Monday, April 28, 2014

When you sing, forget everything you’ve ever learnt

In your singing lessons and choir warm ups you’re bombarded with exercises and technical advice about posture, breathing, enunciation, pitching, tension, placement and so on.


All good stuff. But when it comes time to sing you need to forget it all. Seems crazy? I’ll show you why it’s important.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Teacher of songs or song polisher – which kind of choir leader are you?

A while back I went to a singing workshop led by an internationally acclaimed workshop leader. I was very disappointed at the lack of teaching skills on display. But in the end the sound we made was amazing.

choir leader
photo by Allan Harris

I realised that some singing leaders are great teachers of songs and some are great polishers of songs, but not everyone has both skills.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Can open-access choirs cater for every kind of singer?

As a member of the Natural Voice Practitioners’ Network I share their belief that everybody can sing and nobody should be excluded from music-making. Which is why no ‘natural voice’ choirs hold auditions or use unnecessary musical jargon.

odd one out
adapted from a photo by Brian Robert Marshall

But can such open-access choirs ever be truly inclusive? I don’t believe they can and I think we need to be clear about that when promoting our work.

Monday, April 07, 2014

How to choose soloists in your choir: audition or self-selection?

Rather than everyone singing all the time, many choirs ring the changes by creating smaller ensembles within the larger choir or have occasional solos.

choir solo
photo by Shelly Mags

In a non-auditioned, open-access choir, what is the fairest way to choose singers to take on these roles?