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School choir provides a unique opportunity for students to learn music theory, general music knowledge, and performance skills. Unlike many other classes, students must commit to practice and study outside of class to do well. Boys’ voices change quickly during middle school, so knowing your voices and being flexible when assigning voice parts is important. Be sure to listen to your boys regularly. Click https://www.themcp.org/ to learn more.
Students learn about various musical concepts, including music theory, vocal technique, and performance. This class provides a rich, well-rounded musical experience for students and is a great place to start with music education. This class is for high school students and requires prior choral experience.
Most conductors interviewed felt that teaching Music Theory as part of the choir curriculum is important. They regarded it as essential to their choristers’ progress and enjoyment of the music, although they varied in their emphasis on different elements.
One respondent stated, ‘ It is important to teach the skills of reading music but also to encourage the development of the imagination so that the choristers feel they are not simply learning sequences of notes’ (Beta). Another noted that ‘Learning how to read music enables the chorister to understand the composer’s intentions – it opens up all creative possibilities beyond what can be experienced just by ear or inner sense, and it allows the chorister to analyze the music’ (Eta).
Two interviewees described their approach as focusing on intervals and chords because these help with intonation – particularly for African musical backgrounds, where semitones are common in traditional songs. Another commented, ‘ Choristers must grasp the function of chords and their character; it improves intonation and helps in making decisions about which chords to sing’ (Delta). Most interviewees supported using MP3 rehearsal tracks for choristers to work with in learning pieces, although some opposed this. This might be useful to support aural training. Still, it could also divert attention from the music and lead to note-bashing, which tended to harm choristers’ confidence and auditory awareness.
Splitting the choir into voice sections for the initial parts of learning is widely practiced within rehearsals, which helps with learning. However, It can be problematic if the groupings are not carefully managed so that each section hears a similar level of musicianship.
When you join a choir, you learn music theory and proper vocal technique. This is important because younger students often have trouble understanding how their voices work and how to produce sound healthily properly. It’s also important for older students to learn how to sing high and low notes correctly, as well as maintain the proper phrasing for each style of music.
The voice changes a lot during middle school, and your choir director needs to be aware of each student’s stage. This will help them choose literature to set each boy up for success. It will also help them deal with any self-consciousness they may feel as their voices change and encourage them to stay positive throughout the process.
Boys must understand that voice change is a natural and necessary part of their development. Encouragement and a positive attitude from the directors can also help the boys maintain their confidence during this time.
One of the biggest challenges for choral directors is teaching the different vocal styles, such as jazz and musical theatre. Using quality YouTube videos to demonstrate the different sounds is often helpful. This saves the teacher’s voice and enables the students to see what each style is supposed to look like.
Once the students understand what the different vocal styles are, they need to be able to listen to each other and compare their own singing to that of their peers. This will help them to identify if they are using their voices in ways that are not healthy and allow them to correct their mistakes.
Another key point to remember is that choir is a class, just like any other class in school. Students need to give it their full attention. They should shut off their iPods, Blackberries, or anything else that could cause distractions. They should pay attention to their posture and ensure a slight bend at the hips, as this is the best position for singing.
The school choir is an ideal place to teach students about rhythm. It helps them develop an internal sense of beat, and it also gives them a way to translate musical notation into a physical language. One fun activity is to have them create their body percussion patterns. For example, on the beats of a music bar in 4/4 time, they might clap and click their fingers in rhythm. This can be done in groups or individually. For an added challenge, they can try a series of different 4-beat sequences with corresponding body movements and sound effects (click, stomp, slap, clap), or they can try it backward (“boom-clap-tongue click”).
Rhythm is not only important to music, but it’s critical to reading and performing music. Rhythm is the heartbeat of all music; it tells you when to start and stop singing, and it’s how we determine the length of a note or chord. It also clarifies vertical alignment, revealing harmonic progressions and allowing for precise control of crescendo and diminuendo.
In addition, rhythm provides a foundation for understanding the relationship between pitch and timing. For example, it is important to realize that if a song is in 8-beat time, then the first two beats of the piece should be sung with a slow tempo. At the same time, the last four beats of the measure should be sung with a faster tempo.
Lastly, learning how to read and perform in rhythm teaches students the basics of fractions, as they must divide the number of beats in a measure by the number of beats per quarter. This skill will be useful when they learn to play a sport or an instrument and in all academic subjects.
Participation in a school choir is also an excellent social opportunity for students to interact with peers from different schools and backgrounds. Students learn to appreciate the differences among them while also celebrating their similarities. Jocks, math whizzes, cheerleaders, and scientists all join together to sing in the same group, creating a special bond.
Choristers are a very special breed of school children. They arrive at choir school having enjoyed singing from a very young age and perhaps following a recommendation from their primary music teachers. They will have demonstrated their love of music and their musical ear at a voice trial, which works alongside any other admissions requirements the school may have. Those who pass the voice trial are deemed potential choristers and will be invited to become probationers. This phase can last between 6 months and two years and is designed to allow children to progress, develop their singing ability, and become familiar with the choral repertoire.
A successful chorister is often heavily involved with private lessons. The frequency of these varies, with some taking one hour weekly and others every other week. This is a great way for students to understand their music better, improve their vocal technique, and delve into solo singing. It also allows them to practice their theory skills at home and develop a more holistic approach to learning and developing musical talent.
Once they have gained sufficient experience in singing as part of a group, they will be encouraged to audition for the school’s advanced ensembles. This is an exciting time in a chorister’s life, and they will likely be very excited at the prospect of singing alongside other students in the school. Choristers will learn how to perform professionally and be exposed to an exciting variety of music, including classical, folk, and contemporary.
Performing is at the heart of what a choir does, and students will take part in regular concerts both within and outside of the school. Undoubtedly, the enjoyment of performing for an audience is a great confidence builder for all students. Choristers will be able to showcase their talents by participating in festivals and regional and state events.