"Having Denise Eaton clinic my choir once a month starting in August was one of the most beneficial opportunities for the growth of my teaching, and the entire choir program's foundation. It is so scary and intimidating to have someone of such rigor and caliber come listen so early on in the year, but her consistent feedback helped us excel the rate of learning, and improve my sequence of teaching; it was worth every second of potential discomfort. I grew more in a few months than I have since my first year of teaching and it is such a reflection of the incredible mentorship of Denise.
Our students absolutely love her and looked forward to the days she was coming. Just knowing her presence was upon us caused our students to work even harder in order to be as prepared as possible! She not only built such a strong relationship with me as a life-long mentor, but also our students as a life-long supporter of their success and education. Her ability to not only provide feedback on musicality but help us to fundamentally change the actual process of music literacy has been one of the most beneficial experiences of my teaching career. Run to your phone and give her a call to ensure that she is at your campus YESTERDAY.."
Head Choir Director
McCullough Junior High School
Denise Eaton is a delightful breath of fresh air! My students and I have been lucky enough to have worked with her for the last couple years.. Every visit and each consultation brought fresh approaches, clarity, and new energy to our rehearsals. Denise captures students' attention and holds them on the edge of their seats, hungry for more. "Ms. Eaton Day" has become a much anticipated and exciting part of our musical journey through the year. Denise gives honest, clear, precise feedback as well as a list of solutions and ideas to help address and clean up the learning process.
Denise challenges you, as the director, to have more ownership in developing a more throught-out, planned approach to your curriculum. While I have always score prepped, she has helped me add new layers and levels to consider for each piece to make the initial learning process more effective and to pull more musicality out of my students.
I have grown as a musician and educator while working with her and I am so excited about the direction the McNeil Choir Program is heading. We have been blessed beyond measure working with her and I urge you to invite Denise into your classroom. It will be an amazing musical journey.
McNeil High School
Head Choir Director
“Working with Denise came at the right time for me in my career. As choir directors, we can sometimes get stuck in doing things the same old way because it has always worked for us in the past. I am always looking for new strategies and innovative rehearsal techniques that will challenge both me as the director and my students.
Getting the opportunity to try new approaches to music instruction while having a mentor to collaborate with was probably one of the best professional development projects I’ve ever experienced. Having the chance to discuss those new approaches with Denise each week allowed me to really understand the WHY behind using them in my rehearsal, which ultimately made their implementation more efficient and purposeful.
Thank you Denise for reinvigorating my approach to music education and giving me new tools for my choral toolbox that I will use for years to come.”
Head Choir Director, Harker Heights HS
Since my student teaching semester, I haven’t had anyone continuously look at my teaching methods. I felt that I learned so much during that short time, but then I was on my own. I have been a head director for years trying to figure this whole choral education thing largely on my own. I wanted to break the wheel of rote learning and focus on long term music literacy, but I needed guidance.
I think Denise Eaton’s greatest strength lies in her ability to break down the fundamentals of choral music and solve the pedagogical question of “What is the best way to TEACH this music to my students?”
I loved the idea of a semester long “collegiate-like” time frame where I could continuously focus on the presentation side of my teaching but also my score study through a pedagogical lens. AND, I must say that the results were noticeable from the start. The more I invested in the practice of pedagogical score study, the more profoundly it impacted the quality of my choirs.
Former Head Choir Director, Vandegrift High School
For years, I have followed and watched what Denise Eaton has done for the choral world in awe. I was, for the longest time, nervous to ask her to come work with my groups because of how insecure I felt in my teaching. When Jager Lloyd, RRISD Fine Arts Director, asked who we should bring in to help our choral departments get better, Denise was the first and only name on the list.
As a consultant for our department, she has helped me see a different, more comprehensive way to prepare my music and the students to achieve more as well as to craft better musicians for the future. After 15 years of teaching, I realized I still do not have all the answers and her methods are so obvious, but packaged in a new way, that it allows you as an educator to really become more a part of the process.
Through in-person and virtual clinics, group and one on one PD sessions, recording listening discussions, and countless conversations, RRHS has found a reliable resource, teacher-coach, and new friend to help us on our journey to musical excellence.
Denise breaks down the fundamentals that oftentimes get glossed over due to the constraints of the modern choral rehearsal, then helps you realize that as long as you focus on those fundamentals: score preparation, tone, literacy, creative repetition, all will fall into place.
Honestly, if you are looking to revolutionize or revitalize your program look no further than Denise Eaton.
Jamieson McCaffity, MM
Director of Choirs ~ Round Rock High School
Denise Eaton is an absolute force of nature. When directing choirs, she artfully weaves hard work and joy into a seamless experience. By the end of a workshop or rehearsal, those involved leave transformed by her wisdom and passion!
We asked Ms. Eaton to observe a full day of instruction to help us improve our teaching and planning techniques. She provided us with REAL, relevant, concrete strategies that immediately boosted our effectiveness! If you want to elevate your choir to new heights, Ms. Eaton knows the map to get you there.
Director, Houston Boys Choir
Having known of Denise Eaton and her leadership in Spring ISD, I was always reluctant to call her and ask for help. During the pandemic, I did just that. It was a year when most were not singing and even fewer were going into school for clinics. I called and asked and she readily agreed. It was a great experience for us and our students, but where the real work began is when we invited her back this year and she spent a full day and half with us not only being the clinician for the choirs but becoming a mentor for me and my associate. Denise took a loving but firm stance in our areas that need growth and stimulation. She spent time helping choose literature, how to address some lacking of skills and also insisting that more must be expected out the students as they are capable of producing more. She returned home and has been a constant sounding board for ideas while also providing redirection and affirmation. Denise has quickly become a dear friend as she was always kind and respectful of where we were and firm in the direction we needed to be headed. If you have not had Denise into your program you are truly missing out. She is a Texas Gem of Choral Music..
Head Choir Director, Marble Falls High School
One of our favorite days of the year is when we invite Denise Eaton to work with our students. Both the students and I learn so much from every visit and I especially love witnessing our students unlock newfound joy and pride. Her presence in the classroom radiates passion, mastery, and support.
I believe that my career took a positive turn when Denise became a mentor to me through a pivotal school year. She has helped me not only in developing teaching techniques, but also in many other skills that are involved in running a high school program. As a lone director on campus at the time, it meant a lot more than a mentorship. I’m truly grateful for the way she looks out for her colleagues.
Denise has deeply influenced my perspective on how to best serve the students and to guide them to be successful, well-rounded people through choral music. She challenges her colleagues to be innovative, methodical, and detailed in all areas of music education. She is a proven clinician for both the educator and the singer that serves her role so that each of our students receives what they deserve: our very best.
Oak Ridge High School, Conroe ISD
"Looking for a session that will be entertaining and fun, yet profoundly meaningful and practical? Ms. Eaton is a veteran choral music educator who is able to capitalize years of experience in the classroom and lovingly and willingly share that experience with colleagues both seasoned and young. In her presentation at TMEA last February, Denise gave a wealth of honest, real life advice to a standing-room-only audience who attentively devoured each and every word. We read excellent new publications using some of her different and innovative techniques, we explored a kinesthetic approach to vowel shapes, we laughed, we even shed a few tears with her moving stories, but I guarantee you, we surely learned a lot together. Ms. Eaton´s love for people, choral music, and teaching is clearly evident, and it is very contagious! Don´t miss her sessions!"
Dr. Eduardo Garcia-Novelli
Associate Professor of Music
Director of Choral Activities
University of Kansas
"Denise Eaton's Summer Workshops for Teachers at Sam Houston State University were an excellent combination of tried and true fundamentals of teaching and creative ways to approach a variety of topics, including score study and rehearsal techniques. Eaton delivered her content with the charisma of a first-year teacher, the steely-edged authority of a veteran teacher, and the wisdom of a Jedi master. These classes challenged each individual to grow as a teacher and human being wherever he/she was in the profession."
James C. Franklin, DMA
Director of Choral Activities
East Carolina University School of Music