| Teaching children through music |
Phoenix Children’s Chorus (PCC) provides rich and rewarding experiences for its members where singing is the major focus. Teaching children to become musically literate is more than just singing songs, it requires a comprehensive educational approach. Our choristers study and perform a variety of music, both sacred and secular, representing a variety of historical periods and genres. Each chorister is assessed annually and placed in the music literacy class where they gain skills in reading, writing, and improvising music. This holistic approach to music education ensures that our choristers are more than just great singers, they become literate musicians.
We want every chorister to enjoy a lifetime of singing. Teaching them to use their voice in a sustainable and healthy way, regardless of the style of music they perform, is a top priority at PCC.
Learning to read and write music can often feel like learning a new language – because it is! We help our choristers develop the listening and reading skills needed to be an independent musician for the rest of their life
Great choir performances require the ability to communicate the greater meaning of music through engaging stage presence. Developing this skill allows choristers to demonstrate professional presentation etiquette that they can use on and off the stage.
It’s hard to reach a specific destination without a map and the same is true in teaching. The best learning happens when we have clear expectations and goals for what each choir will learn.
Music literacy, a major component in the National Standards in Music Education, is essential for maximizing the musical achievement and motivation of all singers. It includes reading, dictation (transcribing sound into notation), audiation (ability to hear music in your head without any sound being present) and improvisation (demonstrates comprehension of musical sounds). All these components are an integral part of PCC’s music literacy curriculum. Their goal is to empower their singers to become musically independent, literate musicians rather than enabling them by teaching songs only through imitation. PCC truly fosters life-long musicianship, cultivates the full potential within each chorister and supports choristers in their musical pursuits. I’ve had the opportunity to observe rehearsals and work with the PCC faculty and I was very impressed with the breadth and depth of the faculty, the nurturing environment, and the engaging rehearsals that reflect the extensive, multi-pronged curriculum in action.
Dr. Carol Krueger
Retired Director of Choral Activities Valdosta State University
Author, Progressive Sight Singing