Dear Parent(s),
Our School Choir is a very special component of life in Scoil Naomh Cualán. All pupils from 4th -6th Classes are invited to join it and to enhance our liturgies and perform at special events throughout the year. As part of our community links ethos, we are also proud to sing and play for funerals in the parish if requested. This is a very special privilege for us and all concerned do their very best to enhance the ceremony at such an important time for families.

Last year we participated in The Peace Proms with the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland which proved to be an unforgettable experience for everybody. We hope to repeat this experience every second year, should circumstances allow. Studies have shown that participating in a choir brings many advantages to a child- musical, educational and social- a list of which we include below:
• Singing increases oxygen intake, producing alertness as more oxygen gets to the brain. Singing causes the mind to focus and the body to relax!
• Singing develops a child’s ability to multi-task. Singing a song successfully requires that they: sing the correct word; at the correct pitch; at the correct time; with the right level of volume; and with the most appropriate voice quality.
• Singing develops the memory. e.g. Remembering lyrics and cues.
• Singing improves a child’s ability to listen. The process of learning to sing, especially with others, dramatically increases attentive listening.
• Singing encourages self-confidence and helps children to communicate with others.
• Singing helps a child learn to concentrate on a task.
• Singing helps to develop a child’s imagination and creativity.
• The process of singing and learning to sing, especially in a group, is highly motivational.
• Being part of a group or choir can give children a feeling of belonging and can help them make friends.
• Being part of a group performance; aiming for a goal and achieving it, provides a huge boost to a child’s self-esteem.
• Singing creates positive energy and a happy mood and that’s infectious and transparently good for everyone.
• Singing as part of a group transcends all barriers – religious, cultural or other.
• Singing aids language development and learning.
• Singing teaches opposites, from fast and slow to loud and quiet.
• Singing helps to develop self-expression.
• Singing helps muscle-memory.
• Singing helps to teach a greater variety of vocabulary.
• Singing helps children to learn how to keep rhythm and how to rhyme words.
• Singing improves reading: Learning to sing songs from beginning to end improves reading skills and motor skills, and develops coordination between the brain and body.
However, being part of a choir also involves commitment on the part of a child. Unfortunately, we have found that lack of enthusiasm on the part of a few can impede progress. As we have many children who enjoy the experience of singing and playing with others and wish to participate fully we want to give them the opportunity to enjoy practices and reach their musical potential. Therefore, we have decided to implement a new system which will give children the option of joining the choir, or not, should they so wish. In this way we hope and expect that every child who opts to participate will do so wholeheartedly. Children who decide not to participate will be assigned other work instead of attending choir practice or other choir activities.
We have devised a pledge which all children who wish to join our school choir will sign. We ask you, their parents to speak with them about their decision to participate or not. While much of our choir material is comprised of religious music in preparation for school and parish ceremonies, a substantial component of it, particularly when participating in the Peace Proms, will also be suitable popular songs, songs from musicals, Irish and classical instrumental pieces, international music etc. We hope that once the children have made a voluntary commitment to be part of the choir that their enthusiasm will mean that we will cover a larger body of material than heretofore and this will develop their talents significantly.
We enclose a permission slip with this letter. Please discuss this matter with your child and return completed slip to school on or before Wednesday, next, March 21st.
Thank you for your assistance,
Yours sincerely,
Kay Ryan and Staff.
_______________________________________________________________________________________Scoil Naomh Cualán, Choir Permission Slip
I, ____________________________________, ______________Class wish / do not wish to participate in Scoil Naomh School Choir for the school year 2017-2018. I realise that being involved in the choir requires commitment and team effort on my part and I make this choice willingly.
Signed _____________________________________ (Pupil)
_________________________________________ (Parent) Date: _________________________