New Children's Choir Program
  • Greetings all,
    I was recently hired to re-vamp/re-start the music education program and children's choirs at my parish. The school (Pre-K through 8) has about 175 kids total. Currently I have about 15 in choir...the focus is traditional liturgy (think English Novus Ordo but with the Ordinary and hymns, as much as possible, in Latin). The goal is to establish a children's choir that can sing either English or Latin Ordinary *and* Propers, as well as any other chant that might be needed for liturgical functions (processions, blessings, etc.) Right now we are using the (extremely modest) selection of Orff instruments and the Kodaly solfege handsigns. Which, if any, methodologies/pedagogies would you recommend going forward and why? I've been recommended to RSCM, Ward, etc., and am wondering which of them might be worthwhile. Thanks much for any help!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,796
    CMAA has an introductory article about the Ward method at
    https://musicasacra.com/music-pedagogy-for-children/ward-method-instruction/
    (and a video of a classroom demonstration from Germany, which you can download from that page).

    CMAA's resource page also has downloadable copies of four (early edition) Ward manuals.
  • I second the Ward and older versions of the RSCM Chorister Training Schemes. I strongly suggest three things. First, strive for as many rehearsals as possible per week. One rehearsal per week wont accomplish much. Second, divide your choirs into K - 2, 3 - 5 and 6 - 8 grades. Finally, strive for some kind of scholarship connection. For example, any child that makes it in your choirs, receives a scholarship reduction in tuition towards the expenses of the school. Even if its a meager amount, setting a choir scholarship precedent now is critically important at the beginning stages. Besides, it gives an additional way for people to contribute and sponsor to the parish financially; something that any pastor should look upon favorably.
  • JoeM
    Posts: 28
    I have developing a curricula based on a the best elements of several systems. I have had good success in training children choristers. I would be glad to share ideas with you. My web-page:

    palestrinachoirschool.com