From: firstname.lastname@example.org (basstwo) Date: Fri, Oct 23, 1998, 12:08am (CST+1) To: email@example.com Subject: Fwd: Re: Belief in warm-up
Date: Thu, Oct 22, 1998, 3:43pm (CST+2) Reply to: A Discussion List For Those Interested in Barbershop Harmony Sender: A Discussion List For Those Interested in Barbershop Harmony From: "Eaker, Charles E (CRD)" Subject: Re: Belief in warm-up To: BBSHOP@ADMIN.HUMBERC.ON.CA
Deanna M. Quast asks:
So, I guess my question and plea for help is: HOW DO I EXPLAIN AND CAUSE THE ENTIRE CHORUS TO BUY INTO THE ENTIRE VOCALIZATION PROCESS.
If anyone has some TRICKS or words of wisdom I would be most grateful. Thanks in advance.
What has worked for us is to change the individual's focus from what the warm-up is doing to the individual to what it is doing to the chorus. It is fairly easy to make them see that they are not doing things together and have them focus on that. An interesting experiment is to say, "Repeat after me." Then just say "Ho!" without giving any direction. It's quite ragged. Have a good laugh over it, then ask them to focus on responding together. You don't have to do anything other than say "Ho!". Each time it gets more and more together until they start responding as a unit. This kind of bonding improves a chorus in many ways. Whatever you do, don't let the glarers realize that this is a useful vocal warm-up as well. Especially if you go to two or more Ho!s and change the interval of time between them. The concentration that you start to see in their faces is absolutely amazing.
Another thing we do is sing a unison OO for about 5 minutes or so. The focus is to make a study, continuous sound with NO audible interruptions. They may take a breath at any time, but no one should be able to hear it. Have them move up and down in half steps, and insist that they change pitch (and nothing but the pitch) together. Do the same thing with changes to other vowel sounds. Focus their attention on doing these things together and have them notice how what they're doing differs from the group (inner game awareness). Then move to harder things such has changing volume at various speeds.
So, look at the exercises you do and see how you can modify your presentation of them to shift the attention from the individual to what the
individual is doing
relative to the others in the chorus. Then continue to modify what you are doing to introduce more inner game techniques.
An individual can become "vocally warm" on the way to the rehearsal, but absolutely everyone in a chorus must engage in the non-verbal negotiations that are necessary for the chorus to achieve unity in attacks, vowels, releases, etc. Anyone who abstains from this, no matter how individually talented they are, will not know how the group has agreed to start and end sounds, for example, or when to turn diphthongs, etc. This is the message to get across.
-Chuck Eaker, Co-Director
The Electric City Chorus (SPEBSQSA - NED) Schenectady, NY
P.S.: We compete this coming weekend. I'll let you know whether any of this crap really works or not on Monday :-)