Children's Choir

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.

Books You Can Sing and Chant with Your Children's Choir

Books You Can Sing and Chant with Your Children's Choir

I received an email from a preschool choir director recently asking if I had any recommendations for books that could be sung that she could use in her rehearsals.

You know the ones: books that either have lyrics to a familiar children’s song or hymn, or stories with text that can be sung to a familiar tune, like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

There are lots and lots of children’s books out there, and a few helpful lists of books that can be sung or chanted (see here, here, here, and here, for instance). But books that can be used in a church setting? With a children’s choir? Those are a little harder to find.

2018 Reading Session Picks: Children's Choir

2018 Reading Session Picks: Children's Choir

This summer, I’ve been sharing my reading session picks for choirs - twelve anthems for Adult Choir, and eleven anthems for Youth Choir, so far.

The final post in the series this year is anthems you can use with your children's choir. Most of these are brand new this year and feature opportunities to develop part-singing within your choir and include other instruments: organ, flute, and handbells or handchimes. This is a great way to develop musical independence in your singers, help develop their listening skills, and create a memorable and meaningful worship experience for them.

Your Go-To Guide for Using Boomwhackers With Your Choir

Your Go-To Guide for Using Boomwhackers With Your Choir

Looking for a fun way to reinforce rhythm and steady beat, play melodies, and introduce harmony to your children’s choir?

Let me introduce you to Boomwhackers.

Boomwhackers are great for older elementary choirs, though they can be used in certain circumstances with younger elementary choirs.

Here are a few ways you can use them in your rehearsals: