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.
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.
Here are a few ways you can use them in your rehearsals:
For most choir directors, singing with pure, rounded vowels is one of the primary things you teach to your choirs. It's especially important to teach this to children's choirs and instill good vowel-singing in your singers from a young age.
There are numerous benefits to focusing on this with your children's choirs throughout the year; here are a few worth noting:
Rhythm pattern cards are a great way to teach new rhythmic concepts, reinforce familiar patterns, and build that all-important music vocabulary (the ability to understand and create your own musical patterns and sequences).
There are lots of different types of rhythm pattern cards out there - some you can buy, some you can download and print for free (like the set I'm sharing below!), and ideas for making some of your own.
They don’t have to be fancy! The ones I'm sharing today can be printed at home on white cardstock and cut into quarters (postcard-size).
There’s something special about an intergenerational choir: the coming together of people of all ages and walks of life to share music and lift their voices in song. It sends a message of unity and inclusivity and I think it gives us a little glimpse of what heaven might be like, singing in the angel choir.
Intergenerational choirs are a great way to celebrate something special in the life of the church - an anniversary or special service. The easiest way to create this experience is to combine groups you already have. There are a number of ways to do this.
Everyone is born with some level of music aptitude, or potential to succeed in music (source).
According to music researcher Edwin Gordon, this aptitude can increase or decrease between birth and age 7, based on musical exposure and experience.
"The vocal range is remarkably wide from birth,” music education professor Lili Levinowitz wrote. "Infants can imitate and experiment with their vocal instruments: and even match pitch as early as three to four months of age. Purposeful singing can begin at around twelve months. At this time, adults can recognize snippets of songs to which youngsters have been exposed. Through continued exposure to spoken chant, songs, and vocal play, young children can develop the use of their singing voices during the remaining early childhood years.” (source)
As teachers, we’re never really done learning (and that’s a good thing!).
John Dewey once said, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
So true, right? The world is constantly changing and evolving and we need to be constantly changing, adapting, learning, and evolving along with it to be the best teachers we can be.
What do you want to learn this year? What kind of teacher do you want to become?
I believe church music programs are a wonderful way to teach children about God and their faith and music and singing.
I believe we can do both. And being intentional about planning specific ways to develop musicianship little by little throughout the year is a great place to start.
This post is geared toward children’s choir directors looking for inspiration, ideas, and practical suggestions for teaching children about music and developing musicianship week by week.
I’ll talk about what musicianship is and 10 practical ways to develop it little by little in your rehearsals each week.
Do you use instruments with your children's choir?
Playing an instrument - even if it's just a few jingle bells on a pipe cleaner - is a great way to foster musical development in your young singers.
Here are a few of the primary benefits:
1. It helps children be actively involved in the music-making process.
Children learn by doing, by moving, by experimenting. Music is a form of play, for young children, especially, and interacting with it through playing instruments and singing only deepens their experience.
Today's post is written by my church musician friend, Janis Maxwell. She's the Director of Youth Music Ministry and Organist at Athens First United Methodist in Athens, GA. I hope her thoughtful perspective on ministry encourages and blesses you in your work this season.
"Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing." - Psalm 100:2
As I reflect on the topic, “Why What We Are Doing Is Important”, this Bible verse pops into my head.