What Is It?
Lots interesting, valid, profitable singing.
A lot because singing
is the simplest, most agreable, and most efficient way of making music, and
valid because singing will enable the participants, while they enjoy themselves,
to sing well, both in tune and in time,
by listening closely to themselves and to the others,
to learn to write and read Melodies
first with Vocentro symbols in little squares
then with the Vocentro staff, and
finally with notes on the conventional staff,
and above all, to discover the basics of music:
Rhythm, by using Footsies as they sing, and
Harmony, by singing special canons.
"SingAlot" sounds like the a cross between "Sing-along" and "Camelot"
and the resemblance is quite appropriate, as we will soon see.
1. It has to be fun.
The participation must be active, doing something pleasant,
not just listening passively,
either to performers on a stage, to recordings, or to someone lecturing.
2. One has to learn something.
The fun rapidly wears off if there is not some positive result.
3. Preferably something valid, pertinent, and important,
like the insides of the "musical clock" and what makes it tick.
4. It should develop the Autonomy and Motivation of the child,
especially by conducting the other members of the class.
5. The animation should be one of "doing" rather than "saying".
More of this later, especially in the Music-Specialist application.
The word "Workshop" seems to best describe the nature of SingAlot as an activity.
Participants are led by an animator (possibly several) and develop knowledge and abilities,
without really realizing how much they are learning because the whole process is fun.
Three Different Acivities
1 - A vocal warmup
With simple exercises, the children get ready to sing.
Details will be found in the Specialist Option.
2 - The Games
to develop the musicality of the participants,
especially of the kids.
The first two games are : the blue blocks and the scats.
Other games will be introduced later,
the games of dictation, transcription and harmony.
At first, music will be written with Vocentro symbols placed in small squares -
Notes will not be identified by note names which are absolute and without musical significance,
but by Vocentro names which are relative and tonaly functional.
Values will not be identified by the fractional method which is arbitrary and often confusing,
but by the number of squares occupied which is both more tangible and more flexible.
The conventional codes of both Time (note-values) and Pitch (note-names)
will be learned in the game of Transcription (#4) in Session 3 (Elementary Grade 5).
3 - Learning the songs
Swaying from left to right will always accompany the singing,
so as to always feel the rhythm,
with Off-Beats on the left foot and Beats on the right foot.
At first the songs are performed in unison,
then one adds the polyphony,
whether it be for different songs or for a canon.
Later, with more experienced children,
fugues and chorals will be introduced.
Three Different Options
The workshop has three different options -
the Family option, in which parents and children all participate, with several animators,
which is the one for which the 4 Sessions were planned,
the Class-Teacher option, in which only the school children participate,
and the class teacher animates, with the guidance of a specialized superviser, and
the Music-Specialist option, in which only the school children participate,
and the music specialist animates.
Both of these school options are specifically meant for to the six years of elementary school.
Whatever the option, the workshop consists of the same three activities.