Sight-singing – the Most Important Skill for Choral Singers

May 23rd, 2017 | By | Category: Adult choirs, Blog, Boy Choir, Catholic choirs, Chamber Choir, Childrens choirs, Choirs, Composers, Ear training, Internet resources, Kids choirs, Movable Do, Music Education, Music Instruction, Music Theory, Musical skill development, Sight-singing, Solfeggio

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Sight-singing or what most people think of as “reading music” is the most important skill a choral singer can possess. Sight-singing is best learned and practiced using Solfeggio or Solfege (soul fedge), with movable Do (dough) — also known as “Do-Re-Mi, etc.”

This system applies each of the generic syllables to a particular tone in the scale. Therefore, if you are singing a piece in the Key of C, the note C will always be “Do” and the D note will always be “Re”, etc. If you sing in the Key of G, G will be Do, but C will be Fa, or in other words, movable Do.

This makes it possible to think in the same paradigm no matter what key or actual notes you are singing. After a singer practices this method for a short time, and his/her ear becomes more trained,  it becomes easy to sing melodies without accompaniment and confidence increases with the mastery.

For composers, solfege is indispensable; it allows one to write down a melody without having an external instrument at hand . . . only the mind’s ear, pencil & paper are necessary! There are a number of excellent Internet resources for sight-singing & ear-training that allow the student to practice and ultimately master this important craft. However, nothing can truly replace a skilled instructor to fine-tune one’s skill level.

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