Your child loves to sing: What if his awakening to music goes through choral singing?

Why choral singing?

We don’t think of it right away when we think of musical awakening, but a child’s first entry into music, from an early age, is through sound. Whether you are from a “singing” family or not, you must have sung to your child. Lullabies and nursery rhymes sure permeated her day at nursery. He definitely heard the teacher sing in kindergarten. Despite this, when the child shows interest in music, we enroll him … in an instrument lesson.

We sing less spontaneously in France, as we do with family, in church and at school in some other European countries like Sweden, Germany, Austria or Hungary, he explains. Astrid Coteta singing teacher and choir director associated with the Philharmonie de Paris: “Our traditions are not the same. In Germany, where I lived for 8 years, the choral tradition never stopped. In France, with the revolution, there was a great closure that slowly resumed. In recent years, things have changed, and there is the desire to make people sing. Choral plan You make things happen. But it’s true that people in Germany sing. All the non-musical friends I have sing. Above all, what we have said in France is to imitate folkslieder, folk songs. There are a lot of them in Germany and they go on, and we are still learning them. In France We lose the tradition of folk song – on the Bridge of Avignon, things like that, because we don’t have that sign that I could observe for 8 years in Germany. But I have confidence, because France is beginning to understand the benefits of singing, especially the benefits of singing at school.”

And for good reason, audio is the most intuitive and natural tool. If your child loves to sing, directing him to choral singing will gently introduce him to the music. On the other hand, it’s not about training a young singing singer right away: starting to sing necessarily goes through group and individual singing lessons that are given only when the voice has finished its transformation (the voice of boys but also of girls!), about 16 years old.

This explains the advantage of group singing Indiana WollmanResearcher in Cognitive Neuroscience and Research Coordinator of Educational Projects at the Philharmonie de Paris, is that the pleasure is completely instantaneous.

“Several studies show that practicing choral singing together releases endorphins, it’s like the great foreplay of singing together.” Indiana Wollman

This creates an environment conducive to a child’s development regardless of their temperament, the researcher explains: “Participation in a common group activity, with a common purpose and where we have to do things together, promotes a sense of belonging to the group, being well socialized, enhancing self-esteem and empathy and promoting prosocial behavior. This can only be beneficial, especially for children who tend to be withdrawn.”

And even if it is clear that getting up and training in music are the main interests of children’s choral singing, its benefits go beyond: “Singing mobilizes an incredible number of cognitive, motor and social resources, Indiana Wollman details. What research has shown us for decades now is that these resources are certainly important for the practice of this musical activity, but they are shared in other daily activities: for example, attention, focus, proper discrimination and cooperation, which are mobilized powerfully when it comes to making music, but will also be used in learning basic, interactions, and social skills,” The researcher concludes.

At what age do you start?

Most choirs welcome children from the age of eight, as is the case for beginning to play an instrument. A few structures, the rarest, offer, most often from the age of five, choral-singing wake-up sessions where singing is the predominant, but not the only objective.

“At the age of eight, children already have reading, which allows them to access the text. What takes time is to understand that with choral singing we are doing the same thing together and not each at our own pace and as we want to do. Everyone must accept the instruction: start and stop together, and not go faster than the conductor of the choir asks. And they understand after a while that in order to turn to beauty and the thing that makes me happy, you have to respect the rules of the group, explain Anne Marie Cabot, Choir Director at Lyon Hymns.

The association, in addition to 4 levels of choirs from 8 to 18 years old, offers awake choral singing based on spoken word and phonemic discovery for children 5 to 8 years old: “We detect breathing, staging, and memorizing an uncomplicated melody, in unison, with a low range, according to the vocal abilities of very young children. start with Musical games, nursery rhymes, sing-along poems, which allow children to perceive their own sounds and learn to develop and control them. Also develop their body awareness, and little by little, they manage to stay focused and discover the joy of singing in a group.”

The Masters of the Versailles Baroque Music Center presents a music garden from the age of 4, with the same idea of ​​early singing. “It’s a musical and vocal initiation with singing teachers based on active stylesExplain to us Fabian ArmandjoudIts Musical and Educational Director. The approach is terrifying and the repertoire goes beyond Baroque, the main profession of the structure. It forms a group of voices that can then merge the pages, that is, the children’s choir in Maîtrise, from CE1, explains the musical director.

Master’s degree, association choir, school choir … what to choose?

Depending on your child’s age and project, you can choose between two types of choral activity: choirs during the child’s school time, and choirs during extra time.

Supported by Choir plan With a joint initiative of the Ministry of Culture and National Education in 2018, more and more schools are offering choir during school time, for two hours per week, optional or “imposed”, as part of the class project. Notamment présentes sur les années de collège, elles sont encadrées par le professeur de musique de l’établissement et travaillent sur un répertoire très large : de la chanson, variété et musiques du la des les musique à lesré ré ré ré chrée actrée contemporary.

Another device at school time, more oriented towards the in-depth practice of music: the classroom device with arranged musical clocks, the CHAM, particularly associated with the MA, which generally allows from CE1 through the end of the third, and in some cases in high school, to practice other disciplines in addition to Choral singing. Musical training, piano, vocal style, scenic movement … The disciplines were organized in different ways, with half the pedagogical time (about a third of the professors, including Master in Radio France or the Popular mastery of comic opera), with reduced or integrated hours. Outside of the course, the Masters requires a significant investment in concerts and other theatrical projects. A good introduction for young people wishing to move into music careers.

In overtime, choral singing is sometimes introduced by conservatories and music schools as part of vocal departments, from the age of 8. In audio courses, such as a machine learning course, children follow a rehearsal berries, but also lessons in singing, vocal technique, music training, and sometimes vocal chamber music. Annual work is interspersed with auditions, project presentations and concerts, and, as with the instrument, leads to a diploma. The repertoire of vocal sections is often classical and covers various aesthetics, most often allowing dancers to play with instrumentalists and conservatory orchestras.

In the associative tissue, the width is heterogeneous. In general, syndicate choirs are not selective, accessed without testing, and rehearsals are weekly or limited to twice a week. We go there to sing together, whatever your child’s level is, motivation is the main driver. All references can be approached, and there is always one or more concert projects to culminate in the work of the year. Some choirs have large scenic projects, such as choirs Young Vocal Academy of Aquitaine Java de Bordeaux, who works regularly with the Bordeaux Opera, El Sistema France Opera-Mediterraneanwhich includes children aged 6-14 years in projects with scenic and lyrical scenes, or CREA Acoustic and Landscape Creativity Center D’Aulnay-sous-Bois in the Paris region, which gathers young adults around the creations of contemporary composers. Others specialize in a specific type of repertoire, such as the musical comedy of the Parisian choir sotto voce.

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