Monday, November 17, 2014

Choirs and copyright: a beginner’s guide for the bewildered

[NB this post is about UK copyright laws. Although the situation will be similar in other countries, the various copyright and performing rights agencies and websites will obviously be different]

I wrote extensively about copyright way back in 2010 (see my series of seven posts Songs and copyright), but I still get emails every week from choir leaders asking me questions!

Copyright-_all_rights_reserved

I’m certainly no expert, especially since I don’t use sheet music, but I thought I’d revisit the topic and try to spell it out in simple terms. Here goes!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Is how you label yourself as a singer holding you back?

We all have an image of the type of singer (or musical director or choir) that we think we are. There are things that we can do and things that we can’t (or won’t) do.

labelled person
photo by iamstarbuck

But what if the way we see ourselves is out of date? What if we’ve given ourselves the wrong label? How can we move forward?

Monday, November 03, 2014

Want to sing but are scared of being judged? Here’s what to do

Sarcastic remarks from X Factor judges. Teachers telling kids to “stand at the back and just mime”. Being made to stand up and sing solo to get into your workplace choir. Scary!

judges scores

And enough to put anyone off singing! However, there are plenty of other ways of singing with others without the fear of being judged or ridiculed. Here’s what you can do.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Want to develop your voice and sing better? Be silly and play!

Trying to increase your vocal range? Want to develop a richer tone to your voice? Puzzling over voice placement and timbre?

silly faces
photo by The-Serene-Mage

Before you rush off to find a singing teacher, try being playful with your voice for fun.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Is one of your choir sections thin on the ground? 10 ways to find more singers to fill the gaps

Many of us are in choirs where a particular section needs bolstering. In my case it’s a lack of altos, for others it might be too few tenors.

mixed choir

Here are 10 ideas for beefing up a particular voice part.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Keep it to yourself! – why colds, singing and choirs don’t mix

’Tis the season to be poorly. A warm rehearsal room is the ideal place to spread coughs and sneezes, especially with all that deep breathing and standing close together.

Sneeze
Sneeze by James Gathany

So what should you do when you come down with a bug: soldier on or stay away? It depends how bad it is. Let’s look at your options.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Using feedback forms for choirs and singing workshops

You get what you ask for, so be careful how you seek feedback!

feedback
photo by Howard Lake

When designing feedback forms, less is more. Here’s why.