Children's Choir

Planning the Choir Year: 4 Creative Theme Ideas for Your Children's Choir

Planning the Choir Year: 4 Creative Theme Ideas for Your Children's Choir

How do you plan your choir year?

Maybe you spend some time over the summer mapping out what dates your choir will sing, what hymns you’d like to teach them, listening to new releases from the publishers to get ideas for anthems, and searching Pinterest for games and other creative ideas.

Maybe you plan the first few weeks of rehearsals and then get burnt out and start winging it.

Maybe you’re somewhere in between.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”

We need to plan ahead in order to teach effectively. We need to think about the musical growth and learning we’d like to see and make a plan for how to get there.

How to Use Vocal Exploration in Your Rehearsals: 19 Practical Ideas

How to Use Vocal Exploration in Your Rehearsals: 19 Practical Ideas

Vocal exploration, or time spent exploring what the voice can do is a vital part of early childhood and elementary music-making. Invite your singers to experience what their voice can do and experiment with different types of sounds.

As you plan your choir rehearsals, look for new and creative ways for children to explore what their voices can do. 

Spend a few minutes each week reviewing the four voices: speaking, singing, whispering, shouting. Then, take some time to create vocal sound effects that span the entire vocal range. This helps them build coordination and develop control of their voice, learn about their voice and what it means to sing, and build personal confidence.

11 Prayers for Children's Choir

11 Prayers for Children's Choir

Prayer is an important part of any church choir rehearsal, but maybe especially for children’s choirs.

Spiritual growth goes hand-in-hand with music education in this setting, and taking time to pray together is an important part of cultivating faith, learning how to trust, and developing a personal understanding of who God is.

Praying a short, simple prayer on the spot is always an option, but if you’re looking for something different, here are a few other ideas for prayers you can use in your children’s choir rehearsals:

How to Add Instrumental Parts to Your Choir Anthems

How to Add Instrumental Parts to Your Choir Anthems

Opportunities to play and hear different instruments has numerous benefits for your choir members. Here are three notable ones:

Benefits of Including Instruments

1. It helps singers be actively and creatively involved in the music-making process.

We learn by doing, by moving, by experimenting. For children, music is a form of play, and interacting with it by singing, moving, clapping, and playing instruments only deepens their experience.

2. It gives singers an opportunity to connect and engage with music in new ways.

The chance to experiment and try new things is a crucial part of the music-learning process, for learners of all ages. For children, clapping and playing instruments gives them an opportunity to improvise and even compose their own rhythm patterns and short melodies.

Go-To Warm-Up Resources for Busy Choir Directors

Go-To Warm-Up Resources for Busy Choir Directors

Warm-ups for choirs are like stretches for athletes: they help prepare the muscles and engage the mind for focused, active work.

But more than simply warming up the voice and preparing to sing, choral warm-ups are a practical way to prepare and introduce new musical skills and concepts before singing them in the context of a piece of music. This not only saves you time in rehearsal, but it also creates a more cohesive learning experience for your choir members.

Music for the Festival of the Christian Home (Mother's Day)

Music for the Festival of the Christian Home (Mother's Day)

Mother's Day, though not a sacred holiday, is often observed in some way in churches of various denominations.

The day actually originated in a Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia in May 1907, when Anna Jarvis, organized a special service to honor her late mother. The next year, Anna advocated that the second Sunday in May be a day to honor all mothers. Mother’s Day became an official holiday in 1912.

Celebrate Valentine's Day with These Fun, Creative Music Games

Celebrate Valentine's Day with These Fun, Creative Music Games

Valentine’s Day is just over a week away!

Now, I know what some of you are probably thinking: Valentine’s Day isn’t a real holiday! Why should we “celebrate” this in our lessons and rehearsals?

I’m inclined to agree that Valentine’s Day is basically a Hallmark holiday, but at this point in the year, I’ll take pretty much any excuse to mix up my regular teaching routine and introduce something a little whimsical and fun (especially when gummy candy is involved!).

58 Children's Choir Anthems with Instrumental Parts

58 Children's Choir Anthems with Instrumental Parts

Did you know that singing with another instrumentalist (in addition to piano or organ) can help develop musicianship skills?

There are numerous benefits to inviting another instrumentalist to come play with your choir. Here are a few worth noting:

  1. It fosters musical independence.

    Focusing on your own part while listening to two other instrumentalists helps you develop listening and awareness skills and become a more independent and capable musician.

38 Ways to Sing it Again: Silly Ideas for Your Children's Choir

38 Ways to Sing it Again: Silly Ideas for Your Children's Choir

“Good! Now, sing it again.”

How many times do you hear yourself saying these words in rehearsal? We all know the importance of repetition. This is how we learn - by trying, experiencing, and doing it again and again.

The problem is, often, this becomes something we do mindlessly. When we hear someone say, “Good! Now, sing it again,”we go into auto-pilot mode and repeat whatever we just did without really thinking about it.

Did you catch that last part?

How to Teach a Preschool Choir

How to Teach a Preschool Choir

What does it take to direct a preschool choir? How is working with preschoolers different from working with elementary-age children? What do you need to know?

If you’re new to working with preschoolers or it’s been a while since you’ve been around this particular age group, here’s a quick guide to what it looks like to teach and direct a preschool choir. 

I’m tailoring this to preschool choirs in church settings, but much of what I will describe here is applicable to choirs in school and community settings, as well.