For ages 12 to 18, this course covers the fundamentals of singing. Most people can become “pretty good” singers. A few people can become excellent singers. And every once in a while, there’s a person who can maybe only become an “OK” singer. This course will help you find out which one you are, and it demystifies the topic, giving you some real practicals to work with.
It’s exceedingly scary (for most) the first two weeks—because you’re singing in front of other people—but generally, by the third week, the students figure out that “we’re all in this together”, and they normally end up becoming good friends as a result of the shared experience. If you’re just a partial scaredy-cat, you’ll probably do just fine in this course. But if you’re a total scaredy-cat, this is probably not for you. Believe it or not, we’ve actually had students sign up for the course and then refuse to sing! Awkward!
The process is very simple. Each student picks a song to work on (with teacher approval), and then we take turns singing in front of the class. The teacher works with each student in front of the class, and when a particularly difficult line in a song proves tricky, he may have the entire class try to sing that line. Typically, a student is up front no longer than 5 or 6 minutes each class period. Then they rejoin the class and get to keep learning as the other students take their turns up front.
We’ll also work on many exercises together, such as warm-ups, and various pitch exercises. We’ll work some on performance etiquette. We’ll even work on the minute matters of facial expressions and particular vowel sounds, etc. We’ll do lots of breathing work, including some exercises that you can do by yourself at home.
We may also make audio recordings of your sessions so that you can review them at home.
It’s good to have a short list of songs in mind before the semester begins, because you’ll really need to have them memorized. While there are many wonderful songs in existence, the sort that tend to work the best for this class are these:
- standard patriotic songs
- most anything from a church hymnal
- most songs from Broadway
- most love ballads
Songs types that don’t work well are these:
- Songs from the yelling styles, such as heavy metal, for example.
- Songs with frequent instrumental interludes.
- Songs done with a whispery tone.
- Songs done dramatically with half-speaking/half-singing, such as by Jimmy Cagney or Rex Harrison.
In short, what we want to do is to teach you to sing a melody nicely, with a warm and pretty tone. (Not that this is the only good style of music, but this is what is most commonly considered the standard of vocal music.)
A Code of Conduct agreement is required for this course. This helps to ensure the positive environment in each class. This document is being updated and will be published this summer.
Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
First Semester runs September 15 through our December 15 concert.
Second Semester runs January 12 through through April 26.
This class won’t have any performance dates, necessarily, but if some of the students get advanced enough, we may consider fitting in some solo numbers into our bigger Great Room performances, such as the semester-ending concerts for the choruses. Our frequent talent shows are another great outlet for these solo performances.
Each student should bring a notebook and a folder for any handouts that may be issued. Pens are also necessary for note taking.
This course meets, as do all our courses, in the We, Montana! Great Room.
This course is part of our Homeschool Program. You’ll find our fee structure detailed here.