Sight Singing School is the culmination of Mark O’Leary’s more than 20 years experience teaching sight singing to members of Young Voices of Melbourne, one of Australia’s finest young choirs. Since 1990 YVM has presented many concerts in and around Melbourne, toured all states and territories of Australia, toured internationally 7 times to Europe, North America, South Africa, Asia and Samoa and recorded 9 Cds. The Young Voices of Melbourne Choral Series of music for young choirs is well known around the world. Developing good music reading skills in its members has always been a priority for Young Voices of Melbourne, and the choir’s Kodály based training program is now available to everyone as Sight Singing School.

In this 4 part program you will find more than 400 carefully sequenced sight singing examples. Each part consists of a number of units, with each focusing on a new melodic or rhythmic element. In each unit there are a number of songs to sing to practise the new element. Song materials include folksongs from around the world, rounds and canons by old masters along with a number of newly composed examples. As well as the graded song material, there are a number of exercises to practise which are designed to make it easier to sing each song, by putting the song into the context of common scale, chord and interval patterns.

Sight Singing School is also available as four books, but the online version gives the student access to many tools to aid with progress. For each song, you can see the score, see the score with sol-fa, see the score with letter names, hear the score, hear the note set of the song (up to unit 24), and link to exercises to practise. There are also helpful videos and useful theory information. Sight Singing School can be used on a computer, tablet device or phone (if you have good eyes!) so you can take your practise anywhere.

We recommend the use of tonic sol-fa (movable do) as the best way to learn to sight singing, but those who use other methods such as singing to scale degree numbers, singing in letter names and so on will still find Sight Singing School to be effective. Whatever method is used, the key is to practise each song until it can be sung fluently. By practising the songs well you will learn the sound of the intervals and this is the essence of successful sight singing.

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