New choir program at Ecole Providence

Elizabeth Lyle with Ecole Providence Grade 2 students on the first day of the school’s new choir program.

Tom Henihan
Express Staff
Ecole Providence began preliminary classes for its new choir program on January 11.

The instructor for the new program is Elizabeth Lyle, who has 27 years teaching with the board and plays piano, violin, cello, and last year taught recorder to Providence students.

All students are to participate in the program divided into different groups: ECL and grade 1, Grade 2, Grades 3/4 and Grades 5/6.

“I find with the youngest, it is best to start by teaching them to discriminate between high and low notes,” says Lyle. “This can be done with simple exercises like having the kids stand up when they hear a high note and sit down if it a low note.”

Another technique that Lyle plans to use is bells that represent the scale and have the children learn to identify the individual notes.

Lyle was struggling with a cold on the first day of the program, so she wasn’t up to singing herself. However, that did not stop Grade 2 kids from getting off to an enthusiastic start, though they had some disagreement among themselves about which songs they wanted to sing.

“I introduce gentle songs like Do-Re-Mi and with the set of hand bells they can discriminate between each note,” says Lyle. “What I have also decided to do this year because it is the Canada’s 150 is to teach the kids Canadian folk songs.”

Ecole Providence Principal, Krista Veitch is also enthusiastic about starting a choir program and sees this as an initial first step.

“The kids love to sing so I am happy with this first step in establishing a school choir program,” says Veitch. “And if there are any people in the community who feel they could contribute to offering instruction in this program we would love to hear from them.”

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