Cottage Children’s Choir

The Key to Quality Singing:

Cottage Children’s Choir’s offers expert singing training for children, with a focus on quality singing, movement, creativity, beauty of tone, communication, and musicianship. The program is linked to the Cottage Music Institute Musicianship Program – this exceptional program for children aged 4-16 was established in Perth in 1998, and is regarded by many professional musicians as one of the finest programs in Australia.

Cottage Children’s Choir offers high-quality choral singing for children from as young as 4 years of age. These unique classes offer children the opportunity for children to interact socially and to develop fundamental musicianship and ensemble skills. Our philosophy is that children should learn to sing in an environment that is natural and play-based, where they are free to move and to use the whole body to make sound. Children are born with a natural ability, but they tend to lose these skills as they grow – our program aims to maintain these natural skills that are fundamental to quality singing at any age.

The skills are developed through a range of innovative activities and games developed by Micheál McCarthy over many years. This training also prepares children for other forms of performance and embodies skills that assist in public speaking and other forms of public presentation. Indeed, the choir and musicianship programs also provide a great way for children and their families to form life-long friendships.

The voice is the most natural and the most accessible musical instrument of all. Quality choral training allows children to develop their natural voice and to absorb subtle concepts such as musical phrasing and nuance. For any musician, it is essential to be able to hear, conceptualise, internalise, and re-create music using the aural imagination. The ability to demonstrate these skills (the core of which is ‘singing’) is considered critical at the highest level of instrumental or vocal performance.

Great care must be taken with children’s voices – they should be allowed to be natural and free. ‘Development’ of the voice should be left until a person’s frame has fully formed. Prior to this the children’s choir setting provides the ideal forum for vocal training as it helps develop aspects of physique, good vocal production, ensemble awareness and broad musical skills such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, phrasing, tempo, timbre, texture, harmony, style, musical literacy, and form.

All over the world children’s choirs such as ours provide a solid foundation for students who may wish to enter the world of professional singing, from opera to musical theatre, contemporary music to jazz.  For those interested in music as a life skill, choirs cultivate in the individual a deeply personal understanding of music. Choirs also take people to places they might not otherwise get to and can lead to appearances on television/radio, high-profile public performances, as well as travel.

Cottage Children’s Choir promotes excellence in musicianship, quality vocal production, teamwork, sensitivity to others and the development of a broad understanding of peoples and place. A systematic approach to vocal training leads children to a greater understanding of vocal technique, breathing and tone production.

Cottage Children’s Choir encourages children to have fun through learning and to realise the joy that can be experienced through teamwork and cooperation. Musical art is a means of communication between people, one which spans all cultures. Our aim is to introduce our choir members to a range of musical experiences that are both artistically fulfilling and intellectually challenging. We encourage individuals to develop skills of confidence and leadership while leading them to a deeper appreciation of the beauty of their artistic world.

Numerous studies have shown that children who study music through a highly structured program such as ours develop skills that benefit them in a range of subject areas including mathematics, sciences, languages, and sport.

© Micheál McCarthy 2024

Cottage Children’s Choir Classes Include:
  • Pitch
  • Rhythm
  • Movement
  • Listening
  • Breath control
  • Musical memory
  • Gross-motor skills
  • Co-ordination
  • Communication
  • Rhymes & Literacy
  • Diction
  • Cross-cultural awareness
  • Folk Songs
  • Imagination
  • Improvisation
  • Physical & mental wellbeing
  • Ensemble skills
  • Inner hearing
  • Part-thinking
  • Aural imagination
  • Circle Dances
  • Games
  • Music Appreciation
  • Form & Structure
  • Music Literacy
  • Love of Music

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