Voice For Life

Thursday 26th February 2015

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Voice for Life ...

RSCM London reports on its recent one-day event on Voice for Life, held at St Mary-at-Finchley Parish Church, London N3 1TL.

The Voice for Life Scheme is the jewel in the RSCM's crown. Aspiring choral singers can work their way up from the White level, through Light and Dark Blue to the externally examined Bronze Award, and then onwards (and upwards!) to Red, Silver, Yellow and (for the dedicated and gifted few) the Gold Award – this provides a structured learning pathway. RSCM London’s training day gave an excellent insight into all aspects of Voice for Life.

The first session, led by Frances Novillo (until recently, Regional Music Adviser for the south of England), explained the structure of the Scheme and used examples from the Workbooks to show how each topic is dealt with at the different levels (aural, sight-reading, choir in context, repertoire etc).

A second session, led by Richard Brain (Christchurch Southgate, and RSCM London’s ETO) gave a full run-down of how his large church choir uses the Scheme; discussions ensued among the delegates about the various ways in which different churches timetable their rehearsal time to best effect while incorporating Voice for Life elements.

The afternoon session was led by John Wardle, who was until recently the RSCM’s chief examiner. He took us through the Bronze and Silver exam syllabuses, and played examples from anonymised exams to show how the marking scheme (which is available for all to see on the RSCM website) works well in all sections of an exam. There was some discussion about how to make Gold Award training days more readily available across the country.

Trevor Ford (Chairman, RSCM London) rounded off the day with some good advice for choir leaders.

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