San Francisco Youth Chorus

San Francisco Youth Chorus

Prima and Scherzo Chorus Curriculum

VOCAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT:

Respiration

  • encouraging correct singing posture that allows the breathing muscles to engage properly during singing, and encourages alertness throughout the rehearsal and performance process
  • engage and use abdominal muscles and other breathing muscles for support
  • implement the natural cycle of inhalation/exhalation
  • connect the breath to a phrase of music--the foundation of a legato line
  • teach the relationship between breath and musical phrasing
  • physical freedom and release of muscular tension in singing

Phonation

  • learn to differentiate between vocal sounds, upper registration and lower registration
  • produce a healthy sound in both the upper and lower registration and start the gradual process of blending the two together
  • Resonant Tone Production
  • develop the awareness and skill of clear, resonant, and accurate singing
  • develop technique in healthfully projecting the voice
  • develop uniform vowel pronunciation in singing
  • sing with a relaxed jaw and open throat

Expression

  • develop an emotional connection to the music
  • develop confidence in the rehearsal and performance setting
  • develop an appreciation for a variety of songs
  • sing expressively through use of dynamics and tempo

CURRICULUM GOALS

PRIMA

MUSIC THEORY OBJECTIVES FOR PRIMA CHORUS (4 YEARS, K)

  • Explore and experience ‘comparatives’ (loud and soft, fast and slow, high and low)
  • Learn to feel a steady beat and to discern the difference between rhythms (“the way the words go”) and the underlying steady pulse.
  • Focus on singing in tune by matching the teacher, the piano, or another instrument, or another student
  • Sing a major scale in solfege syllables, with handsigns
  • Recognize, read, write and perform simple rhythmic patterns using eighth, quarter, half notes and rests
  • Recognize basic symbols in music
  • Repeat signs
  • Linking phrase contour to melody
  • Stepping, skipping and leaping sounds
  • Long and short sound durations
  • Concept of lines and spaces
  • Take a basic theory test at the conclusion of each singing semester

PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES FOR PRIMA CHORUS

  • Develop good choral singing habits: follow the conductor’s beat and cutoffs
  • Singing a large repertoire of unison songs or canons
  • Learn a large group of folk and composed songs with different tonal relationships
  • Learn songs which implement movement, particularly encouraging beat and rhythmic awareness
  • Learn songs which incorporate improvisation and individual creativity
  • Prepare concert songs for performance, to be memorized and sung at a high standard
  • Gain experience and confidence performing by participating in all SFYC concert opportunities:
  • full chorus concerts in December and May
  • outreach concerts to retirement homes and convalescent hospitals
  • Attend chorus summer camp
  • Pass a basic performance assessment at the conclusion of the singing semester

SCHERZO

MUSIC THEORY OBJECTIVES FOR SCHERZO CHORUS (GRADES 1-2)

  • Differentiate between major and minor tonalities
  • Differentiate between duple and triple meter
  • Recognize, read, write and perform simple rhythmic patterns using eighth, quarter, half notes, whole notes, eighth, quarter, half and whole note rests
  • Begin to work with intervals, M2, M3, P4, P5
    • Sing basic melodies using Do, Re, Mi, Fa and Sol
  • Sing patterns and exercises from notes on a staff, using solfege
  • Learn basic time signatures, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4
  • Learn to track their part through a musical score
  • Expand sensitivity to dynamics and apply these concepts within performance:
    • crescendo and diminuendo
    • ritardando
    • forte, fortissimo, piano and pianissimo
    • legato, staccato
  • Take a basic theory test at the end of each singing semester

PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES FOR SCHERZO CHORUS

  • Develop skills in intonation and vocal independence through unison songs, partner songs simple 2-part songs and canons
  • Differentiate between the melody and a high harmony part (descant) or a lower harmony part (alto)
  • Continuing learning to follow a director, specifically:
  • staying together as an ensemble
  • following changes in dynamics
  • Accuracy in entrances and cut-offs
  • Learn an internationally diverse body of repertoire, to develop an understanding of other cultures and languages
  • Gain experience and confidence performing by participating in all SFYC concert opportunities:
  • full chorus concerts in December and May
  • outreach concerts to retirement homes and convalescent hospitals
  • Attend chorus summer camp
  • Pass a basic performance assessment at the conclusion of each singing semester