Advanced Ensemble

Grade level: 6-12

Rehearses: 1.5 hours per week

Home practice expectation: 2 hours/week (30 minute sessions 4x per week)

In Advanced Ensemble rehearsals, choristers learn about the vocal mechanism and explore and stretch their vocal capabilities. AE singers use body mapping techniques and kinesthetic strategies to discover how to sing with a relaxed, resonant, and supported sound. As they grow their musicianship, they also grow in their roles as collaborative, supportive chorale members. They develop leadership, responsibility, and mentoring skills.

AE curriculum builds on all the skills noted for Encore, plus the following:

Rhythm: Singers will learn…

  • How to perform and identify:
    • 16th note beat combinations
    • 16th rests
  • Advanced rhythm dictation and identification
  • How to read irregular time signatures and mixed meter

Solfege/Pitch: Instruction will include…

  • Chromatic scale
  • Melodic and harmonic interval recognition
  • Independently sight-reading diatonic melodies in unison and in multiple vocal parts
  • Identifying Solfege in a melody with a given “Do”

Singing/choral techniques: Singers will learn…

  • Healthy resonance techniques
  • Introduction to voice science
  • Posture mapping and advanced breath production
  • Mixing head and chest voice for register consistency
  • Vowel pronunciation for singing in multiple languages
  • Student lead musical phrasing and expressive techniques
  • Chord tuning, balance, and blend
  • Section work to develop leadership and vocal independence
  • Repertoire that ranges from 2-4 vocal parts

Literacy: Singers will learn…

  • Dynamics, tempos, and common Italian musical markings
  • Note names of the treble clef and bass clef
  • Basic understanding of the circle of fifths and key signatures
  • To write solfege and rhythm into their music

Performance/interpersonal skills: Singers will learn…

  • To build their own classroom expectations and hold themselves accountable
  • How to be a role model to connect with younger students
  • How to analyze text and use research to connect to poets and composers
  • How to use the meaning in music to connect with others
  • Responsibility in completing homework tasks
  • Self-advocacy skills (ex: reaching out to the Director for help understanding concepts)
  • To seek to have a positive impact on others
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