Introducing Choral Methods
7 mins
PDF: My Country 'Tis of Thee Printable
102 KB
2.4 Teaching Vowels & Consonants
6 mins
LINK: Vowel Placement Chart
PDF: 4 Common Vowel Problems (+ How to Fix Them!)
171 KB
Module 3: How to Teach
3.1 Working with Changing Voices
11 mins
PDF: Working with Changing Voices (+ How to Overcome Challenges)
178 KB
3.2 Voice Change Case Studies
3.3 Teaching Sight-Reading
9 mins
3.4 Activity: Sight-Reading
307 KB
3.5 Teaching Rhythmic-Reading
6 mins
PDF: Rhythmic-Reading Examples
364 KB
3.6 Teaching Understanding of Melody, Harmony + Form
8 mins
Module 4: Planning & Preparing
4.1 Choosing Music
8 mins
4.2 Activity: Finding Music
145 KB
4.3 Planning Rehearsals
13 mins
4.4 Leading Rehearsals
6 mins
4.5 Activity: Creating Rehearsal Plans
140 KB
Bonus Resources
50 Awesome Choral Warm-Ups for Church Choirs [Bonus]
2019 Reading Session Picks: Youth Choir [Article]
The Choir Year in Review Workbook [Bonus]

Ready to get started?

I’d love to see you inside the course and help you develop the skills you need to plan, direct, and teach on a weekly basis (and feel confident doing it!).

Enroll Now


Where is this course taught?

This course is taught exclusively online. Access the content 24/7, wherever you go, from any device.

How much time does it take to complete?

The course includes about 2 hours of recorded video content, plus a few activities and projects for you to work through on your own. You'll have access to the full course immediately after signing up.

That being said, the course is completely self-paced, so start whenever you're ready (you'll have lifetime access!), set a schedule that works for you, and learn at your own pace.

I've already taken one of the other courses in this series; how much of this content is the same?

I touch on several of the same topics in each course because many parts of music teaching and learning in a choir setting look the same, even if you're working with a different age group. However, I've revised and rewritten the content and added a few new topics to tailor it specifically to youth choir directors.

What if I have other questions?

Please feel free to reach out to me directly at I'd be happy to answer your questions!