September lies in wait after August. It’s time to think about the singing that lies ahead, whether you’re in front of the choir or in front of the director.
And what’s a rehearsal without a warm-up?
The ascending five-note warm-up is the old grey mare in the singer/director/s stable!
Remember your first voice placement screening? Indeed, most of us start on a comfortable low note and go up by half-steps until the some alto puts her foot down or our own voice gives out.
Well, as many of us get ready for the fall choir season, why not try something new! Instead of going up and then down.
GO DOWN AND THEN UP!
And if that isn’t heretical enough, instead of working your way up by half-steps,
GO DOWN BY HALF-STEPS!
This is much easier on the voice. Singers inevitably associate rising pitches with stress and start tightening and squeezing every available muscle Just keep it light and easy, musical and pleasing.
After you’ve gone down for a while, go back to the starting point and go up. The pattern is still five DOWN and back up. Your basses and altos will love you, even if the sopranos and tenors have to hold off on their soaring. You and your singers will be more relaxed, especially if no one has been doing much singing over a summer break.
Remember, warm-ups should be easy and relaxed whether performed in the shower (where I sound magnificent!), in the car (where I focus on the relaxation aspect), or in a rehearsal.
So, stand your warm-up on its head! I promise you’ll love it.