A Choir Ninja Rewind

Today we bring you an encore airing of one of our most popular interviews with a Houston-area director. In today’s episode Ryan and Denise Eaton look at her layering method of sequential teaching. In other words, this is a breakdown of her step-by-step process for teaching a new choral piece to her choirs.

Listen:


Highlight to Tweet: “Repetition is your friend and the key to successful learning.” -Denise Eaton #choirninja

Show Notes:

Eaton’s Order of Events for Layering Skills in Sequential Teaching

  1. Teach rhythms before looking at song (including all like patterns throughout)
    1. Extract and breakdown rhythms for better understanding and skill development
    2. Learning rhythm doesn’t only include chanting· singing is also encouraged
    3. Include emphasis on strong beats -always keep the text in mind
  2. Add solfege -always with appropriate, desired tone
    1. Introduce the key of the song through previous sight-reading (See resources and sponsor below)
    2. Extract only the melodic contour in solfege (before looking at song) for greater mastery later
    3. Chant solfege in rhythm -add emphasis on strong beats
    4. Chant text in rhythm to reinforce understanding
    5. Add syllabic and word stress emphasizing desired vowels
  3. Sing on solfege -with desired vowels and tone
    1. Focus on accuracy
    2. Add in syllabic/ word stress
  4. Sing on neutral syllable -with desired vowels and tone
    1. Focus on accuracy
    2. Add in syllabic/word stress
    3. Add in final consonants for rhythmic releases and onset of sound
  5. Monotone chant and sing the text -with desired vowels and tone
    1. If singing in parts, separate to different notes of the tonic chord
    2. Add in syllabic/ word stress
    3. Repetition of the release of final consonants will, most likely, be needed
  6. Sing on text -emphasizing desired vowels and tone
    1. Focus on pitch accuracy
    2. Add in syllabic / word stress
    3. Explore combinations of voice parts
      1. sop 1 / alto
      2. Sop 1/Sop 2
      3. Alto/Tenor
      4. Sop/Bass
      5. Sop/Tenor
      6. Women
      7. Men

3 Key Takeaways:

  1. Score study is absolutely necessary for you to identify items, such as rhythms, to isolate in the earlier steps.
  2. Repetition is your friend and the key to successful learning.
  3. Always emphasize and insist on desired tone, and vowels.

Resources/links Mentioned:

Sponsored by: Sight Reading Factory (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for 10 free student accounts!)

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My Music Folders (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for “last column” or best pricing – usually reserved for bulk purchases only!)

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