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Conference Morsel: Choral Sight-singing

(An excerpt from the interest session “Sightsinging in the Choral Classroom,” presented by James Bowyer during the 2014 ACDA North Central Division Conference)
 
       When selecting superb sightsinging materials, there are several things to keep in mind. First, all materials that we select for the chorus must, in the end, develop fundamental musicianship skills in our singers. Second, material within the curriculum must highly sequenced and presented in a fashion that is musically intuitive (i.e. moving from known to unknown through increasingly complex activities). Third, we as conductors must be confident that time spent on this curriculum will facilitate an easy transfer of skills and concepts to performance repertoire. Fourth, the sightsinging curriculum must engage students with a wide range experience and prior knowledge. Fifth, we as music educators must never acquaint our students with anything but the finest music literature and materials. Consequently, a sightsinging curriculum must make use of only first-rate folk and art song repertoire and limited, excellent composed music. Finally, for any sightsinging curriculum to be successful, it must be taught by instructors who are exceptional musicians and practitioners themselves. To this end, we must continue to hone our own musicianship skills: audiation, vocal production, music literacy, in-tune singing, and musicality.
on May 12, 2014 12:48pm
So much of what James Bowyer says above is accurate!
 
I've been teaching middle school since 1989, and I looked for years to find something that would be appropriate for my beginners.  I failed to find anything.  It all progressed too quickly and left them frustrated.  I kept hoping for that little "Mozart" to show up in my room each year to hold the section together, but alas, in my public school, that never happened.
 
So, since I was tired of books and modifying other people's programs, I created my own using 21st century technology for delivery.  It is designed to build skills in every single students.  I wanted to make sure they ALL could read.  It includes YouTube Training videos for teachers, YouTube teaching examples, lesson plans, sight singing examples, games, rhythm exercises and works beautifully with this tricky age group.
 
Here is some more information on S-Cubed: How to Teach Sight Singing to Middle School Beginners.  27 week program.
 
Here is a YouTube video link of my students using the techniques:
 
Regards!
 
Dale Duncan