#173 How to take care of your choir members’ voices and promote good vocal habits

We believe that taking care of our singer’s voices is part of our responsibility as choir leaders. Plus it helps us to develop our choirs and create an amazing sound.

Part of our responsibility as choir leaders is to care for our singers and their voices. This can be easier said than done when we’re dealing with a large group, but there are practical steps we can take to encourage our singers to develop strength and stamina without forcing or overworking their voices. 

Essential learning points:

  • Don’t just dive in. Always start with a warm-up that builds from a gentle stretch right through to exercising the range, working on breath and creating flexibility in the voice.
  • Plan your rehearsal with your singers’ voices in mind. Find a balance between demanding pieces and other more gentle repertoire. Think about how each vocal part is affected.
  • Encourage engagement by minimising talking and giving people something to focus on. This might involve humming their part whilst another section is learning or just thinking through their part.
  • If learning is feeling difficult or people are getting stuck, intervene with some relaxation which will then help to bring the energy and focus back.
  • Finish each session with a cool down.

Key quotes:

“Singing isn’t just about your voice – it’s about your whole body.”

“We’re always looking for the things we can do that will help most of the people most of the time.”

“We need to focus on the things we can control.”

Comments on #173 How to take care of your choir members’ voices and promote good vocal habits

  1. Avatar Victoria Hopkins says:

    You’re welcome Erick. Thank you for your feedback.

  2. Avatar Alison Jones says:

    Interesting comment about the cool-down process. I tend to finish a session with something upbeat, or something heartbreakingly beautiful! I want singers to walk out the door feeling energised. So I guess this just shows the different individual temperaments of us MDs. Thanks for your podcasts, I love seeing how others do things.

    1. Avatar Victoria Hopkins says:

      I know what you mean Alison. Christine says that she does the same – finishes on a high – and THEN does the cooldown. She thinks it makes for a great atmosphere when people are leaving the rehearsal room. I haven’t tackled this cooldown thing yet and I keep meaning to!

  3. Thank you again for this valuable podcast! Maybe a little addendum:
    An osteophath can help you enormous to reduce the annoying mucus,
    for example with the aging voice, or voices with a cold.
    It is part of your digestion: everything you eat, drink has influence on your body.
    Singing with lax vox(the technique silicone tubes you use when you sing in a bottle of water). You can build this in your rehearsal as part of the warm ups for the voice.

    1. Avatar Victoria Hopkins says:

      You’re welcome Harrie.

  4. Avatar ERICK WASONGA DERE says:

    Thanks a lot, Victoria and Christine this is so helpful and brings in a relaxed way of training a choir and achieving more in a practice session in a more calm environment thanks again good approach

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