David Schildkret has been teaching in colleges and universities since 1983 and views choral music as the ultimate interdisciplinary subject. In his conducting, he tries to bring together his varied interests. He uses the same wide-ranging thinking in his classroom teaching. His current courses include "Laughing to Music," an examination of music and humor offered online at Arizona State University, courses in conducting, choral repertory, and score study. In addition, he leads three choirs at ASU.
His fundamental approach is student-centered. He seeks to provide students with ample opportunities to pursue their own interests and to expand their abilities. For example, students play a crucial role in choosing repertory for study and performance. As part of ASU's integrated conducting program, he is committed to the notion that conductors must be broadly prepared: while choral conductors need special expertise in vocal technique and languages (among other skills), they must also be able to conduct an orchestra, prepare an opera chorus, and work with a wind ensemble.
He also lectures in the community, most recently through AZ Speaks and OLLI, an opportunity for people over 55 to study topics of interest. Schildkret frequently gives workshops on singing to school choirs both at ASU and in their schools. These range from an hour to day-long sessions that focus on tone production and singing with engagement.
He is proud of the many students who have sung in his choirs and taken his classes; they have gone on to do great things. Here is a list of some of the graduate students who have studied choral conducting with him at ASU.
These students completed a DMA in conducting at ASU under Dr. Schildkret's supervision:
Jennifer Garrett, Director of Choral Activities, Bakersfield College
Vernon Huff, Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education, SUNY-Fredonia
Laura Inman, freelance musician, New York City
Julie Neish, Director of Choral Activities, Thiel College
Kenneth Owen, Chair of Music, Art, and Philosophy Departments, Pierce College
Carolyn Rynex, 2017 winner of the ACDA's Julius Herford Award for the best choral dissertation in the previous year
Steve Schank, LDS Institutes
Other DMA conducting students
These students worked with Dr. Schildkret for part of their training at ASU.
Greg Amerind, Mesa Community College
Cory Evans, Director of Choral Activities, Utah State University
Ryan Garrison, Choral Director, Arizona School for the ArtsJungHwan Kwon
Kenny Miller, Coordinator, Vocal Studies and Director of The Choirs at Phoenix College
Ryan Olsen, Assistant Professor of Music Education, Colorado State University
Craig Peterson, Director of Choral Studies and Music Department Chair, Mesa Community College
Carric Smolnik, Pianist and Assistant Conductor, Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix
Current DMA students
Eunmi (Mia) Oh