Friday, October 31, 2014

Fun Friday - Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

I love the words to this song.  It is so very real especially in this busy time of year.  We sometimes get all wrapped up in what DIDN'T work.  Well, as Taylor Swift suggests we sometimes need to shake it off.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tonal Tuesday - How to Keep Your Voice in Good Health

business,females,harmony,males,men,metaphors,music,people,persons,singers,teamwork,women,working togetherThis is the time of year for colds and sniffles and lots of singing.  With the changes in weather and here in Canada the turning on of heating, our voices can really start to feel less than great.

How can you tell if your voice is "sick"?  And more importantly, what do you do about it?

1. I can't sing softly or reach my usual sounds - When you have a cold or an overused voice, it is often really hard to sing softly.
             - stop talking & singing and DO NOT WHISPER.  Whispering can be really hard on your voice.  If you must talk, do so in a normal tone and try not to be too loud.  Your best bet is to rest your voice.

2. No matter what I do, my voice is scratchy after singing & talking.
            - you need to change your voice placement.  You probably have learned to keep your voice at the back of your throat.  It is a common speaking method these days.  Try standing feet apart, balancing on the balls of your feet.  Be comfortably tall.  Sing a simple song like Row, Row, Row Your Boat.   Now, without moving your stance pull up your spine, open up your mouth and pull your chin down slightly as you sing.  Feel the difference.  Do all of the above and pinch your nose just below the bridge.  Sing again and pay attention to how your voice feels.  If you can't change your voice placement yourself, perhaps a couple of lessons from a vocal coach will be worth the investment.  Your choir leader would be happy to help as well.

3. Why can the other singers sing without difficulty & I struggle with my vocal health?
           - heredity plays a big role in your vocal health.  Ask family members to find out if there are things you can do to minimize your vocal problems.
            - if you stay up late, eat poorly & talk and sing all the time, you are causing damage.  Regular rest is really important.  Maybe the other singers are not abusing their voices in the same way.  Rest, eat well and drink lots of clear fluids.

In summary, get enough rest, eat well.  Don't have milk before singing or speaking.  Check your voice placement and get help if needed.  Protect your voice and you can be like Tony Bennett at 85 or Tina Turner at 69 still doing concerts.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fun Friday - Iconic Melbourne Piano Street Performer

This lady plays no matter that her hands are very arthritic, that the wind is blowing, that the garbage is scudding by.  Wow!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tonal Tuesday - Hamilton Children's Choir at the 12th International Youth Choir Festival...

We are so proud of our Hamilton Children's Choir.  Well done all.  Please note while you listen that they have costumes on.  We discussed this idea last year.
They also have some unique ideas about how to stand.   Enjoy at least one or two of their beautiful pieces send them a tweet.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fun Friday - If You Can Walk You Can Dance....

I couldn't agree more with these words.  The timing is really tricky in my mind.  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tonal Tuesday - Oh Happy Day Or Not

Yes, indeed it has been a happy day.  It is our Canadian Thanksgiving Monday.  I spent the last few days at a large country fair meeting and greeting lots of people.  Happy days.  I talked to our daughter in England and she celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving making a typical feast and inviting friends to her new flat. Happy day.  It didn't rain on our day.  Even happier day.

It is every bit as possible that the same or opposite could have happened to some or all of your choir.  Then they come to practice.  They may start out the practice like this song starts out after the warm up. 

So how does Whoopi Goldberg get them on the same musical page?  Better yet, how will we do the same at one of those draggy, rainy day type rehearsals?
Why don't you try:
1.  Singing a fun song - Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Frères Jacques together.  a tongue twister like Betty Botter Bought Some Butter or Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers.  Don't know the tune then make it up.

2.  Use a different voice - Sing as if you were a dog.  Ruff, ruff, ruff ruff ruff.  Woof, woof, woof, woof woof. Yip, yip, yip yip yip yip yip.  Bark bark bark bark bark is Row, Row, Row in "dog".  You get the idea.  Sing as if you are a small child, very cold, very tired.  

3. Sing a song replacing all consonants with "s" or "d" etc. - You will create some really fun words.  Remember that singing is REALLY serious stuff except when you are doing the above. 

You get the idea.  When the choir in the video loses their courage, Whoopi reverts to warm up sounds.  Will that work?  You won't know until you try.  The main thing is that you mix things up and don't get into ruts.  When you do things differently, you hear and understand differently.  Above all HAVE FUN!!!!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Star Wars (John Williams Is The Man) a cappella tribute medley song - Co...

Thanks Elaine for finding this one.  Imagine how tricky it could be to record all 4 parts separately and make them work together.  Fun.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tonal Tuesday - Happiness Is ---

Charlie Brown is an everyday hero who represents us all at one time or another.  When you listen to the words of the song you notice that Happiness Is all those things that are easily taken for granted.  

Happiness is all around us.  Here is my choir happiness list.
1. New Formation - We practised in a single line semi-circle last practice and the sound was wonderful.  A few of the choir mentioned that they enjoyed it as they could hear other parts better.  Yes!

2. New Song - We sang a Calypso Carol by Michael Perry new to most of the singers.  They really enjoyed it and sang oh so well.  We sang No Tears in Heaven as well which was a great contrast.  Then we ended practice with Peace, Peace a partner song with Silent Night.  Oh boy.  My heart was just so full.

3.  New Singer - We added a tenor & he fits right in.  He loves to sing & is lots of fun.  Our tenors are back up to strength.  The balance was oh so yummy. Hallelujah. 

4. Excitement, fun & singing - We were excited about using our songs from the past & adding the new ones.  Laughter reigned as we made our way through Baby It's Cold Outside ending.  When the bumps were ironed out (mostly), it was so good.  

Yes, happiness is choir & all its component parts.  Thanks ETS.  You are simply wonderful.  What is your happiness?