Choir Confidential: Bringing the DHPS choir class to the next level
Around 140 choir conductors from all over South Africa and Namibia attended a choir workshop in Cape Town, presented by Andre van der Merwe, conductor of the Stellenbosch University Choir and Stellen-berg Girls'Choir. Also DHPS teacher and conductor of the choir class, Martina Visser, took part in this special training.
It was the 5th workshop of its kind in a series of 6, called Choir Confidential - the last one will be hosted next year in November again.
Sessions alternated between theoretical lectures dealing with aspects such as teaching a new song, new ideas regarding vocal development, choral sound, intonation, interpretation and practical demonstration sessions with the senior choirs of Gene Louw and Durbanville Primary school choirs, two of the best school choirs in South Africa, as well as the Stellenbosch University Choir - awarded best choir at the Interkultur World Choral Games in Belgium this year - and the Stellenberg Girls Choir.
Topics such as repertoire ideas, resources and programming were part of the training too and a lot of net-working was done and contacts built for possible future cooperation.
“It was an inspiring workshop and I came back with so many new ideas!” says Visser who established the Choir Class at DHPS. Since the 2019 academic year, learners of the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Wind-hoek (DHPS) have the opportunity to experience music in a completely different way: In addition to the brass class - a unique model in southern Africa for grade 5 and 6, in which learners are taught to play an orchestral wind instrument - the choir class now offers learners the opportunity to perceive music through active music-making. Instead of regular music lessons, and in addition to the joy of singing or making mu-sic, the fifth and sixth graders now have the opportunity to acquire knowledge and receive a mark for mu-sic theory (notation, rhythm, forms and harmony).
“I am sure that our choir class concept will only become stronger in the next years- there is so much inter-est already from the children and parents with a lot of room for development”, says Visser, who herself is an enthusiastic choir singer.
We can look forward to innovative teaching methods and more news from the choir group.