The King Choir Program “strongly motivates us to continue singing, and singing is a great amount of fun and very recreational,” states grade 6 student Alicia Leng. Alicia adds that she loves the opportunity this year “to sing during a difficult time” and exclaims that “nothing will stop us from doing so!”
Alicia and grade 8 student Olivia Asnes both enjoy that choir includes non-singing activities as well. We also “learn how to read notes, find out if you are singing the correct pitch, and learn how music can impact the world,” says Olivia.
Alicia and Olivia are clearly passionate about singing and plan to sing throughout their middle and high school years. This is indeed music to the ears of choral instructor Emma Daniels who joined King School this year.
Adapting the program to the health and safety protocols related to COVID-19, Ms. Daniels has introduced additional non-singing opportunities. For example, Middle School students are training their ears to better identify when a pitch is sung or played a little too high (sharp) or low (flat). The students are also learning music theory, improving their skills in analyzing, remembering vocal sounds (audiating), and sight-reading music.
Olivia was particularly excited by a project involving interviewing family members about their musical experiences. “I have never had this type of assignment. I think It was really creative how Ms. Daniels created a project that did not necessarily involve singing, but was a way to discuss music with others and reflect on what you have learned.”
Middle School students enjoy choosing the songs that their class listen to as part of exploring songs from different genres, time periods, and cultures. Ms. Daniels challenges the students to reflect on the musical elements they hear as well as on the non-musical elements, including the lyrics’ message and the artist’s background. Ms. Daniels is impressed by how the students are deepening their appreciation of “music's ability to inspire, connect, and teach you something.”