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[HANASHIR:17185] RE: Beginning Junior Choir

With a youth choir of 6 singers, you'll probably do best if you stick with 
unison singing, although you can experiment with rounds if you have a few 
especially strong singers.  Remember that if you have, say, one absentee, 
you've only got 2 children left on a part and that's usually rather 
difficult for elementary-school-aged kids.

I direct 3 Jewish youth choirs (day school, religious school, community) 
each with about 20 singers from grades 2-6 or grades 3-5.  They're 
nonaudition groups.  Two of them meet for 45 minutes per week but the one in 
the day school only gets 20 minutes.  They generally sing either in unison 
or they sing rounds.  Warm-ups, new song(s), then something familiar to 
review or just for fun is a good way to organize the rehearsal.  When 
they're preparing for a concert, I find it's helpful to type up a songsheet 
of all the lyrics for that concert so they're not flipping pages in binders 
or wasting lots of time handing out music several times during the 

For a Family HHD service, favorites of mine for youth choirs is Jeff 
Klepper's "Prayer is Reaching" from Manginot and Debbie Friedman's "These 
Are The Days (of Awe)" because they sound so sweet and sincere when sung by 
children.  (I'd probably use "Prayer is Reaching" at RH and "These Are The 
Days" at YK, not at the same service.)  Easy-to-sing songs that your small 
group can sing competently in unison will help your choir sound its best and 
will reward its members with self-confidence and the rest of the 
congregation with both a pleasant and emotional listening experience.

Esther, if you email me privately, I'll let you know which of my own 
compositions have been especially well-liked by my youth choirs and which 
might work well for yours.

-- Carol

Carol Boyd Leon
Songwriter/Cantorial Soloist/Music Educator
E-mail:  CBLeon (at) hotmail(dot)com
Phone:  703-250-0554
Web page:

----Original Message Follows----
From: Esther Krutzel <essiek55 (at) optonline(dot)net>
Reply-To: hanashir (at) shamash(dot)org
To: hanashir (at) shamash(dot)org
Subject: [HANASHIR:17176] Beginning Junior Choir
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 09:57:34 -0500

I am beginning a junior choir with 6 children in grades 3 to 6.  My hope is 
to have them sing for the first time at the family services during the High 
Holy Days.  Can anyone recommend some music appropriate for this age group?  
I am interested in all types (High Holiday, Shabbat, Chanukah, Purim, etc.). 
  Also, as this is my first time with a junior choir, if anyone has any 
suggestions on how to organize rehearsals, it would be greatly appreciated.

Esther Krutzel

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