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  • A Workshop for Your Shy Kid? Let the Philippine Madrigal Singers Help

    Its children's choir workshop teaches singing, yes, but it also builds your child's confidence and social kills.
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
A Workshop for Your Shy Kid? Let the Philippine Madrigal Singers Help
PHOTO BY courtesy of The Philippine Madrigal Singers
  • “The piano, as I always say, is a very selfish instrument,” Mark Anthony Carpio, choirmaster of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, one of the most awarded choirs in the world, shared with SmartParenting.com.ph.

    “I studied music and majored in piano. The piano required me to spend six to eight hours a day playing the instrument by myself. When I graduated, and I started teaching the piano, it would mostly be one-on-one with a student.

    “And then one day I was given the opportunity to teach and work with a choir,” he said.

    It was the moment when Carpio fell in love with the idea of making music and singing with people, so much so that he took a master's degree in conducting. “When people sing together, there is this synchronization. They say even the hearts beat together.”

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    Since it was established by University of the Philippines professor and National Artist for Music Andrea O. Veneracion, The Philippine Madrigal Singers (or Madz as the group is fondly called), has flown all around the world to sing — and win prestigious international awards. In fact, Madz is the first choir in the world to win the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing twice.

    However, the choir's special attention, of course, goes to the Philippines. It has continued Prof. Veneracion's legacy of traveling to different spots in the country to work with local choirs and give vocal technique and conducting lessons.

    Here, in Manila, Madz opened a studio last February 2017 in Eastwood City. The Madz Music Studio isn't just a training center for the Madrigal Singers. It has become the center for its workshops, which they also conduct abroad. Earlier in January this year, Madz held a children's choir workshop for the Winter Camp in Taiwan. (See a short clip of it below.)

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    The workshops available at The Madz Music Studio in Quezon City include chorale and individual singing workshops as well as voice, piano, guitar, violin, and conducting lessons. This year, it has the "Mini Madz: Children’s Summer Workshops for the littlest performers who will all perform as a choir at the end of the workshop. 

    “Instead of leaving kids at home with gadgets and the TV, I think this workshop is a good opportunity for them to enjoy the summer by doing things with other kids,” said Carpio.

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    While the workshop will teach your child how to sing in tune and provide him the discipline of counting and rhythm in music, it shouldn't feel like work — Madz wants the students to enjoy the process. “For kids, singing should always be fun and a source of enjoyment,” said Carpio. “Vocal warm-ups are done through games, which involve movement and dance. The songs are children's rhymes, play songs, and even Disney songs. We integrate art projects into the music lessons too.”

    Carpio adds, “And, of course, they’re singing and doing these activities with other kids, so there is this social aspect. There may be those na nahihiya to sing alone. In a choir, you will never sing alone. Here, you learn to work with other people — teamwork. You don't want your voice sticking out, so you learn to listen, to balance with others, and to enjoy the process together.” 

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    You don’t have to worry about your little one being sintonado. The Explorers Program is open to kids ages 5 to 9 years old who love to sing. 

    “I personally believe that some kids are 'sintonado' only because they didn't have any experience earlier. Lucky for those who have been exposed to music, ayan, nakakakanta sila in tune. But, those kids who are not as lucky can also have a chance to develop it,” Carpio shares. “There's no better way to learn than with other kids as well.”

    But, if your child is already a little older and the goal is to hone her already blossoming singing talent, Mini Madz has the Building Program for kids ages 10 to 12.

    “In this program, we are looking for kids who already have relatively advanced singing skills. Here, we are looking forward to making more music. There's more singing, so it's like a choir in itself, and there’s more discipline. Our goal is to make them perform, and there will be more performance opportunities for them.”

    This program includes the chance to sing with the Philippine Madrigal Singers concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in June! 

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    “When you start at a young age, by the time the kids gets to university or college, they have that right discipline and preparation to be good choristers,” said Carpio. “Seeing it from all the people who come in and move on from the choir, many years after, they still look back to their years in the choir with fondness.” 

    “The kids in Mini Madz will be spending time together, and we will make sure that they will have fun together. When they grow older, they can look back with fondness as well.”

    Mini Madz: Children's Summer Workshops will be held at The Madz Music Studio at Unit E, Ground Floor, 1 Orchard Road Condominium, Eastwood City, Bagumbayan, Quezon City.

    The Exploring Program, open to kids ages 5 to 9 years old, meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from April 9 to May 25, 2018.  The Building Program, open to kids ages 10 to 12 years old, meets every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from April 10 to May 26, 2018. For the Building Program, Parents will be required to send in a sample video of their child singing before enrollment. 

    For rates and inquiries, call 0915-887-3961. 

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