“Choral music is something that goes to the very heart of our humanity, our sense of community, and our souls." John Rutter
Musical excellence depends on a firm foundation built up from childhood. To this end, as Robert Schumann points out in the preface to his “Jugend Album” of 1848, both ear-training and a cappella singing are two vital pillars in any child's musical formation.
In the RMA Choral Programme these skills are nurtured alongside those of listening to oneself in relation to one’s fellow choristers, as well as learning to follow the musical score and the conductor’s directions.
Students are carefully assessed and assigned to whichever of our four choirs their own unique musical needs match the best way.
Junior Choir I
Children in this choir learn to find their own natural singing voice. A specially designed sequence of graded narrow range game-songs are worked through in a child-centred, enjoyable and free atmosphere which helps establish the firm musical foundation the children need.
Junior Choir II
At this stage, the children learn to focus on posture, breathing and vocal technique. A series of appropriate warm-up activities teach the young music student how to support their voice, extend their vocal range and develop a feeling for natural phrasing.
At this stage the part-singing started in Junior Choir II is developed and extended. Greater attention is paid to breathing work and vocal technique. As the choral repertoire grows, reading skills and a feeling for overall musical shape come to the fore.
Students showing a particular interest and ability are invited to audition for this group. They will continue the work outlined above and develop their own special repertoire.
Marek Maryniak graduated from Birmingham University in Music and Philosophy (1977). He completed his PGCE (1982) at Lancaster University where he was awarded the Eleanor Peel Trust Award, and subsequently took a Master’s degree in Education at Southern Connecticut State University, US, where he won an ER Newman Internship.
Between 1988 and 1996 he worked as a music teacher and music therapist in a wide range of London schools, and at the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Centre, London. He also pursued a special interest in composition under the guidance of Antonin Tucapsky. In 1998 he graduated with distinction in Music Pedagogy from the Kodaly Pedagogical Institute of Music, Kecskemet, Hungary, and until 2003 taught musicianship at the Kodaly Music School, Kecskemet on the English Music programme.
He currently teaches and conducts across London, works with young musicians at the Rachmaninoff Music Academy and in Junior Guildhall, where he directs the Junior Choir, and teaches Composition, Theory and Musical Awareness. Marek has trained music teachers and conducted Musicianship workshops in Dublin, Warsaw, Budapest, Edinburgh, Birmingham and London. He also composes choral works for church, youth and children’s choirs.
Jadwiga Słomka is a Polish Mezzo-Soprano working in London.
She currently teaches at the London Russian Music Academy, is a freelance classical singer and the Musical Director for 'Mazury' (the Polish folk dance and song company of the Polish YMCA in London).
She specialises in folk-inspired music from Slavic countries in the Romantic Era, music from the Communist Era, and patriotic Polish music. Jadwiga enjoys working on community education projects which commemorate and conserve Polish history through music and has worked with Professor Norman Davies in this capacity.
Jadwiga is currently studying under Harriet Williams and Elena Ferrari, and has close ties with Morley College, where she was guided by Jorge Balça and Panaretos Kyriatzidis. She is also working with St Paul's Opera, and is due to cover Florence Pike in their production of Albert Herring.