Saturday, March 19, 2016

How to Start a Junior Choir

Starting a junior youth choir requires a significant effort and strong commitment to working with children to develop their voices. Many of the children will come to you with no experience, so it will require you to include vocal exercises and technique in all of your rehearsals. Working with children in a choir setting can be a rewarding experience, but you will need to carefully select music that is appropriate for their voices.

Step 1 Find a location to house your rehearsal. If you attend a church, the church will usually allow you to practice for free. Other possibilities include community centers and schools. Contact the schools to see if they will lend you space to practice.

Step 2 Advertise in schools, churches and community centers that there is a new junior choir currently looking for students. If you will accept all students, advertise that you are a community choir. If you want to hold auditions, specify a time for audition dates.

Step 3 Hold auditions for entrance into the choir. Have a sample piece ready, and ask the students to prepare the piece ahead of time. Even if you accept all students, you will still need to audition to find out how to place students.

Step 4 Assign parts to those who sing soprano, alto and tenor based on the results of the audition. Since they are children and their ranges will vary with time, have them sing a scale with the piano and classify them based on their vocal range.

Step 5 Select music that is stepwise in motion and stays within the range of a fifth when possible and no larger than an octave. Avoid complex rhythms in the beginning, while the students are learning to sing.

Step 6 Require parent contact information so that you can contact the parents when needed and let them know about rehearsals. The parents will be necessary to ensure that students arrive on time and practice their music.