Children’s Choirs Teach More Than Just the Scripture

It’s through church choirs that many kids are first exposed to music and specifically MAKING music.

And the folks who lead children’s choirs can be pretty influential to young people… they teach music theory, they teach religious beliefs, and they try instill a love for music making…

In the second installment of our Church Musicians Series, I spent the evening with the children’s choir at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bloomington, Indiana.

This group of young musicians is lead by the tall and soft-spoken James Guyer.

Guyer is a music educator first and foremost.

And he expects a lot of these kids.

He is a proponent of the Kodály method of music education, where he uses hand signs to show the children which notes to sing.

He has also taught them solfege syllables, and the children are quite adept!

Guyer’s patience was never truly put to the test, as the children were attentive and excited for the entire rehearsal.

Running a fast-paced rehearsal is important to keeping their attention, he mentioned.

I visited some with the children during my visit as well.

They were snacking on carrots and fruit slices during their break time. After a few minutes of hearing them talk about their experiences, I wanted to sign up for a choir.

Their love of singing is so pure. Brock, the only boy at the evening’s rehearsal, spoke briefly about the stigma surrounding boys singing in choirs.

His female colleagues echoed his thoughts on the matter: “Boys should just give it a try!”

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Listen to Church Musicians Part I: Choir Director Susan Swaney

Listen to Church Musicians Part III: Church Organist Edwin Penhorwood

Listen to Church Musicians Part IV: Handbell Director Elaine Sonnenberg

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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