Sunday, October 30, 2011

Taking a song from source to performance – the many roles of a choir leader

My main skill is as a teacher of songs to those who don’t read music.

choir rehearsal

Photo by elfsternberg

Other choir leaders have different skills – like polishing songs for performance.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

We’ve come to sing, not to learn!

People come to my singing workshops because they love to sing.


Photo by Rex Pe

But first they have to spend time learning songs.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Are singing workshops just a middle-class pastime?

I run singing workshops all over the place (why not book me and try one?!).

singing workshop

Photo by C. Moses

At some places the workshops are full and there is a waiting list. At others it’s a struggle to muster a dozen singers. Why is this?

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Breathing for singers: it’s not what you’ve got, it’s how you use it

As they say: size doesn’t matter, it’s what you do with it that counts.

lung capacity

Measuring lung capacity with a spirometer The University of Iowa ca. 1920

The size of your lungs isn’t important in singing, it’s how you use the breath in them.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Sing like you speak – the ‘folk’ voice, or how to sing like a Bulgarian

I’ve always known that I’m more interested in traditional songs, but I’ve only just realised that it’s the vocal quality that I’m most drawn to.

Bulgarian women

Bulgarian National Women's Choir by Bruce MacRae

There’s something thrilling and primal about the sound of traditional singers’ voices. How do they achieve that and how does it differ from, say, ‘classical’ singing?