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£10m Boost For Singing In Primary Schools

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Nuns' habits and leather? I wonder about you sometimes, MM. :unsure:

 

 

As do I; I just hope that it does not also involve hessian undergarments....

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Guest Lee Blick
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What a wonderful thing!

 

When they destroyed church-music and choirs disappeared from schools, I had to resort to dressing as a nun and going to "sing-along" versions of "The Sound of Music."

 

It was worth the £7.50 each time, just to hear the children singing 'Do','Re','Mi' again after so many years.

 

:)

 

MM

 

I thought I had seen you in the Sisterhood of the Most Holy Perpetual Indulgence... :P

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6264899.stm

 

Given the importance of choirs to most us, surely this is a good thing? But does it go far enough? Do we need to promote it in secondary schools as well, or is that a lost cause in today's culture?

 

I hope this thread is not so off topic as to be totally irrelevant, but I thought a discussion might be interesting.

 

 

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I had a wedding rehearsal with a parishioner to-day...... not my own wedding....let's not be silly....you know what I mean.

 

Anyway, she is a teacher, and she brought lots of children from school, because they are going to sing on the big day.

 

For the first time in 16 years, I took a choir-practice, got them to breath properly, lift up their copies and give the music a whirl.

 

It was absolutely enchanting to watch 20 quite young children, (boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 10)

just gape with delight and disbelief as their little voices bloomed in our simply wonderful church acoustic....they were so clear and so in tune.

 

They were absolutely delighted by the experience, and a two or three wanted to know all about the organ, and how much it would cost new (well they are from Yorkshire!) and one little girl talked to me for ages about the fact that she was learning to play acoustic-guitar properly.

 

It made me realise, with all the terrible learning difficulties I had at school, just what music meant to me, because it was about the only thing I could do well; apart from English and Art.

 

It made me realise what a stupid thing it was to get rid of school-choirs and curtail music generally, and appreciate the importance of funding the re-introduction of it.

 

 

MM

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I liked this quote from Dr Martin Ashley of the University of the West of England and head of the community choir "Bristol Voices":

 

"My point of view has always been that, if you lose men and boys from singing, you’re losing men and boys from culture and this is actually quite a serious issue. … You talk to the boys who do this singing. They love it. Don’t, whatever you do, give them give them silly little happy-clappy songs to sing ’cause they will hate you. They love their Palestrina: it’s timeless – and it’s a tragedy that children are not being given the opportunity to sing it."

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I liked this quote from Dr Martin Ashley of the University of the West of England and head of the community choir "Bristol Voices":

 

"My point of view has always been that, if you lose men and boys from singing, you’re losing men and boys from culture and this is actually quite a serious issue. … You talk to the boys who do this singing. They love it. Don’t, whatever you do, give them give them silly little happy-clappy songs to sing ’cause they will hate you. They love their Palestrina: it’s timeless – and it’s a tragedy that children are not being given the opportunity to sing it."

 

This is a very good point. Quite a few years ago - when I was in my teens - I took on a church job where there was a remnant of a choir, no Sunday school, and absolutely no young people in the church. After a lot of hard work I built up a very good choir, and recruited a good number of youngsters. The vicar then decided that - because we now had a number of children in the choir - the church should introduce happy-clappy hymns "for the youngsters' benefit", despite my protestations that these youngsters were actually enjoying singing traditional hymnody, and an anthem each Sunday.

 

So, he spent the annual year's allocation of funds set aside for the purchase of music scores on the purchase of a set of happy-clappy hymn books. Most of the hymns were then chosen from this book, and he insisted that most of the anthems were replaced by worship songs too! Very shortly after this, the children (with much greater discernment than the adults, certainly more discernment than the vicar) complained to me that the new music was "rubbish", and asked when they could go back to singing something decent again. They also said the same thing to the vicar, who wouldn't listen.

 

Unfortunately, things got so bad that I decided it was time for me to move on. When I left, all the children left and most of the choir disbanded. A good opportunity for the recruitment of young choristers - and tomorrow's adult singers - had been lost, and the youngsters were denied the opportunity to learn and to sing music which had so moved them.

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That sort of thing makes me so angry, but it is all to common, unfortunately. Why bother to employ an expert in the first place if you are simply going to take the view that you know better? Ego trip maybe? :huh:

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Very shortly after this, the children (with much greater discernment than the adults, certainly more discernment than the vicar) complained to me that the new music was "rubbish", and asked when they could go back to singing something decent again. They also said the same thing to the vicar, who wouldn't listen.

 

What is wrong with such people? I found that when I started looking for support at diocesan level for the development of a choir, it was suggested I would be better off introducing a 'more modern' approach. Of course, I'm not going to do this, especially since the chapel over the road already does that really well with a good worship band.

 

Perhaps the answer is this: it seems easy to convince those in their 40s and 50s that Graham Kendrick/Hillsong et al are cool and will attract younger people. This stuff (apart from being mostly shallow musically and theologically) does not appeal to younger people who have left that style behind and are looking for something more profound. But hey who cares? The 40/50 somethings have money in their pockets! It's a repeat in a different style of the last generation's 'choirs' singing nothing but what they sang 50 years ago and resisting anything but A&M.

 

What's needed is exactly what Holz Gedeckt started. HD, I'm sure you are settled in an excellent place with a good choral tradition - but if not, why not PM me? :huh:

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This is even more entertainingly true in the RC church, where the there are signs that a number of young appointees at Cathedral level - and younger clergy, plus the inevitable return of the pendulum - have begun to make some Kendrickites - at least the ones with a sense of humour - feel a bit fogeyish.

 

http://www.ssg.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4704#4704

 

Unfortunately, as is the way of pendulums, the swing is likely to go too far, out will go the baby with the bathwater AGAIN (the author of the above is a fine musician who does excellent work in challenging circumstances) and yet more parishes will be left without music.

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