Monday, March 18, 2019

Why altos are often timid and nervous

Over the years I have noticed that the least confident part of my community choirs is often the alto section.


photo by simpleinsomnia

I can only speak from my own experience, but I’ve heard others tell similar stories. Why might this be?

Monday, March 11, 2019

How to keep your warm ups and singing sessions fresh and engaging

I teach singing workshops across the UK. I’m lucky to get a lot of the same singers turning up each time.



Which means that I can’t keep on using the same old jokes or worn out warm up routines. Here’s how I keep things fresh.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Learning songs by ear: what should you do while other parts are being taught?

When a harmony song is being taught by ear, you can find yourself not singing whilst other parts are being taught.



Rather then zoning out or getting bored, there are plenty of things you can do which can help your learning. Here are some of them.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Singing in harmony as a metaphor for life

Singing together is known to have many benefits, for both mental and physical well-being.


photo by William Murphy

But if we think about it, singing together is also a wonderful example of how to live a harmonious life. Here’s how singing in harmony can be seen as a metaphor for life.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Does singing have to have an end goal?

Some people sign up for classes because there’s a goal to work towards.



But surely it’s possible to do things just for the sake of it? Does singing always have to have a goal?

Monday, February 11, 2019

Feedback is vital – even when things are going well

If you’re like me, you read reviews on sites like TripAdvisor and Amazon before you buy.



But how many times do leave reviews yourself? For systems like this to work it’s important for everyone to give feedback, especially positive feedback. The same applies to choirs and singing.

Monday, February 04, 2019

When patience wears thin – 5 strategies for choir (and other) leaders

Patience is one of the most useful traits a choir leader can have.



But sometimes – despite your best efforts – you become impatient. What can you do to prevent taking it out on your singers?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Finding song information – Chinese whispers, wishful thinking and the oral tradition

I was choosing songs for a project the other day when I remembered one that I really liked from way back.



However, with a bit of further research I discovered that it was a very lewd song and not suitable. So how come girl guides all over the world are singing it?

Monday, January 21, 2019

Tell your choir leader what you’re struggling with, otherwise they can’t help you

Sometimes one section of the choir struggles with their part. I ask what the problem is, but am faced with a sea of blank faces.

confused

If I don’t know what the difficulties are, I can’t help. Why won’t singers say why they’re struggling?

Monday, January 14, 2019

Where are all the birthday songs?

Today happens to be my birthday. Which got me thinking: how come most people in the world sing the same birthday song?

Birthday_candles
photo by Ed g2s

Where are all the other songs for birthdays?

Monday, January 07, 2019

Can you ‘be in the moment’ yet plan for the future?

There’s a lot of talk about ‘mindfulness’ these days. Of being present and in the moment.

Student expressions on the walls of the APEX center at the College of Wooster - APEX= Advising Planning Experiential learning

But if you are truly in the moment, how can you think about the future and plan ahead? Let’s look at this apparent contradiction.