Browse our list of Frequently Asked Questions below, call us at 650-342-8785 or send us an email.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age should my son join a choir?
Around 7-9 years old. Boys should start singing in elementary school so they have time to become vocally skilled well before puberty. For most boys, the perfect age to start is age 8, or in second grade. Earlier than 7, boys find it difficult to manage a two-hour rehearsal or to progress smoothly though the music theory workbooks. After age 10, boys may face voice change before gaining solid choral and music theory skills.
My son loves to sing, but he is only five years old. Can he join?
We’ve got the perfect start for him! For boys who are not quite ready for full rehearsals and written theory, our Music and Movement class is the first step in Ragazzi’s program. This non-audition 45-minute class is tailored for boys ages 5-7 with little or no previous musical experience. Ragazzi faculty’s child-developmental approach encourages boys to explore rhythm games, channels energy through music learning and exposes students to concepts they can apply in any musical setting.
Is Ragazzi hard to get into?
We accept most boys who audition. The auditioner is looking at whether he can match pitch (recognize and sing back a note), sing in a natural high (or “head”) voice, reproduce basic rhythm and follow the directions of the teacher. The auditioner will also listen for hoarseness, which might indicate vocal problems that should be addressed before joining the chorus. If the boy is young, needs more time to mature or isn’t comfortable singing yet, we’ll recommend our Music and Movement class. This will prepare him for the next steps in our program.
Does my son have to sing a solo at his audition?
No. Our auditions are group-based and involve call-and-response music games. There is no need for your boy to prepare ahead for his audition, and we make the experience low-key and friendly. We do not expect previous vocal training, just a natural enjoyment of singing.
Where is the audition?
Unless we tell you otherwise, auditions are at our 178 Clinton St. location in Redwood City. We are across Brewster from Sequoia High School. View the map.
When will I hear about my son’s audition results?
We will contact you via email within a week or two of your son’s audition, sometimes sooner.
What level will my son be placed in?
Generally boys are placed in one of our Primary (beginning) groups, but older boys with more singing experience and music theory training may be placed in the intermediate Premiere section.
If offered a spot, when would my son start?
He would start at the beginning of our next semester. Boys auditioning in May through September start in the Fall semester (begins just after Labor Day). Those auditioning in January (including at SingFest) start in the Spring semester (begins after New Year).
How often will my son practice?
Boys at our beginning level practice once a week, from 5:30-7:20pm. Beginners join a class group that meets on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. All boys at the intermediate level practice on Mondays, from 5:30-7:30pm. Intermediate boys have the option to practice on Wednesdays in addition to Monday, from 5:30-7:30pm.
Where are rehearsals?
Weekly rehearsals are at our 178 Clinton St. location in Redwood City. We are across Brewster from Sequoia High School. View the map.
How often will my son perform?
At the beginning level, he will perform once at the end of each semester for the Winter and Spring Family Recitals, plus one December lunchtime concert. Beginning boys all have the option of joining the entire chorus in singing the National Anthem at a spring San Francisco Giants game. Intermediate-level boys have more performance opportunities– about three per semester, including the Giants game National Anthem.
Are you a religious choir?
No. We are non-sectarian and sing great music from both the secular and religious traditions of many cultures. Because the great boy-choir tradition is historically European and English, much of our core repertoire was composed for European religious settings, though. We also rehearse, and frequently perform, in churches. This is because churches have facilities that suit our musical and teaching needs, and rent their spaces at very reasonable rates.
How much does it cost?
Beginners Primary Group is $898 per semester. Intermediate Ragazzi Premiere is $960 per semester. Need-based tuition assistance is available. New chorister registration fees (includes Theory Program materials and book bag) is $190. Uniforms cost $100 per year or less (pre-worn uniform pieces are free, as available).