Date: February 5, 2013
I've had to make a dramatic shift in what I do starting this past week. We had 4 groups for children and youth, one choir and chime choir for K-3, and one choir and handbell choir for 4-8. Before the beginning of the year, participation waned due to schedules and other factors. In attempting again after the first of the year, for the 3 Sundays in January that I had rehearsal.....3 for each group. So, in talking with parents, the idea was to have rehearsals twice a month and combine groups. Sunday was my first rehearsal and I have 10 for a combined chimes and bells group and 8 for a combined choir. That was even missing 5! But, as a trained 7-12 vocal educator, and having learned on the fly over the past few years what works for younger ages, I'm in need of advice and assistance. What works best for that age range? Songs that have repeated choruses? I started with a very simple song at our rehearsal on Sunday, did a lot more physical warmups and exercises, rhythm exercises, and encouraged them to learn by listening and repeating. Our rehearsal was 35 minutes, and I think it went well. But, any ideas and suggestions for how best to structure the rehearsal, song ideas, etc. would be very much appreciated!