About this blogger:
Dr. Lucas Tappan is a conductor and organist whose specialty is working with children. He lives in Kansas with his wife and two sons.
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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

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Chorister Vocal Pedagogy
published 9 February 2016 by Lucas Tappan

LMT Singer HAVE WRITTEN QUITE A LOT in the past about the training of choristers in the art of sight-singing, but I would also like to share some vocal training helps as well. If you are leading a children’s choir (or any choir for that matter), one of the most important things you could do to improve the sound of your choir is to take voice lessons yourself if you have never previously had the privilege. After you have taken lessons, then teach someone else in a private lesson. This simple act forces you to take what you have learned and then find a way to communicate it to another singer. Then take it to your choir.

I once heard a choir director say it was impossible to give a vocal lesson to an entire choir all at once, but I don’t believe this. You might not be able to go into as much depth with each one as you would in a private lesson, but you can teach the general mechanics of good vocal technique.

Today I would like to share with you a presentation that Melanie Malinka, the Director of Music for the Madeleine Choir School, gave to participants in the CMAA Colloquium several years ago when it was held in Salt Lake City, UT:

    * *  PDF Download • “Working with Young Voices” (Melanie Malinka)

Perhaps this might serve as a foundation for your future work with young singers in your parish.