Thursday, February 03, 2011

Kinetic Choir: Week 1

We had a great day in choir today -- as I told the children, these are the choir pioneers,
blazing a trail for an HSoBX choral tradition. They were very good sports even
with our small numbers, and made some beautiful music!

Today's class:

Breathing exercises. We learned the difference between our talking voices and singing voices. We don't use our singing voices for talking, or in most cases we'd sound like Cinderella impersonators all day. Likewise, we do not use our talking voices for singing -- we want to access that sweet, higher voice that feels like it's located up in your forehead, not in your throat.

Vocal Warm-ups. We sang Me-balaba You-balaba Me-balaba and Mommy Made Me Mash My M&Ms. And we're not explaining. And we're not sorry.

Composition. We talked about how most songs have verses and a chorus, and we
looked at "You Are My Sunshine" as an example. The children's first composition
assignment is to write a new verse for this song! They can write about whatever
they like -- we talked about how songs can be about love, about a favorite
thing, about a person, about an event that happened, or really about anything.
I'm very interested to see what they come up with, and look forward to
incorporating their own work into our repertoire.

Form: In the morning class we talked about verse / chorus structure more as we
introduced "The Rocky Road to Dublin" in which Travis will sing the verses while
the choir claps a rhythm, and the choir will join in on the choruses.

Interval Training: In the afternoon class we learned the concept of intervals
and learned about thirds. We sang the song "Bought Me a Cat" which has a lot of
thirds in it. My goal for the class is that the children will be able to
identify and also produce all the different intervals on the major scale. That
will be a real accomplishment!

Parts Singing: Both classes began to learn the round "Rose Rose Rose Red" which
we will learn to introduce parts singing. We also learned "My Paddles Clean and
Bright" in the earlier class.

Next week I will have folders for the kids -- I was trying out some different
things today to see what would stick. I have a better idea now of the directions
we can go. I'm pretty excited about how well they did today!

Listening Links:

Rose Rose Rose Red

Bought Me a Cat (karaoke version)

Note: If you search around on YouTube for "I Bought Me a Cat" you will find many
many links to the Aaron Copeland version of it, but this is NOT the version
we're doing, because it doesn't have the same thirds in it that I need for their
ear training. The one we want goes "Do-Do-Mi, Do-Do-Mi, Do-Do-Mi-So-Mi-Re-Do" if
that makes any sense.

My Paddle Song

You are My Sunshine

Rocky Road to Dublin

Have fun! See you next week. Interested in choir? We have room!

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