Hold My Hand and Listen: Nurturing Choral Community as Musicianship
Custer, 2001, p. 25.
What does it mean for a choir to sing in tune? A plethora of choral methods, conducting, sight-singing, and ear-training texts provide practical, singing-based strategies for improving choral intonation and gesture-based strategies for improving conducting communication; but apart from aural/vocal and conducting methodology, traditional pedagogy fails to consider the human aspect of the choral singing equation. As a result the solutions presentedwhile in some cases immediately effectivemay actually be only Band-Aid solutions to deeper ensemble problems. If a choir experiences intonation problems, lack of musicality, or ensemble failure, could it be that the singers do not care to sing in tune, musically, or as an ensemble? How can we move singers towards effective ensemble singing in a way that is nurturing, participant-centred, and permanently rooted in their musicianship? Following a consideration of philosophical and practical writings from the fields of choral music and music education, and a reflection on significant choral teaching endeavours and experiences with community and post-secondary ensembles, the author discusses
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