The Voice for Life training scheme provides a framework for choral singers to develop their vocal skills, their musical understanding and their knowledge of repertoire. The scheme comes with a range of teaching material and supporting resources and gives plenty of advice on the practicalities of running a choir. It is intended to enable choir trainers and teachers to train their choir or group more effectively, and to help singers grow as people as well as musicians.
Voice for Life involves the choir trainer or teacher, and each member of the choir or group. The scheme is designed to be flexible so it can fit around your choir’s schedule. Much of the training will become part of your usual rehearsal time; for example, the vocal exercises can be incorporated at the beginning of your rehearsal as warm-ups or to break up the rehearsal, and you can provide training on posture, breathing, diction, etc.
How Voice for Life works
There are five levels in the Voice for Life scheme, for singers of any age from beginners through to advanced singers, starting with a preparatory level for brand new, inexperienced singers. The scheme is administered by the the choir leader.
+ White (preparatory level)
+ Light Blue
+ Dark Blue
The structure of the teaching for all levels in this scheme can be viewed here. Resources to support the syllabus and administration of the scheme at each level in Voice for Life can be purchased here direct from Music Direct, the online store for RSCM (UK).
Bronze, Silver & Gold Awards
In order to support the choir trainer and affirm the levels achieved within the choir while working on the Voice for Life training scheme, the RSCM provides a parallel system of awards designed to be assessed through a formal examination: these are called the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.
Each award has its own syllabus and regulations. These come complete with guidelines to fully prepare the candidate and the choir trainer for the standard expected during the examination.
Successful candidates are entitled to wear a prestigious medal cast in the appropriately coloured metal (bronze, silver or gold) and these are worn on distinctive ribbons. Bronze awards are worn with a Green ribbon, Silver awards with a Purple ribbon and the Gold award with a Dark Red ribbon.
It is recommended candidates follow this pathway:
White – Light Blue – Dark Blue – Bronze – Red – Silver – Yellow – Gold
Bronze & Silver Awards
New Zealand procedures
You can view the syllabus and regulations including detail of the examinations for the Bronze and Silver Awards here.
NZ candidates may apply directly to the NZ Administrator for an examination for Bronze or Silver Awards using this online application form.
[The online form is the preferred method of application, but should an applicant required a printed form, a pdf version is available here.]
Examination fees (Bronze & Silver):
Examination Fee: $NZD50 [In addition, $NZD50 is payable for the ribbon and medal upon successful completion]
Payment of the examination fee may be made by..
A: Internet Banking: A/c name – Royal School of Church Music New Zealand Incorporated; A/c number: 02 0816 0345896 00
Please put your name in the “Particulars” field, the Amount being paid in the “Code” field and put “V4L” in the Reference field
Note: NB: If the source of money for Internet Banking is an overseas bank, contact the NZ National Voice for Life Administrator for the SWIFT code.
B: Cheque: Cheques to be endorsed in favour of RSCMNZ Inc. (not negotiable account payee only) and posted to:
NZ Voice for Life Administrator,
Paul V Ellis
76 Fisher Avenue
Applications for a Gold Award examination are processed through RSCM (UK). All related information, syllabus and application forms are to be found here on the RSCM (UK) website.