Let’s give lessons singing. “Painting the values, singing the colors” is the experience of a group of teachers in pre-school and primary education, who work with the University of Girona.
Rita Ferrer, Ivet Farrés, Joan de la Creu Godoy, Miquel Alsina, and Anna Rivera want to provide tools to teachers with little musical background. These usually have only scattered knowledge that barely allows them to approach music either from mere theory or from the performance of works with low emotional content.
As a response, the choral activity is the perfect environment to open one’s mind to an “unconscious learning,” which enhances talents –not only musical– via the encouragement that provides the staging of pieces that get to convey feelings and values powerfully.
The challenge is to turn each lesson into a choir and get to feel and understand music from within, not only hear it. It serves as a vehicle to practice cross-cutting skills (social skills, cooperation, discipline), as well as daily life techniques (breathing, posture, listening, pronunciation).
Likewise, choral practice is a potent tool for teachers themselves, because it allows them to improve their musical teaching skills, particularly when a teacher does not have an academic background. A choir
–no matter how little ambitious it is– sets the grounds for what a teacher should empower with music: the expression of feelings.
Experience shows that a choir is an easy way to “make music” intensely and deeply, beyond the basic guitar chords or the tones between beeps ripped out a sweet flute. Not to mention those who try to teach melodies using robot-like MIDI sound files.
A teacher standing in front of a choir is a hero who must have empathy, communication skills –verbal and non-verbal–, resources to motivate, sensitivity, culture, security, leadership, planning skills, cooperation skills, analytical skills, memory, accuracy, adaptability, health, curiosity, and so forth. All these features will take your professional work to the highest level.
Students who, from an early age, start singing in separate voices (what will at any point be sopranos or contraltos, and later also tenors or basses), gain all these competencies and values through practical osmosis. Then, with that unconscious learning, they take them to the community where they belong, via participation in concerts or social activities that close the educational circle.
In the World Symposium on Choral Music, a group of teachers demonstrated that as orchestra conductor Agustí Borgunyó –a teacher himself– also said, “the choir is not a goal, but a logical consequence.”