Re:The Best Way to learn how to sight read
>Most churches have done such a thorough job of ruining the
> and prefer your music non-sectarian,
> no religious proselytising
traditional congregational musical skills that, if any singer shows
up to help them out, they don't ask very many questions about
...to help them out...
(in what is after all their main function).
> Any other sight reading suggestions?
Really, I think between church choirs, community colleges, and
barbershop groups, it's going to depend on personalities more
than anything else.
A weakness of academic settings is that the teacher is so focus
on his/her own career that they don't really train newbies.
A weakness of church choirs is that, e.g. if short of tenors, any
incoming men is told "you are really a tenor".
( they don't care if you wreck your voice.)
A weakness of barbershop groups is that they you might get a
hernia hauling those risers around. A lot of singers aged sixty
and above --
"Hey, who wants to help lift eight risers into the pickup truck?"
(As though the cost of hernia repair is included in the dues.... )
(it really depends on the group)
Then there's also shape-note singing, which I've posted about
The purpose of using shapes is to make it easier for ordinary
people to learn how to sight-read without learning all 12 key
(All major key songs are "in the key of triangle")
(If it's the key of F, then F gets the triangle, and C gets the oval)
(If it's the key of C, then C gets the triangle and G gets the oval).
Instrumentalists need to know where the "black keys" and "white
keys" are -- "fingering" , but knowing that the F is sharp doesn't
help a singer place fingers on the correct positions of the
As for the social setting, the advantage of shape note singing is
that it doesn't require any commitment.
The disadvantage is that you might be the only person singing
alto (because none of the other altos felt like coming)
(can be really terrifying if you're just starting out)
(it can be even more terrifying if you're really a bass, and there
aren't any altos.....)
The other weird thing about shape note is that the songs are all
religious circa 1844, but at least in California 95% of the singers
have a sort of "pathos of distance" between their personal
beliefs and the song texts.
So, this freaks out conservatives (What are all these unbelievers
doing here?) and the more rigid atheists and universalists (Why
don't you change the words?).
Take your pick.
The main thing is to sing...