Dress Them Up However You Want To, But They Are Still Dogs!
“Intonation problems tend to fall into two fundamental categories: physiological and psychological.” Physiological – Way that singers produce the tone Psychological – How singer hears tone before they sing Wine, Thomas, “Check Your Intonation,” The Choral Journal, (April 2004): 23-27.
“The majority of intonation problems stem from faults in vocal technique. This is mentioned to dispel one of the biggest myths regarding intonation: one with good ears does not always sing in tune…The biggest mistake choral conductors make is attributing a problem with intonation to ‘singers' understanding of a pitch, rather the production of it.” Skelton, Kevin D, “Choral Intonation,” The Choral Journal, (September 2005): 28-49.
Vowels – Open vs Closed – Tongue, Jaw, Lips – Modification Vowel/Placement/Production Closed (front) Closed (back) i e a o u LipsTongue Open
Breath Often lack of energy or commitment – ‘Quality’ of exhalation Posture Vocalisms – Tongue Trills/Lip Flips – ‘V’ Gestures/Movement – Twirl or Belly Slaps – Shake The Monkey – Fire Feet
Placement/Registration Typical Issues – Fuzz, lack of resonance – Pressed/Chesty/Heavy – Swallowed Funny Hum – Funny Hum Text “It Is A Fa Fa Fa Day” Top Down – falsetto or [tri-u]
“Engaging and connecting the mind’s ear to the vocal process is critical to developing independent singers with good intonation.” Johnson, Eric A & Klonoski, Edward, “Connecting the Inner Ear and the Voice,” The Choral Journal, (October 2003): 35-38.
Audiation – Multiple keys!!!?? – Imaginary Rehearsal Multiple Keys – Nursery Rhymes Twinkle (C) Mary (Bb) Row Row (D) My Bonnie (G) Stop Playing The Piano!
Change Keys – Sing a monophonic line and modulate gradually – Change the key of the piece – might fix your problem! Overtones – Nasal [i] – [si – e – a] ‘Shaw 16’ Chords – Root, 5 th, 3 rd
Building the chord 1. Root 2. Fifth 3. Third 4.Added tones
Choristers must posses “knowledge of musical and expressive concepts pertaining to intonation and well-tuned singing, particularly the establishment of a systematic approach to music reading” Grant, Joe, “Improving Pitch and Intonation,” The Choral Journal, (December 1987): 5-9.
Literacy Don’t train your kids to be mocking birds! – Teach them to read! Inhibitions – Fear of being wrong Culture of ‘testing’ If I don’t play it for them? – “No, but we can read it together!” – Raise your hand if you perceive you’ve made a mistake
Literacy Probing Questions – Was it correct? – What was wrong? How was it wrong? – Too High? Too Low? Etc. – How might we fix it? Basics – Direction – Step vs leap – Kids will get dangerously close!!!!! – Just take the time to talk about it
Literacy Try and teach/incorporate a little theory – Scales, intervals, chords – Teach them the vocabulary Error detection General rehearsal idea – CORNERS – Give them responsibility Solfege is your friend! – Hand-sign solfege can be your BEST friend!
Scales (paired with solfege also) – Major – Minor – Chromatic – Whole Tone – In Combination???!!!! – Round??? Call & Response – Neutral syllable – Solfege – Solfege – Interval – Neutral Syllable – Interval Literacy
Literacy - Solfege Moveable Do La Based Minor Hand-signs – Assessment Visual – may not sing it but you see it Writing similar – cognitively get it, just can’t perform – Range of Motion A singers ‘button?’
Literacy - Solfege In the Air First Patterns – Descending minor 3 rd – Arpeggio – Scales – Do, mi, re, fa, mi, sol, etc – Do, do re do, do re mi re do, etc ‘skip’ a note Make it a game – Do, re do, mi, do fa, do sol, etc
Literacy - Solfege Transfer to written page – NO STAFF – Circles first (whole notes) Stack thirds New chord next to it Add ‘lines’ ‘spread’ them out (scale) – Key Signatures WAY later!! Farthest Flat is Fa Last Sharp is Ti
Literacy - Solfege Write Solfege Into Score – It’s Ok!! Resources – John Armstrong http://www.armstrongmusicliteracy.com/solfege-by- the-sea.html http://www.armstrongmusicliteracy.com/solfege-by- the-sea.html http://www.armstrongmusicliteracy.com/146.pdf http://www.armstrongmusicliteracy.com/movieclip.ht ml http://www.armstrongmusicliteracy.com/movieclip.ht ml
Literacy - Solfege More Resources – Masterworks Press http://www.masterworkspress.com/files/catalog.pdf American Folk Songs 371 Bach Chorales Palestrina Motets – http://www.masterworkspress.com/files/palestrina.pdf http://www.masterworkspress.com/files/palestrina.pdf – Choral Net http://www.choralnet.org/list/resource/1888
”It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” ~ Howard Ruff (financial advisor)~ “Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” ~ Nido Qubein (President of High Point Univ) ~ REMEMBER!!!
Takes Longer – Slow And Steady Wins The Race!!!! – Better in long run Incorporate into your teaching/rehearsal style Be discerning – Every publisher has something they are ‘willing’ to sell you! IT WILL PAY OFF!!!!!! “I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” ~ Muhammad Ali ~
“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson (author: Treasure Island) ~
“Teaching, like any truly human activity, emerges from one’s inwardness, for better or worse. As I teach, I project the condition of my soul onto my students, my subject, and our way of being together. The entanglements I experience in the classroom are often no more or less than the convolutions of my inner life. Viewed from this angle, teaching holds a mirror to the soul. If I am willing to look in that mirror and not run from what I see, I have a chance to gain self-knowledge—and knowing myself is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject. -Parker Palmer from “The Courage to Teach”
When You Look Into the Mirror, What Do You See? Are you teaching and developing skills, independence, and LITERACY? – Or simply ‘pounding’ parts? What do you’re students deserve to see?