Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Rehearsing parts for choir

What is the best way to get access for the students to practice their parts at home.  This is a constant problem but I do not have sibelius.  I need a way for my students to have tracks for their parts. 
on May 19, 2015 8:37pm
You don't need Sibelius to make rehearsal tracks - just a digital recorder, and your own voice and/or instrument. That's all I use to make mine.
(And of course, long term, the best solution is teach them to read.)
on May 21, 2015 11:17am
I use garage band to record either me playing their part on piano or singing it.  Then I can email it to them or I have also created a folder in google drive to share with them.  
We are also working on solfege so eventually, they will be able to read it themselves, but it is a slow process.  
Applauded by an audience of 1
on May 23, 2015 12:27pm
Whatever you use, emphasize that they can learn much more readily by playing the recordings as background music, while doing other things, in addition to their active practice.  I'm not a trained singer, but did this in college for a course in German Lieder for which we had to perform 15 songs from memory, with the professor at the piano in his office.  With this casual listening, the parts "seep" into memory before you know it.
Applauded by an audience of 2
on May 24, 2015 7:45am
Here's a good source for parts recorded with woodwinds.  Please leave a donation for the work John has done for this vast compilation.
on October 22, 2015 2:12pm
I am a big advocate of recording parts with your own voice. Beginning singers often have trouble following along if it is just midi notes without words. I purchased a Tascam digital recorder from Amazon for about $100. Well worth it as it has been great for recording performances as well. I record parts and post right to our class web site. 
Applauded by an audience of 4
on October 26, 2015 8:17am
I have been exploiting the fact that they all have smart phones. On specific days, I have them bring them to class, and tell them to record their part. I then have one or two send me the file to my email, and either email the parts to the students who don't have smart phone, or make a cd from the file.  It is saving me a TON of time making the cd's outside of class.  I play the part in class, and them record their part.  They can record certain area, or, the whole song. (Although, I usually break it down into sections in class, and assign that section for them to know it by "next week".  I used to spend HOURS making rehearsal cd's.  I am also using Sight reading factory every day to work on sight reading skills.  My hope is by doing both I am "differentiating" in a way that is accessible to the students.
Applauded by an audience of 2
on October 27, 2015 6:16am
I've been making videos (for each part, using photos of their music that I take with my iPhone and using either my voice recordings, or Finale for the audio).  I use iMovie on my laptop.  It's labor intensive, but the kids came into class, day 1, knowing their parts, which excited and motivated them.   I've been posting videos for each song on a free website online.  The students must comment or "like" the videos to show that they have accessed them and are using them -- honor system (these are predominantly Christian homeschoolers).   I'm also creating music lesson videos that teach the basics of sightreading, beginning with teaching rhythm first, then pitch.  This way steps are being taken to teach them how to read music: my ultimate goal.  I incorporate the songs we are learning as much as possible.    The efforts I take to make these videos have paid off immensely.  It feels like having a choir that sightreads when we get into class.  The kids are appreciating the videos over just audio (which is what they used to have with their former director).  I think it engages those students who won't take the time or trouble to put in a CD.  It's easier to click a video, and the website I've created, though simple, has opportunity for fun posts, comments, and contributes an overall exciting way to stay connected during the week (we only have choir 1 hour per week).   Creating the website and the videos was my solution to feeling as though 1 hour a week was impossible to teach all that I wanted to....because, it really is not enough time.   Some kids still have trouble learning at home, but having most of the choir succeed with this puts us that much farther ahead, and creates strong students who can then help out the weaker ones.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on October 27, 2015 9:33pm
Hi Vicki,
I create rehearsing parts for choirs. These tracks display the music and lyrics while a marker shows the location on screen. Also each part (voice) get its own emphasized staff while the rest of the parts are also displayed but in much less volume, so the singers can still get the full picture of the piece. This allow the singers to use their computer at home to rehearse their parts.
Please see my site at I already have such tracks created for other choirs but would be happy to create any tracks that you need.
Ruben Tahir
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 16, 2015 11:39am
I strongly suggest that you record your own voice and send the parts. If you cannot record all parts by yourself, you may get help from a prominent member of the choir with the voice range you need. I say this because not everyone in a choir will be able to follow fully a midi file or an instrument as well as they would follow (and reproduce/sing back) something they have heard you or another voice sing. You can send these files through Facebook or email, easy and effecient. Hope this helps!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 28, 2015 10:54am
I make a practice CD for my students with their vocal parts  - it takes a lttle time to do  this but the benefit is great - they have their part - I suppose you could do a mp3 player as well - I just find making a CD easier for me and they can copy their parts howerve they choose - they can listen to their parts as often as then can and learn/memorize their parts.  I have a children's choir now with very young children - 8 and 9 year olds - many do not read music yet  so the CD is a very big help for them to learn and memborize their parts - we do unison- SA and SSA.  When I had middle school it also worked extremely well for the choir members - I see them only once a week for an hour and a half - it is a community choir.  We also have choir chimes so part of that times is taken up with the choir chimes.
Dr. Christine Plonski Sezer - Founder/Artistic Director - Endless Mountains Children's Choir -Thompson,PA
on November 30, 2015 12:51pm
I have had to teach choral parts before, and of the many ways used to teach the voice parts, I've found that it is easier to learn when the words are being taught at the same time. A good way to go about doing this would be to play the voice parts and sing the tune quietly on top of that. If you can't play the part then you could ask someone to play it for you. And, if you are having a problem singing the part, say the words with the music. It would be helpful to speak or sing the words just as you 'd like them to do it back. This would help teach some the more musical aspects, as well as learning the notes. Doing this can be simple process (depending on the part being taught) and may take marginally less time than using Finale or Sibelius to make a track. The only issue here is that for the recording process, you can't afford to make mistakes. The last thing you want to do is teach a mistake.
on December 1, 2015 4:36pm
Hi Vicki,
You might also want to check this site under "Resources/Technology for Choral Music". There are links to websites with MIDI files, as well as software that you might find useful. 
Most of the suggestions posted recommend human voice recordings, and they are extremely valuable. However, there are things you can do with electronic files that can be useful as well, such as the ability to change the tempo, boost a single part in its musical context and more. I use Finale and have for years, but I know it is pricey. That being said, as an educator you can get a significantly reduced price. Sibelius may have similar offers. And several other musical notation programs have come out in the past few years that are less expensive.
  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.