This is the first of a series of articles all about our singer’s voices and why we should be thinking about ways to develop, improve and protect them.
As choir leaders, we are in a position of responsibility. Whatever motivates our singers to come to choir – to develop their choral singing, to become a better performer or just to enjoy the social element, we have a duty of care and it’s vital that we help them to look after their voices. Ultimately, this benefits the choir, but on a personal level for individual singers, this development will help them to create a positive relationship with their singing and an understanding of how to care for their voice.
It’s important that we don’t baffle our singers with lots of technical jargon. This can immediately confuse and alienate those without a musical background. Demostrating exercises that promote good habits will be far more effective than explanations. Over the course of these articles, I’ll look at simple, practical exercises that we can use in our warm-ups to encourage good vocal technique including range-building, breath support, tone, pitch, posture and flexibility.
After five years of working with my choir, I’ve seen and heard the difference that a little vocal tuition can make. I’ve seen my singers grow in confidence and achieve fantastic results, which in turn keeps them coming back to rehearsals and being part of my choir. It’s extremely rewarding to see this development in your choir, and the choir reaps the benefit of your investment by creating a fantastic sound. There is nothing more satisfying and rewarding to spur you on in your choir-leading journey.
In my next article, I’ll look at the ways in which we can focus on vocal technique in rehearsal.