Methods

A recent presentation touted solfège methodology in training a choir.

I thought, “Yes, I suppose solfège is valuable in that way, and probably more so than I’d thought previously.”

I then remembered a telling, sonic display, a year and a half prior, of four junior and senior choral students — well-versed in this solfège method — three of whom had grave difficulty finding pitches in a simple hymn tune, both in rehearsals and performance.  It seems to me, on reflection, that the solfège method isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the context of choral pedagogy.  Let’s be honest:  when trained singers can’t find pitches within a major scale, their sight-singing skills are lacking.  And, to the current point, pedagogical methods employed in order to deepen these very sight-singing abilities must bear some of the blame.

And our Christian methodologies — in and out of ecclesiastica, in and out of devotional life and Bible study — should all be examined honestly, as well.  Some will be found not to be as effective as we assume they are.  Certain methods might have been given credence by their mere perpetuity, rather than by their validity or their proven effectiveness.

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