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- May 12, 2016 at 12:26 pm #515516LizzieParticipant
My question is for experienced high school conductors.
How do you teach your high school choir to memorize their pieces?
Is there a process that you go through based off your semester calendar, setting up memorization goal posts? Or do you simply set a date when the music must be memorized?
I’d love to know your thinking process regarding this!
Thank you!May 14, 2016 at 7:39 am #515613Seth BoydParticipant
I teach kids who are a lot younger than yours, but I push them to do hard things. The cool thing about music is that by the time you learn the hard sections of a song, the memory work for most songs is done. All you have to do is make them put their music down for a few rehearsals and watch the fireworks. A few hints from the podium never hurts.
That said, bizarre songs, strophic music, and music that is repetitive but with a twist is difficult.
For strophic music, I find some keywords in each verse and write them on the board. Then, I take away the words from the easiest verse to memorize into the hardest.
For the other types of songs, I find that singing them “backwards” is really helpful. I start at the last phrase and make sure they can sing it. Then I put a phrase in front of it. I keep working like that until we get to the front of a song.
When all else fails, try a pneumonic device. For example, God be in my head starts at the top of your body and works its way down.
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