My first piece of advice is to let the students know what your situation is and get their buy-in and help. Some kids may already have a strong comfort level with singing and can assist or make suggestions. Let the first few classes be about “where do we want to go with this” and “let’s try this today.”
Some starter ideas:
- Teach the major scale with solfeggio and hand signs. It’s very grounding for singers. Try it in different keys and allow students to identify what their comfortable range is. Study the Wikipedia page on “Voice Type” with the students.
- Get copies of your school song and fight song and teach the words as an ice breaker for singing together.
- Create two units for the fall semester. One should be holiday songs to study in November and December. The other can be American Folk Songs or Best of Broadway, Best of Disney, The Beatles or Sinatra Hits, any theme that you can easily find resources for. Make a “songbook” packet for each student. Buy karaoke tracks if you’re not a pianist. Unless you come up with a better idea, continue the themed packets through the spring semester.
-Include a 15-20 minute theory lesson each day with a worksheet. It will help fill the time and give you something to test them on when you need grades. You can also give them singing tests by simply requiring them to memorize music and perform it for you in small groups.
Although these are not activities a legit choir director would do, these will keep the students engages and prevent you from showing up wondering what to do next.