Walter Bitner

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Off The Podium Debuts on ChoralNet

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I’m thrilled to announce that today I begin a weekly blog on ChoralNet, the professional networking site for the global online choral community. ChoralNet is operated by the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), which I’ve been a member of for years. It’s a distinct honor to be invited to share my work with choral musicians through this forum, which reaches thousands of members, all over the world, every day.

American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) defines itself as “a nonprofit, professional association of choral conductors that exists to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy”. Their members collectively represent more than a million singers throughout the United States, in every conceivable kind of choir. ACDA members include K-12 choral music teachers and choir directors in both public and private schools; choir directors at colleges and universities; directors of boyschoirs, children’s choirs, men’s and women’s choruses, ethnic choirs, vocal-jazz ensembles, symphony choruses, community, church, and synagogue choirs, and more. ACDA is the largest choral organization in the world, as far as I know, and the most influential and important.

So, as I wrote above, this is a distinct honor. Thank you very much! Starting today, my ChoralNet blog will appear every Tuesday.

My first ChoralNet post is – predictably – Wholehearted Attention, which you can view here in the new blog on ChoralNet or in its original publication here on Off The Podium. It seemed appropriate to me to lead off the new blog with my most popular article, which is arguably also the most important.

Wholehearted Attention came to me suddenly on the afternoon of June 11, 2015, and I wrote it out quickly, as if under a compulsion, in a couple of hours. I vividly remember sitting at my desk in my office at the Nashville Symphony that afternoon and typing furiously, trying to get it all down before inspiration fled.  In the nearly five years that have passed since then, Wholehearted Attention and the idea it expresses has provided the foundation for my writing about music education, its practice, and its value and promise in the lives of children. Many of my articles refer to Wholehearted Attention, both directly and indirectly.

Off The Podium readers have witnessed me take on a wide range of music and education topics on this site over the years (and a few Off Topic as well) – and there are more to come. My ChoralNet blog will focus on a narrower band from this wider spectrum: for the most part, the ChoralNet blog will feature (previously published as well as new) material that discusses general music education topics, choral music topics, or specifically choral education topics. Of course, I will continue to write about instrumental music and instrumental music education here on my own website. (and who knows what else…)


Off The Podium logo by Carol-Margaret Bitner


Many thanks to my remarkable sister Carol-Margaret, who painted the beautiful new logo that will be featured on my ChoralNet blog! (and who knows what else…)

Thank you, Sis!


  1. Georg Plank says:

    congrats Walter, that`s good news!

    Mit herzlichen Grüßen Georg

  2. Margie Way-Kiani says:


  3. Pam Schneller says:

    Congratulations, Walter! I’m delighted to hear that your wisdom and creative thoughts will continue to blossom on ChoralNet!

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