By Anabel Arevalo ’21, Jazmin Bustamante ’21, Jovani Colon ’21, Roberto Martinez ’21, and Jahnai Perez ’21
The freshmen in choir teacher Taylor Cole’s class have begun to learn how to enhance their vocal abilities by constantly conducting various practices, such as vocal warm ups, this fall.
As freshman Alexa Morante explained, “Mr. Cole first sets up a vocal warm up that includes the new lesson we will be talking about. Tongue twisters are an important part of this.”
“Warm ups are a must in the beginning of class. We sing the notes on the solfege, vowels, and more,” Morante also said.
“We write our notes and we study for the next class because we have a test every other class,” Cassidy Crespo elaborated.
Various singing techniques are taught by Cole. A few freshmen decided to give their input on how they feel about this. One of them was Morante who stated “My favorite thing about choir is learning lots of singing techniques and tricks that help me become a much better singer.”
Freshman Cassidy Crespo explained “Choir isn’t very challenging, but it is fun. If someone is singing and gets stuck, other choir members help each other out.”
Peer guidance is a vital part of choir because the class moves as a whole. Whenever a student is having difficulties correctly singing a note or something of the sort, help is instantly offered. The final result is what matters the most: how harmonious they come off as.
There are roughly 35 students in each class. The seating arrangement consists of horizontal rows neatly stacked with chairs side-by-side in order for Cole to get a clear view of his students.
“Mr. Cole encourages perfect posture and requires one hundred percent of our attention to be focused on what is being taught,” Morante also said.
The way choir class is conducted is vital to the learning process. Choir students are to bring their choir folders and binders to be prepared for class.
Morante further added, “Us choir students must sing individually if told to do so.”
Cole often quizzes each of his choir students by judging whether or not they have the ability to correctly read a note on paper.
“A constant clicking noise is played during the majority of class, especially when us choir students are being tested,” Morante said.
“Mr. Cole asks for three students to stand in front of the class to read a certain note, such as a quarter note. Each student goes one at a time and are graded right away,” Morante further explained.
This process is repeated and further developed, resulting in it becoming more and more difficult over time.
As Morante said, “The tests, regardless of how difficult they get over time, do help. It is kind of an update on how much I’ve learned. Choir has allowed me to read music easily outside of school. It has also increased the confidence I have when it comes to singing.”
Cole goes through everything and all that was learned is repeated until everyone fully understands it. Cole recommends students to attend his office hours for extra help if needed.
“Choir overall is actually pretty cool. Yes, it may be stressful at times when it comes to learning new notes, but it is such a helpful tool that makes everyone in choir a better musician and singer. It also does not fail to boost your confidence if you simply just allow yourself to let loose and project your voice.”
“I think us freshmen will progress more and more over time. I’m sure of it, rather. When effort is put into learning in a classroom, it truly shows based on the end result: our performance. Those good results will happen for us thanks to Mr. Cole and his dedication and patience.
“With confidence comes great results,” Morante finished.
Freshmen in choir say “Choir can help us not only with our vocal skills, but with our confidence in and outside of class. Choir builds our character.”
Choir is seemingly going well for freshmen.
Freshman Sandra Ordaz commented on her experience in choir, “After our last class, I like it more. We get to laugh here and there. We get to joke around and also focus and work as a group.”
Choir involves constant self-check and many procedures, such as checking power school and vocal tests. Freshmen in choir are put through trial and error since their minds are still developing. With Cole, choir isn’t solely about singing.