Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Homeschool Choir is Fun!

For the last two semesters at Homeschool Out of the Box, our secular co-op here in Norfolk, I have been teaching a choir class for all ages. The first semester we learned some basics -- interval training, breathing, projecting, etc. and some simple songs. The second semester we took on Celtic music -- ballads and jigs and reels and silly songs and sad songs, all from the British Isles. This coming semester, we will be diving into the music of Appalachia -- murder ballads, nonsense songs, Stephen Foster standards, and bluegrass favorites.

We work on memorizing lyrics, ear training with notes and dynamics, and have lots of fun in class. Here are a couple of examples of our songs from last semester. We love to incorporate instruments that the kids play -- you can see a cello and tin whistle participating in this song, as well as my guitar:

Last semester we memorized several poems from W. B. Yeats, and here's one of them, one of our more serious selections:

This spring, we're singing American tunes like "Beautiful Dreamer," "Skip to My Lou," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "Cotton Eyed Joe," and "Shady Grove." Our songbook can be purchased as a coil-bound notebook from Lulu.com for $10 or you can download and print your own for free from our Yahoo Group files section. If you order the official songbook, the cost of the class is $60 for all 15 weeks. Without the songbook, the cost is $80 for the semester. We meet for an hour every Tuesday morning near the Chrysler Museum in downtown Norfolk. Won't you join the fun?

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