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Can A Sight Singing Course Be Applicable To Choir Members?

January 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 130

With about twenty years experience teaching choirs of all ages I would say yes, choir members individually and the choir as a whole can benefit greatly from a sight singing course. These concepts used in teaching sight singing use many methods and tools to help your choir members learn. For instance: if you use hand signs you are giving your choir the tactile skills to feel or touch the music. By doing that they can see, feel and touch the intervals and the distance between them.

By teaching one interval at a time you really make each interval very secure so that your choir members know that they own and can control that interval on demand. You can build on what they know adding intervals until eventually they know the pentatonic scale, then the diatonic scale and then the accidentals and then the chromatic scale.

Depending on the age of your choir members you can choose music that has the intervals that you are teaching. You should always find interesting music to match whatever interval you are teaching. This way they get practical use of what they are learning. Always teach the music in the lesson or choir rehearsal so that the choir member can go home and enjoy practicing, until mastered. Soon you can give them music to look at and ask them only to sing it in their head and when they sing it out loud for the first time it will sound as if they had practiced! This is of course your goal in teaching sight singing. You want the students to learn the music quickly so you can increase your repertoire.

Participation is the key to success. When studying with a prominent choir director I would, of course take part during the class but even more importantly, I would practice by thinking it though and practicing it on the drive home. If your choir members will take the class, practice and review in on their own they will succeed.

Perhaps you could impress upon them the need to know "for sure" that they are correct. Don't let them lean on a piano. Maybe the Piano is out of tune! Help them to know that they can go from what they know they know to what they want to learn. For instance: If one tries to sing the intervals atonally then they need to have something they can check themselves with. If was trying to sing "S, - D Perfect forth" and I wanted to check myself then I would compare what I was singing with what I knew was a perfect fourth such as, "Here Comes the Bride".

I also found the 333 Elementary Exercises very valuable. Even if at first I had to teach by having the choir members follow my hand signs. The students I had were young and if they just tried to sing it from looking at it on the first try: they would not stay together with the beat or the pitch. I had to slow it down and give everyone the time to get the pitch. The rhythm could be learned as a separate skill and then putting them together slowly again with had signs and then eventually beat tapping and then with keeping the beat inside.

Even if your students are older this method will work on the difficult sections. Sometimes I like to teach a certain difficult part of the music first with hand signs or Solfege and then once they learned it we would pick up the music and when they stumbled over that particular section I would remind them that they had just learned it and sung it very well at the beginning of the rehearsal. This really helps to speed up the learning.

I would like to encourage your choir members to participate in the Interactive Sight Singing Course.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to e-mail me at any time.

Sing-cerely

Victor

Click here to sign up for a free five part mini course on musical literacy. Victor King has a B.S. in Bible and a B.Mus. from Philadelphia College of Bible and has studied conducting at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and The Kodaly Musical Training Institute. Victor has personally studied with Betty Bertaux of the Children's Chorus of Maryland, has twelve plus years of teaching experience and is an expert at teaching people sight singing, reading music. Through a variety of media including online video tutorials, live webinars, telesinginars and live web cam he seeks to further the kingdom of God by promoting good Christian music and encouraging Christians to sing His praises.

Source: EzineArticles
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