Universal Voices

Our partners in the Institute of Education run a free community choir for boys and girls aged seven to thirteen, open to all children in the Reading area. They offer musicianship training as part of this choir to help children develop their musical ear and music reading skills. Universal Voices sing a wide range of music in different styles and perform regularly on their own and in collaboration with other local musical ensembles.

Rehearsals take place on Wednesdays in school term time, in Building L29, London Road Campus, and are directed by Rebecca Berkley and a team of student Leaders and Assistants. 

To learn how to become part of the Universal Voices Team – Click here

To enrol your child in the choir email – Universalvoices@reading.ac.uk

Who’s in the choir:

Universal Voices music is flexible and suitable for any number of children’s voices, singing in up to 3 parts. The children are encouraged to move between parts to help them develop confidence and fluency in singing different parts within the choral texture.

Universal Voices is directed by Dr Rebecca Berkley, with a team of student conductors assisting. The student team is drawn from undergraduate and postgraduate students mostly studying Music Education at the Institute of Education. The children are taught as a whole group, and also in smaller groups for musicianship classes, and also divided by age for specialist vocal coaching.

Universal Voices Musicianship

We welcome all children aged 7-13 to join Universal Voices, both those who sing already and those who are interested in starting to sing. Children do not need to read music before they join the choir, and there are no auditions.

Children in Universal Voices are trained in musicianship using the National Youth Choir of Scotland Sing for Bronze, Silver and Gold musicianship scheme. This scheme teaches children to hear, understand and read music through fun, practical learning based on music games, starting with foundation level work for beginner readers right up to advanced music reading. Children may take musicianship tests at each level, and Sing for Gold is equivalent to Grade 5 theory. The musicianship training is delivered in rehearsal time, and children are placed in a suitable musicianship group depending on their age and prior learning.

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