We asked some of our team members to share their experiences of being involved with Universal Voices:
Rosemary Hunt, 2019-20
What training have you done, and how have your skills developed throughout your time in the Universal Voices team?
Training for Universal Voices has followed elements of the Sing For Pleasure and National Youth Choir of Scotland conducting and musicianship programmes. These include using games and songs for exploring rhythm, pitch and notation, and using a fun, hands-on approach to making music accessible and understandable from a beginner stage, where the children start in Year 2. In training we use Tonic Solfa and accompanying hand signs, for making pitch clear when singing. I have also attended a beginner Sing For Pleasure weekend course to consolidate my teaching and conducting techniques. We had much practise time teaching new tunes to each other using pitch-patterning, and then used our clear SFP conducting technique to lead each other.
This has been very helpful for working with the children in UV and I have seen much improvement in my conducting style and clarity and in my teaching part-songs correctly. My leading group musicianship with, for example, sponge pulse hearts, chopsticks and stick notation, has also improved. I have worked with the youngest and the oldest of the three groups which has given me lots of experience with tailoring teaching approaches accordingly.