We have now officially launched the beginning of our 2019/2020 season! All of our choirs are off to a terrific start, and it got us thinking about why the beginning of the year is so vital to the success of the entire season. Here’s what we’ve found.
- Music Reading – It takes 6 weeks (at the very least) for singers new to music-reading to get a basic understanding of how to read choral music. Do they know it all by then? Certainly not! But by 6 weeks they begin to know how to follow a score and connect what they’re sing with how it looks on the page.
- Friendship Building – One of the main reasons that people enjoy singing in choirs is the social element. That is why we believe it is so important for choirs like us to hold retreats, socials, and encourage different groupings in rehearsals so that our choristers have the opportunity to meet and bond with as many new people as possible.
- Vocal Development – At first choristers new to singing in a choir sing like their favourite pop singers on the radio, which can be exciting but also detrimental to the health of their voice. In choir we focus on healthy ensemble-singing, which includes learning warm ups and various vocal techniques that will ensure singers build the vocal health to take them through years of singing either as soloists or choristers.
- Repertoire Appreciation – Choral music is so diverse that it takes time for singers to really appreciate all the unique nuances of their pieces. It isn’t uncommon for choristers to write off a piece before they’ve really gotten to know it. We find that after 6 weeks they’ve learned the music enough to appreciate the elements that make it enjoyable.
- Understanding Conducting – Conducting is a strange and beautiful art form, and some argue that it has its own language. Choristers need time to learn how their conductor communicates to them with their arms during a performance. It is such a wonderful experience when singers are truly “in tune” with their conductors.
- Locking In – As you can tell, there are so many new skills to build when singing in a choir for the first time! It is obvious now why it takes 6 weeks to establish all of the new skills needed to truly appreciate and enjoy choral music. Then once choristers make it to their first concert a whole new world of excitement opens up. We can’t wait until they get to put everything they’ve learned together for their first concert of the season!