Wow, we are halfway through the year already! I am so impressed with the hard work the Junior Choir has put in so far. As this is a bit of a slower time, we have been spending it working on some more pedagogical concepts, some new songs, and some GAMES! Who doesn't love singing games!? We are getting really good at moving to the music and figuring out what we are hearing. We will be starting on our Tenebrae songs shortly so that we have lots of time to learn and memorize them comfortably.
A special thank you goes out to Mr. Reeves for directing the Junior Choir last First Friday mass when I was unable to attend!
Thank you to all of the Junior Choir members who have been working so hard at their pieces for Nine Lessons and Carols, AND the January Psalm! I appreciate all your hard work. Wishing you all a beautiful holiday filled with special family time.
God bless you all, Merry Christmas!
We have now gotten into our pattern for rehearsals and have already started on our Nine Lessons songs as well! The Junior Choir is working hard at learning new music and practicing our sound production with the songs that we already know. I am so impressed by everyone's enthusiasm and commitment to making beautiful music as a group. I am seeing many of our more experienced choristers stepping up and helping those that are new or have less experience. This, in turn, is helping everyone to progress and find their round singing sound. We have been working at making sure everyone in the group is comfortable singing out and is learning how to match pitch consistently. As I tell them often, I can't help them if I can't hear them! So therefore, I encourage everyone to sing out, even if they don't know the notes they are singing, or are having trouble matching their pitches. This also helps others to recognize how to be patient and supportive choristers even if the sound they hear around them is not completely correct. At home, please encourage your children to sing! It is important that they are getting comfortable with the sound of their own voices and that it is okay to produce those sounds around other people even if they are feeling less secure.
As we enter into our practice time before Nine Lessons, I will try as much as possible to not include homework for choir on the homework page. This may change, depending on how our learning goes, so always keep an eye out on the Choir section, just in case I have asked students to go over words in preparation for our upcoming busy time. Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all our new choristers, welcome to the Junior Choir. If we have worked together in the past, then welcome back! I am so excited to work with all of the students in grades three to six this year. So far, we have already learned a psalm and are busy memorizing our second one, learning more about sight reading music, and even having some fun, too!
In the Junior Choir, we spend lots of time learning about how to become independent musicians. This includes continuing to learn proper terminology, practicing reading music, writing music, moving to the music, creating music and improvising on musical themes, just to name a few of the activities that we will cover throughout the course of the year. If your child is new to the choir, then they may feel a bit concerned with all of the different aspects of music that we will cover. Please assure them that we will cover all of these aspects many times throughout the year and they will find their place in the choir just fine! I don't usually assign any homework in the Junior Choir. Most of what we need to cover can be done in class. Occasionally, however, I may ask you to review some words at home with your child if we have a mass coming up and need to still memorize some of our lyrics.
I am always happy to answer any questions or address any concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com for any reason.
Kathryn Berko is very excited to be taking on the role as Director of the Junior Choirs. A born and raised Calgarian, she continues to be active in the city’s choral scene. She is currently the Artistic Director of the Calgary Boys’ Choir and will be starting as Artistic Director of the Calgary Children’s Choir this September. While growing up she was involved with the Calgary Children’s Choir, the Mount Royal Youth Choir, Ad Libitum Vocal Arts Ensemble, and the University of Calgary Chamber Singers.