Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hearing ALL the harmonies – you sound better than you think

At the end of each of my one-day workshops I’ve recently started to record all the songs I’ve taught during the day. It’s nice for people to be able to take something away to remind them of the songs.

But one comment recently gave me pause for thought: “In all the years I have been attending singing workshops I have never heard how we sound. I think we should be proud of what we have achieved.”

No matter how singers are positioned, and even if one half of the choir sing to the other half, it’s hard to get a real sense of how the group sounds as a whole.

Sometimes singers in a choir can’t do a performance for one reason or another and they come as an audience member. Every time this has happened in one of my choirs, they’ve come up to me afterwards to tell me how wonderful the overall sound is and that they had no idea how good we sounded!

So no matter how many times your musical director says how fantastic you sound; no matter how many times you position yourself in order to hear the other harmonies; no matter how many times you hear the other half of the choir sing to you; and no matter how big your ears are – you never quite get the sense of how good your choir sounds unless you stand outside and listen.

Make sure you get a recording of your choir or workshop. Or even better, resist the temptation to sing at every concert and take time out to be an audience member for a change. You will be surprised by what you hear.

Have you had this experience? Do drop by to leave a comment and let us all know what you think of what you heard.


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Chris Rowbury


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