any chorister parents out there?

(12 Posts)
marmitecat Mon 17-Feb-14 21:56:50

Ds has a voice trial coming up. We haven't done any preparation and I'm having doubts now - should we prepare him? Is there anything we can do to help him get through?

Faverolles Mon 17-Feb-14 22:05:55

At dd and ds's voice trials they had to sing a prepared hymn, identify notes (sing the correct note) from a chord of two and three notes and sing back a melody that they'd never heard before.
They also had to read a hymn to check their reading skills. They had to read from a hymn book with the music in, which had a few words broken over two lines - apparently this can catch a few children out.
Mine both had a couple of lessons to up their confidence, and so they knew what to expect.

LurkingCinners Mon 17-Feb-14 22:11:48

Which choir is it?

How old is your ds and has he sung in a choir before, had singing lessons?

JulieMichelleRobinson Mon 17-Feb-14 23:56:30

Not a choral mum but a former choral scholar, so here's some idea:

Basically... he should have at least one song prepared to sing, one he knows really well (presumably a hymn) - and he should know it so well that he'll be really, really confident singing it because the nerves can affect your voice.

He should be familiar with reading from the choir edition of a hymnal - get him used to the layout.

He should have basic aural skills as appropriate to his age - copy singing short phrases etc. He can probably do this easily, but a bit of practice won't hurt.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 18-Feb-14 11:17:20

My DS is currently a Cathedral chorister, his trial was nothing like that!

From memory now, he had an aural test to see if he could sing back notes played on the piano and read a bible passage. Possibly he sang something back. He certainly had nothing prepared.

For the young DCs starting as a probationers they need to know they can read fluently and have a musical aptitude. They teach everything else.

As it happened DS was Grade 3 piano when he auditioned, but the majority of the probationers had no prior musical training before being accepted.

DS is a chorister at an Cathedral with no school attached.

I would find out directly from them what is involved.

Don't have doubts, it is an amazing experience being a Chorister. DS loves it.

marmitecat Tue 18-Feb-14 16:32:51

Thanks - ds is grade 3 on one instrument and grade 2 in another so he has plenty of aptitude - and so far he's always got full marks in the aural part of his music exams. I will get him to practice reading hymns and psalms but I'm sure there are words that will throw even a confident reader. Celestial. Psalmody. Coeternal...

He has not had practice singing the notes in a chord - middle note in a three note chord could be hard for him so we'll practice.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 18-Feb-14 16:54:48

I think the main thing with the reading is to be confident and project.

I didn't get a chance to worry, I rang to arrange an audition, and ended up meeting DS from school and whizzing him along that afternoon.

I know the Master of the Music pushed DS to see how much he did know, (he plays other instruments too) but I think it was partly so he had a good knowledge of DS, aftet telling DS he had passed his audition he said to me with his existing musical knowledge DS would be fast tracked as a probationer, as they spend the first few months learning to read music.

I suspect it may be different at very competitive cathedral schools!

Good luck to your DS.

marmitecat Tue 18-Feb-14 17:29:07

Thanks raspberry. Ds is a very confident child so he shouldn't have trouble reading. He might be nervous though as he really wants to be a chorister and this is one of two schools within a reasonable distance of our house where he could do this. The other one isn't a good fit for ds as he'd have to be a day boy and the days are extremely long.

I'm nervous too as I know it's something that would have a huge influence on ds as he grows up and it's the best musical education that a child this age can get.

I wish we didn't have half term to stew over this. Still it will allow ds to get over his cold he's just started!

LurkingCinners Tue 18-Feb-14 18:24:08

My son didn't have time to prepare either and didn't bring a prepared piece because we misread the letter.
It didn't matter, the Master of Music said they can judge how able a child is anyway, the prepared piece was just for confidence.
My son got in and is in his 3rd year, loves it.
Good luck to your son.

marmitecat Wed 26-Feb-14 18:12:58

Wowzers. He had his voice trial and passed it: they told us straight away.

Now we need to rethink the assumptions we made that he'd go to the village school then the local town school and think about school fees and the prep school structure and boarding.

Ds is delighted as he absolutely loves singing and the music teacher was really positive about the instrument he plays.

I'm slightly taken aback. He still has to get through the academic test but he's very bright so hopefully that won't be a problem.

Theas18 Thu 27-Feb-14 16:29:37

Briliant news marmitecat! My 3 all were/are choristers though like raspberrylemon, not at a cathedral with attached school.

Good luck with the academic tests.

Hope the boarding isn't too onerous for him.

Funnily enough travelling to cathedral wasn't that onerous when we had a routine going but I can see that "living in" would make it simpler.

I wont bore you with all the benefits of the chorister training, as you no doubt have realised that already. Suffice to say it doesn't stop when the boys leave the choir- DS is 18, still singing well and hoping to look at choral scholarships at uni (a path which the eldest has already taken)

RaspberryLemonPavlova Thu 27-Feb-14 18:47:44

Fantastic news marmitecat! Good luck with all your arrangements.

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