From the blog The Music Stand, a post entitled "Good Church Music Starts with Kids."
In response to some important questions I’ve gotten about teaching kids to sing in church, I’ve asked my wife Maria Sheehan, a longtime music teacher, to write a guest post based on her experience.Complete article here.
I have been a vocal music educator in some capacity for the past 20 years. I’ve taught pre-schoolers and retirees and every age in between, folks with “no ear” and folks who have been making music for decades, my own family and total strangers. I love to work with beginners, though.
We generally think of beginners as young. But in church music there is a huge population of adult singers who, while having spent years singing in choirs, still don’t really know what they’re doing. Their ear and their dedication have carried them through. I especially love to work with these students. I love to help them get to those wonderful “Oh, I get it!” moments!
We all agree that church singers need training. And we also agree that we have to somehow teach our children about church singing, too. But that’s a tall order. It sounds like it requires a ton of time and thought and energy and staff. It even sounds like we need to add children’s choirs and adult music classes and voice lessons to all the other things our small churches are trying to do.
Well, I’d like to offer a somewhat different perspective on this dauntingly huge task.
Through my years of teaching I’ve noticed that the training these “experienced beginners” need is nearly identical to the training that young musicians need. And this has allowed me to successfully teach these two groups at the same time and collect some important observations. So, based on this experience, I want to share with you a firm belief I now have that may sound crazy...