Boy Choir Training

Figure 1.--Here are the boys at a a French CAtholic choir school. The boys train daily for 3 hours after their regular classes with a short break in between.

There are a wide range of training methods used by choir masters. Choir training schedules vary. Most of the children practice for a few hors afrr school a few days a week or even just once a week. This of course affects the quality of the music that the choir can achieve. Schedules are most intrensse at choir schools. The actual schedules vaay. We note some where the boys begin singing in the morning before regular casses. Others schools have the training program entirely in the afternoon after regular classes. Each invifidual choir masters have their owm techniques and training methods although traditions have built up over time which each new choir master tends to follow to vrying degress.. Of coourse the training program is most elaborate at choir schools, especially the few residential schools like the Vienna Cjhoir boys. Given the age of the boys, most choir maters employ breathing exrcizes to build up their ling capacity ad this strength of their voices. One choir master writes, "At that first rehearsal, Iíll do some exercises to warm up different parts of their voices. They might do arpeggios with funny words which appeal to the boys' sence of humor. Sucessful choir masters have to know how to intriduce alittlefun on the trainng program. This is especially true today where recruiting boys to the choir is a serious issue. And boys wjo are not happy and enjoying the program will not stay. Becoming a chorister require a huge commitment on the part of each boy. One choir mater says, "'My car has flat tires.' is one that we often do. At the more established choirs, the boys must learn to sight-read hundreds of pieces of music. The boys commonly in Christian choirs sing music right from the beginning of church music history. They sing a wide tnge of classical music classical music including pieces by Mozart and Hayden, Mass settings, Romantic music with motet (Bruckner, Mendelssohn) and finally modern church music as well. Choir schools required to learn to play an instruments, especially the piano. Several boys learn y\to play more than one instrument. A relly great choir master hs to do more than teach the mechanics od choir singing. He has to impart a love of musuc to the boys. One choir master writes, "They come to it, and they find something intrinsically beautiful about it, and other times they donít really get it, and then my jobís harder to try and show them whatís good about it or whatís interesting about it, and different boys react in so many different ways. Sometimes they learn from each other. Youíll get one boy who loves it, and other people catch on when they see that he loves it."


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Created: 9:56 PM 11/28/2012
Last updated: 9:56 PM 11/28/2012