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As a general rule, Choir members are taught a song from a Deaf perspective, first learning the beat/rhythm with the teacher mouthing the words, and without any music playing. This is what seeing someone sing a song for the first time is like for a Deaf person, especially one who has little or no concept of sound.


Along with a couple of additional simple teaching and learning tools, this process is repeated a few times to give students the feel of the song/music, before moving onto the next stage of learning and appreciating the song.


Contrary to a belief still held in some sectors of the community, the teaching and learning of sign language, when practised appropriately, can in fact enhance the speech of a child who is deaf, while NOT diminishing its quality or quantity of use. 


Through teaching and learning via the Choir's methods, members learn to enunciate their words, opening their mouths more effectively when they speak, to enhance the lip-reading potential of a Deaf person. Methods to demonstrate and teach appropriate voice volume in conversations are also employed. In addition, as there are many common written words that have no sign attached to them, students are encouraged during lessons to find a known sign that may best describe a word. This applies also to any word that is unfamiliar to the students, for which they must search for a written meaning. Through this process, they not only learn appropriate enunciation of words, appropriate voice volume levels for more effective communication, but word meanings too, enriching their vocabulary.


Singleton High School formed the latest section of the choir in 2006, with choir practice sessions incorporated into the school’s curriculum. Two of the members in this group were Deaf and both used a particular mode of signing. As the Choir advocates an individual's right to choose the mode of communication that best suits their needs, and is supportive of the various modes of Deaf communication, the rest of the group were taught the songs using the signing mode of the two Deaf members. Within only two practice sessions, this section of the Choir prepared a special presentation for Il Divo, which was presented to the renowned international singing group when they met with the Choir Director on the night of their performance with Barbra Streisand at her Washington D.C concert in October 2006. Only three of the students had previously heard of Il Divo but none were familiar with their pop/classical style of music. So within those two practice sessions, the students were challenged to start from scratch and learn two Il Divo songs, one in Italian and the other in French. They accepted the challenge and by the end of the sessions were ready to perform and be videoed….mission accomplished with an enormous sense of pride!


The first of our display sample videos, is a combination of a small section of these two items. Enjoy! 


Click here to view the first of our display videos

(Please Note: This combination video clip is 24.5mb, so please allow time for it to load)

"Leading the way in Deaf communication"

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