Choir Practice (Week 4 of 10)

February 26, 2010

* A life-changing breakthrough. One continuous air flow from diaphragm to lips, with brighter sound through exercising the soft palate muscles. I put it all down to having the tongue rest lightly against the back of lower front teeth. The difference caused by relaxing the tongue and keeping it out of the way was phenomenal. Letting my body decide what I’m doing instead of my brain. I think all my long life I’ve been allowing the singing to be dominated by the lips and the tongue jumping all around the place madly.

* Confident deportment and expanding the chest to get the breath going.

* Clapping back dotted rhythms – four to half to single beats to half beats.

* Moving from throwing out the voice with a lot of air, to making the same sound with virutally no air at the lips.

* Attacking the note with tongue and soft palate ready right on the start of the note, not the slow ‘revving up of the engines’.

* Arrogance/hubris of getting everything right and refraining from knocking others over with the vocal power generated, especially at the first note – making it ‘natural’.

* Moving effectively from chest to head voice in the top of our vocal ranges.

* Rescuing pitch by moving to “ell” or “hll” mouth/lip position.

* Moving from ha to he to hi in quick succession and mopving (while maintaining a loose jaw) the back of the mouth in concert with the subtle changes in the lips and pushing as required from the diaphragm (especially if lack of air causes the vocal chords to wobble or ‘crack’). Emphasis on the word subtle, because for the most part it’s about an open mouth.

* Tone and semitone gradations within the major scale and implications for notating with sharps. Investigated hearing and repeating sung semitones and tones. This was Pyhagorus and Plato and the systems of music for the Ancient Greeks and the early Christians and the medieval period. Behind all this sits the Greek and Medieval modes.  It doesn’t bear questioning – it simply “is”!

* Singing major scale in groups of one, two, three and four slurred notes.

Chunes next week!


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