Participation of children in chanting dances during services used to be taken for granted. After all, this is confirmed by the depiction of chanting choruses in ecclesiastical paintings and icons, by the testimonies of old chanters and also by recordings that record the oldest practice of the choir desks at the patriarchal Church of Constantinople. The delicate children’s voices sweeten the heavy sound of men, while the children, with their capacity for quick and deep assimilation of church music, make this part of their living experience, immerse themselves in the genuine chanting style and lay solid and right foundations for their evolution into future chanters.
The Scholeion Psaltikis for the above reasons places special emphasis on the teaching of church music at young ages. With the initial aim of practicing and sharpening their musical perception, they gradually progress to memorizing short hymns and introducing them to the theoretical part of church music. The development of friendly relationships as well as noble rivalry between children make the learning process easier and more enjoyable.
Participation of young students in our School’s Children’s Choir and in events and church Services is an additional motivation and an important aid in their development. In particular, in Church services, the children actively participate by holding the drone, reciting the text (kanonarchema),chanting simple parts and reciting the Apostolic Readings.
Our children’s sections, one of the most dynamic of the Scholeion Psaltikis, are distinguished mainly based on the age of the children.
A) Very young chanters (4-7 years old)
Engaging in chanting does not require our young students to know how to read and write. The choristers of our School, boys aged 4 to 7 years, come into contact with chanting, church tradition and sacred services from the cantor’s point of view. Through stories, recordings, games and hymns, they sharpen their musical perception, practice their voice and technique, learn the importance of cooperation within the choir-group and acquire the appropriate background to be smoothly introduced to our children’s choir.
The course takes place once a week, is one hour long, and last up to three years.
B) Children’s classes (6-14 years old)
This class is aimed at older children with the same goal: practice of musical perception and introduction into the theory and practice of church music. Students are classified into sections according to their age and previous studies at the School and this lasts up to three years.