Have you noticed that on our website, everyone can practise the songs of the XIII Youth Song Festival by voice types? In total, you will find more than 300 pure-sound recordings made in collaboration between the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the artistic committee of the XIII Youth Song Festival and several children’s ensembles and soloists.

According to Pärt Uusberg, Artistic Director of the XIII Youth Song Festival, with the help of the digital solution, or “heebeling”, it is now possible to give yourself a very versatile “choir rehearsal” at home by practising your part together with sopranos, then altos, then altos and sopranos, or any combination. The sound levels of all the voices can be set exactly as desired. However, Mr Uusberg stressed that the recordings of the voice type parts are just an auxiliary aid and are not a substitute for choral rehearsals. “After all, the point of singing in a choir is also the joy of meeting each other and seeking to find common ground.”

“It’s a blessing for the choirmaster, I can’t thank you enough!” says Iren Voites, conductor of the Tallinn Nõmme Gymnasium’s children’s and youth choirs, about the recordings created to learn the songs. Voites said she has been waiting for this kind of solution for choir songs for years, especially in the run-up to song festivals. Up to now, every choir director had to do a lot of preparatory work on the songs themselves, like inventing a wheel every time, for example, a choir member with a beautiful voice would sing a part at a choir rehearsal, or a chance would come up to get a taped part from a choir she knew, which would move like a piece of merchandise. “Now there’s a digital solution for learning songs, and at such a high level! It will make conducting a lot easier, especially in school choirs, where you learn by ear and where there is only one 45-minute rehearsal a week,” said Voites, expressing her joy and saying that she first learned songs she didn’t know herself with the help of phonograms and then used the recordings in choir rehearsals. “The younger the children are, the more conscientiously they rehearse at home, and with phonograms it’s exciting because you can combine different voices. I believe that my opinion and enthusiasm is shared by many,” said Voites.