Yesterday a fifth-grade chorus visited the Boston Conservatory Chorale. The kids sang a few pieces for us, everyone read through a piece together, then the conservatory students sang a few pieces for the kids.
The conservatory chorale performed selections from the Brahms Zigeunerlieder. Since the piece was in German, after each movement, our director asked the kids what they thought the music was about. Their earnest and candid answers were priceless.
The vengeful, bitter movement? It sounded loud and exciting and happy. Maybe like they’re having a party! Did the singers look angry? The kids shook their heads and gave a resounding “No!”
Great singing must be communicative, and the kids’ honest feedback was a great way for the conservatory students to learn how effectively they were communicating. Kids tell it like it is, whether you like it or not.