Question Detail

Sight reading techniques for middle school choirs

Jan 29, 2014 7:31pm

I feel stuck in a rut and wondered what step by step process do other choir teachers use when introducing sight reading techniques...especially to brand new singers.

  • Arts
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  • Class Culture

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    • Apr 19, 2014 12:19pm

      I've had the same question and difficulty the last 2 years, and I recently began using Z. Kodaly's concept of sight reading syllables. Using 4-6 note excerpts (projected onto my white board) that outline a chord progress, I have the students read several of these as a part of our warm up. They sing with solfa syllables and with out a key signature (helps them concentrate on the relationship of lines to spaces; just tell them where Do is). We have now moved onto singing folk songs in solfa (again, reading them from the white board so I can detect / direct attention where needed). This approach has yielded good results just in the last three months of beginning it.

      Credit: MichaelDriscollConductor.com
      Check out this website; I found it to be a helpful starting place.

      • May 1, 2014 8:28am

        That's something that my middle school choirs still struggle with. I've found that the "Sing at First Sight" series by Beck, Surmani, and Lewis is appropriate for my students. It includes rhythm and pitch exercises, unit reviews and tests. If you also have SmartMusic, a testing/recording program, your students can record themselves and see what pitches they sing correctly or not. Unfortunately, SmartMusic does not listen for solfege.

        http://www.alfred.com/Products/Sing-at-First-Sight-Level-1--00-22017.aspx --> more information can be found here. Good luck!