Reply To: Going into 3rd year of HS Chorus, still not getting it
Frontpage › Forums › Choral › Going into 3rd year of HS Chorus, still not getting it › Reply To: Going into 3rd year of HS Chorus, still not getting it
I’ve had the most success by starting with singing and “backing into” reading; it makes more sense to my students in that order, and it’s the “natural” way we all learned to read when we were children. This group needs to be won over first. Start this year by teaching them a song by rote (try something rhythmic and repetitive which will resemble their pop music, such as Oye by Jim Papoulis, or several other songs of his, or some world music that has a good “groove” – something you can get excited about, and that is fairly easy to learn). Here is where you focus on tone production and making them sound good (be sure you know enough about the voice and how it actually works.) As you teach the song by rote (I know, but I was really converted to this because of how it helps their ear training!), start teaching/referring to parts of it in solfege syllables (“you can sing that – it’s just do-sol-do” as you sing it to them). Once they see how “easy” it is to learn new music when they really know the scale (and keep telling them it is easy!), you can go to notation. Next I put them in small groups, give them an easy song, and ask them to write in solfege syllables. Then they “teach” everyone what they “discovered” the melody was by using solfege (I usually use hymns, but you might do some folksongs or well-known pop tunes with the words left out). Save the quizzes for later in the semester when they have some confidence that they can do well, and offer them as “challenges.” Put singing first and foremost, and use reading as a tool to get to more singing. Good luck!