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June 2008

Weekly Vocalize #7 from “Now Wolde Y Fayne Sum Merthis Make”

Here’s the third “Now Wolde Y Fayne” vocalize. The other two can be found here: Now Wolde Y Fayne 1 Now Wolde Y Fayne 2 This week’s vocalize is the entire final phrase of the top line. It should all be sung in one breath, thus it’s a good exercise for breath control. vocalize7 For [...]


Directing With Confidence

I’ll start with a fairly intuitive statement: “Directing with confidence is more effective than directing with timidity.” This is pretty obvious, right? If the director is wishy washy about what he/she wants then the singers won’t be sure about what to do, how to perform, or how they’re doing. Rehearsals get muddled and will likely [...]


Weekly Vocalize #6 Counting

Here’s a tongue twister exercise. In form it’s really simple, but in practice it’s trickier than it looks. Take a look! vocalize6 Again you can go up or down the keyboard, whichever you feel like doing. Starting slow and then ramping up the speed as you go is a good way to lead the exercise. [...]


Getting Started On Recorder (Part 2)

Here’s the second part of Getting Started on Recorder. I’m of the opinion that it’s better to teach yourself first rather than starting out with private lessons because by teaching yourself you by definition have to be an active learner. Going to a teacher, having him/her give you exercises to do, and brainlessly practicing them [...]


Getting Started On Recorder (Part 1)

So you want to join your local SCA dance band, but don’t play an instrument… or the instrument you do a play is a piano. You also don’t have a lot of money or time to spend on a new instrument and training. Really you want to get right into the thick of it as [...]


Weekly Vocalizes #5 Minor Arpeggio

Here’s a variation on last week’s arpeggio exercise. It’s essentially the same thing except that it’s in minor instead of major and it’s sung on “Ha” instead of “Hi” for the staccato exercise. They’re both interchangeable so do whichever you’d like. ^_^ The other thing to note is the solfege version starts on La instead [...]


10 Ways to Change Up Your Rehearsal

Here are 10 ways to break the monotony of singing rehearsals, many of which can be implemented without prior preparation. This can mean any number of things. Below are some examples: Face different side of the room Sit it in a circle Sit in two rows Intermix parts (i.e. sopranos sit by non sopranos) Have [...]

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Practicing for Choir Rehearsal

To compliment the previous article on designing a weekly rehearsal agenda, here’s a list of things you can do to prepare yourself for directing your next rehearsal. The number one thing I do before rehearsal is make sure I know how to play the individual parts on the keyboard. Chances are high I’ll be expected [...]


Weekly Vocalize #4 Arpeggio

Here’s an easy little vocalize that can help your singers work on engaging the diaphragm, connectedness, and smoothing their break. vocalize4 The arpeggio is of a broken major triad, with the root as the highest and the lowest note. “Hi Hi Hi” is supposed to be pronounced like the vowel in “heat”, not like “Hi, [...]

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Making a Rehearsal Agenda

The easiest, most intuitive way to have a focused choir rehearsal is to know what you’re going to be singing in advance. In this post I’ll go into some detail about how I plan my rehearsals. Before the new quarter starts I determine which songs from our current overall repertoire we’ll be singing and enter [...]