September 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm #12444
I know this is a problem with almost every chorus out there. But I want to increase the participation of guys in chorus. I teach 5th and 6th grade chorus, and many of the boys that want to join chorus don’t because they are under the stereotypical idea that “Real men don’t sing.” First of all, they are boys, not men. 🙂 I try to remind them about all the famous male singers out there and even get them to come up with a few, but they still don’t do it for fear of being picked on. Has anyone found a good way to increase the amount of guys in their chorus?September 25, 2012 at 11:17 pm #12741
Try to get one that is considered “cool” that maybe comes from a singing family. Have him sing for you alone and tell him how good he is and what potential he has and ask him to be a leader and bring his friends to you. It always worked for me and I usually had more boys than girls. However, you really have to spend alot of time building them up and once they have success and some compliments you are on your way. Then the next year it is tradition.
NAfME, Choral Education ChairSeptember 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm #12941
I also teach 5th and 6th grade, and I’ve had pretty good success — usually about a third of my students are boys. I started several years ago by creating a group I called “Boys’ Chorus”. I found a time in the day when I could pull ALL of the boys together (both grades) once a week for about 15 minutes. I then told them they would have their own special boys’ song on the concert. The hook was that it could be any song the group wanted — rock, rap, whatever (as long as it is appropriate for school of course, which might mean changing some words…) Depending on the tastes of the group each year we’ve done different styles — last year was Stereo Hearts (Adam Levine), the year before was Viva La Vida (Coldplay) — this year for some reason they really want to sing “Gangdam Style” (look it up on YouTube if you haven’t heard of it). We also did other things too… One year I brought in a college Men’s a cappella singing group to do a performance for the whole school; another year the H.S. Choir director brought his Men’s Choir in do an assembly. It takes a little time to build up the feeling that chorus is cool for boys, but it seems to have worked…. when I started here 8 years ago I had 19 boys in 6th grade chorus, and this year I have 50!
Of course, keeping them enrolled when they move up to 7th grade is a whole other challenge… 🙂October 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm #13263
You might find some tips in the web article “Boys to Men” — http://musiced.nafme.org/interest-areas/choral-education/boys-to-men/
One of the suggestions: Arrange for a male volunteer or two to come and sing with your boys for a couple of rehearsals. Especially if you (the teacher) are female, it will help them greatly to hear someone singing in their own octave. Ideas: other male teachers, college students needing community service hours, retired men from a local church or community chorus, or barbershop chorus.
Linda Brown, NAfME StaffOctober 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm #13281
All of the above ideas are terrific and I hope you find them to be successful. Finding a peer leader is crucial, giving boys a spotlight to show off on your concert is terrific. Don’t be afraid to find a really cool ‘guy piece’ the young men can sound good with – it can be unison or have some kind of ostinato parts that give younger singers a chance to succeed. Don’t be afraid to re-write parts, or alter voice parts to suit the singers you have. Refer to unchanged voices as Part One or Part Two so that the young men don’t feel stigmatized by being called sopranos.
Celebrate the voice as a gift – whether it is high or low. Ask your singers where they feel most comfortable.
Check youtube for videos of boy’s and children’s choirs with boys this age singing cool pieces.
Alan Scott – Murray High School –
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