Incorporating the RSCM “Voice for Life”in your Choral Program

Linda Buzard

Tuesday, June 21, 10 AM

Psallam spiritu et mente. “I will sing with the spirit and with the understanding also.” (I Corinthians 14:15) The motto of the Royal School of Church Music describes what the program is all about – teaching choristers how to sing with intention. The “Voice for Life” program develops singers of all ages by increasing their understanding of the scriptural and liturgical meaning of the texts they sing, and the physical and mental musical skills to produce music of high quality.

In this workshop, I’ll introduce you to the RSCM and the “Voice for Life” program, and show you how to establish one in your own music ministry. The RSCM is non-denominational and intergenerational. An RSCM program can benefit parishes and churches of all sizes and economic means.

We’ll discuss and demonstrate the various graded levels of the program, giving you samples of the workbooks and media available to teach and administer it. We’ll talk about some real-life experiences of how an RSCM program has made a significant difference in the life of parishes and their surrounding communities.

“Voice for Life” is not merely a series of workbooks, however. It is a philosophy based on the idea that singers of all levels and ages are capable of performing at a high musical level. When starting a children’s choir do not underestimate their ability to become full participating members of the choir – equal to adults, no matter the structure of your program.

Linda Buzard has been Organist/Choirmaster at the Episcopal Chapel of St. John the Divine in Champaign, Illinois since 1990. She earned her MM in Organ and Church Music at Northwestern University in 1980. In 2005 she began the RSCM choristers training program at the Chapel and affiliated the Chapel with the Royal School of Church Music in America. Over the years she has attended 20+ summer courses of the RSCMA with her choristers and has served on thestaff as Housemaster, Organist and Proctor. Currently she is the national Exam Administrator of the RSCMA and is validated as an examiner at the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Linda has two children: Stephen, who is now the assistant organist at St. Thomas Church in New York City and Katherine, who is a graduate student at the Royal College of Music in London studying vocal performance.