Calvin Christian Middle School
A CHOIR MEMBERS GUIDE
Mrs. Kimberly DeVries, Director
Welcome to Choir!
In choir, your talent and skill in music will be developed through practice and rehearsal. Choir will be an escape from books, lectures, and taking notes. However, it can, and should be, a time when you find a way to express emotions and ideas which do not exist in another medium. You may find a new way to express your feelings of happiness, sadness, intensity, and love – and even deepen those expressions by exploring music. There is no delight comparable with the delight of hearing or performing a piece of music which says something for which no words exist, but speaks – and speaks clearly to your spirit.
Your VOICE will improve as you learn how to use it to its potential. Your “EARS” will improve because you will learn to hear what you have never before noticed in music. Your OPPORTUNITIES will expand as you share with other choir members and audiences what you have discovered. Many choir members have found new CONFIDENCE in themselves because of the socialization process which occurs with group interaction. We are forced to get along, to know and accept one another, to work as a team, as we refine our skills in order to make the music come alive.
Music is truly a combination of art and science. Yes - talent plays a part. However, the best voices most often develop when the person possesses a combination of commitment to practice, daily discipline, dependability, good sportsmanship, and congeniality.
* Music is an act of WORSHIP and PRAISE to God. It can be a wonderful response to God and His creation.
* Music is a science. It is exact, specific; and it demands exact acoustics.
* Music is mathematical. It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.
* Music is a foreign language. It is a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas.
* Music is history. It usually reflects the environment and times of its creation, often even the country and/or racial feeling.
* Music is physical education. It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek, and facial muscles, in addition to control of diaphragmatic, back, stomach, and chest muscles.
* Music is art. It allows a human being to take all these dry, boring techniques and use them to create emotion.
1. Students will learn how to sing using proper technique
2. Students will learn how to read notes and practice sight singing
3. Students will learn director signals
4. Students will learn how to sing together
5. Students will learn performance skills
6. Students will be exposed to different styles of music
7. Students will develop their enjoyment for music
8. Students will choose to praise and worship God through music
Responsibility and Expectations
In order to have productive rehearsals, we need some guidelines. Mutual respect is very important. We need respect for one another’s time, talent, and feelings. It’s fun to make music when people feel good about themselves and make it possible for others to also feel successful. Respect the Lord, your classmates, your teacher and yourself.
Watch the director and sing. “SMILE, SPARKLE & SING!!” Learn your music as quickly as you can.
Be on time and go directly to your assigned seat with your music by the time the bell rings. You must be in the door when the bell rings to be considered “on time”. After rehearsal, put your music in your choir music slot.
Do what you have promised, when you are expected.
Try to do your part by assuming your share of the “extras” when we have to set up chairs, clean the stage or rehearsal room, move pianos.
Please avoid interrupting the director, or anyone else who may be speaking or singing. Even when another section is practicing a part, you should be quiet and try to learn from their experience. Keep personal concerns out of the rehearsal, unless there is a real emergency (bathroom, drinks of water, need for tissue, Band-Aids, telephone).
No hats, gum or food in the rehearsal.
You will need permission to play the piano. You are welcome to use the piano for legitimate practice.
Report to the director any problems that prevent you from singing (cold, sore throat). If you are unable to participate, you are expected to follow the music and mentally participate, thereby continuing to learn.
If you miss class, it is your responsibility to catch up on in-class assignments..
Bring a pencil and a smile.
60% Participation, effort and attitude
· Respect for one another and for the music
· Leading by example
· Working as a positive team member
20% Rehearsal Procedures
· Folder and pencils in hand and in assigned seats ready to begin class
· Proper Posture
· Marking music
· Listening and following director
10% In-class assignments
10% Concert attendance
A+ 100+ points
A 100 points
B 90 points
C 80 points
D 70 points
It is your responsibility to keep your voice healthy so that you can sing. By following a few simple guidelines you will stay healthy most of the time. 1. Don’t shout or over-sing. 2. Get enough rest. 3. Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day (soda does not count). 4. Eat nutritious meals. 5. Use a humidifier in the winter, and keep your mouth closed when outdoors in the cold weather. 6. Keep your hands away from your face. Wash hands frequently to avoid getting or spreading germs. 7. Avoid eating/drinking dairy products before concert or performance.
Whenever you are singing, you must use the best possible posture. Standing – place one foot slightly ahead of the other; feel your weight distributed between both feet, toward the front of your feet, not the heels. Do not lean on one foot. Keep the back straight and chest high, with relaxed shoulders. Sitting – as much as possible as you were when standing. Sit on the front half of the chair without touching the back rest. Do not cross legs – both feet on the floor. Your position must allow you to watch the director at all times – which means 100% eye-to-eye communication and attention.
How To Use Music
Hold the music high enough so that you can see your music and the director at the same time. NEVER hold your music in your lap. Neither should you rest your arms in your lap when you hold music. When you share with your neighbor, both should hold the music.
Have a PENCIL handy at all times and use it to mark your music. Mark such things as where to breathe, where not to breathe, special director’s notations, counting, where your next note will be at the page turn, where you need a reminder when you made a mistake on a note or word, etc. Little reminders in the music will prevent having to go back and repeat simply because someone forgot to do something they already knew how to do. A good musician usually has well-marked music.
Thursday, December 20, 2012 - Middle School Christmas Concert
December ? - IDS Noon Concert (to be determined)
Thursday & Friday, April 25 & 26, 2013 - CCMS Drama Performance - 7th & 8th Grade
Thursday, May 16, 2013 - Middle School Spring Concert
· Concert attendance is a mandatory part of the student’s choir experience!
Boys - Black dress pants, white CCMS polo shirt, black socks and dress shoes
Girls - Black dress pants or black skirt, white CCMS polo shirt, black dress shoes (preferably flats), no jewelry or perfume.
Exciting opportunity for CCMS Students
The choir program for CCMS will include Worship Teams that will support student-led middle school chapel. Worship Teams will include:
Guitar (acoustic, electric and bass)
Sound Board Technician
Those students who have experience with playing the above instruments are encouraged to be a part of this new opportunity. All students will learn the components of worship, including reading music and chord sheets, singing 3-part harmony, as well as engaging and inspiring others in worship.
The goal is to provide an outlet for students to use the gifts that God has given them, to enhance the worship experience and to encourage life long worshippers.