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Done plenty of reading/research...Now what?

For those who are new to my situation, in a nutshell, I just started a choral program at a k-7 school about a month ago. The school hasn't had any kind of music for 4 years. K-4, no problem. 5-7 not sure what to do now. I meet with all of the kids in the school. The 5th grade classes meet en masse twice a week 76 students), the 6th grade classes 5 times a week (68 students), and the 7th graders 4 times a week (65 students). Because we just started and are working towards a concert on May 21st, the 5th, 6th, & 7th graders will be combined for one massive choir. Not so much of an issue with the 5th grade boys, but I don't have to tell you what the 6th & 7th grade boys voice classifications are like.
 
So what does one do with a y'all come choir? I've read how you can get the boys to sing in 3- and 4-part harmony, but frankly, I don't see how that's going to work in the time frame I have left. Many of these boys have a difficult time matching pitch even within their range. To get them trained to sing in any kind of harmony I feel would take too long, then they would still have to learn a song for the concert. Ideally, yes, I would love to make the choirs gender-specific, but that is not going to happen.
 
Maybe this is a call for very narrow-range unison songs? Between G and E?
 
Any suggestions as to what I should do?
 
Thanks,
 
Brad
Replies (3): Threaded | Chronological
on March 5, 2013 6:26am
Brad,
 
A good idea is to use canons, e.g.,  use the fun song/canon, Missus Shady [Oh Missus Shady, she was a lady; she had a daughter whom I adored; I went to meet her, I mean her daughter -- every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday half past four.]    Email me directly and I'll send it to you.    barhamte@gmail.com      I'm sure you'll get lots of ideas from other directors!      
 
Terry
on March 7, 2013 10:50am
Hi there Brad,
 
I have this song "Banana Fanfare 2" - I composed it for just such a group - some could sing quite confidently, some had a small range, some could barely hold a note. As you can hear there are repeating patterns and repeating notes for the less vocally receptive, and another, more tuneful part. I've used it with boys of the ages you say (combining treble voices with the burgeoning tenor/bass embryo voices just letting octave displacements happen willy-nilly) as well as girls and younger students, even as a warm-up for adult and teenage choirs. Have a listen and see what you think - if you want a score sample just let me know or have a look at the sounz link. Hope it's of some use:
 
To listen:
 
For a score sample: (towards the bottom of the page)
 
best wishes
Cheryl
on March 7, 2013 3:34pm
Cheryl,
 
I really like it! It is really fun and freshly original. How can I buy a copy?
 
Brad
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