Improving Your Singing

Having spent most of my life singing as a soloist and learning the vocal technique required to sing solo it has been a real joy over the last few months putting together my workshop series "Improve your Singing" which aim delivering to over forty vocally hungry choral singers at Harrow Choral Society over the next five weeks. Where to start, what to include were my first necessary questions and it is indeed hugely important for any singer to have knowledge of the core competencies of Postural Alignment and Breathing. Interestingly most singers come to me complaining of not being able to breath sufficiently throughout a phrase...

There will be sessions on primal sound, soft and loud singing, resonance, articulation, phonation and so on - but a choral singer needs more... the ability to blend and be a valuable part of a whole is so important on choral singing and how to do that is going to be a hugely interesting area. Many choral singers also can neglect the vitally important area of interpretation, but choirs who can get on this are so overwhelmingly addictive to listen to and watch....

The first session was pretty full on but the choir members sat wrapt in thought, though there were many opportunities to practise the techniques we had explored and discovered. the Durufle Requiem playing the part of test exercise, beautifully accompanied by Simon Williams. We saw how intention helped bring out the emotion and that dynamics came from the intention first. We discovered the importance of preparation of breath for each phrase and how we need to use our ears far more than we thought in the choral context.

The course is taking the choir to places they were not expecting, but there were many "aha" moments along the way and I am so looking forward to exploring further next week and hearing wonderful outcomes!

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