Magic Choral Trick #19 Breathing in Through the Vowel Shape

A great trick to having the beginnings of phrases perfectly synchronized.

This one is so easy – but choruses need to be reminded and reminded before it becomes habit. I have an easy way to do this reminding without irritating the singers – but it’s something I’ll have to show you when I get the video/youtube thing going…

If the first word’s target vowel is ‘oh’, ask the singers to form the vowel shape before they take the breath to start the phrase – even if there’s a consonant or a consonant blend that’s going to happen before they get to the vowel. An example of this would be the word ‘grow’.

If they breathe in on ‘oh’, and then you show them exactly where you want that vowel to happen, the ‘gr’ will magically become much less intrusive because all of their focus is on getting that target vowel right on the beat. You probably will never again have a problem with this word being sung ‘guherrroh’.

It’s almost as if forming the target vowel ahead of time imprints the shape in the singers’ mouths and minds – and the sound locks in much more quickly.

If some of you are wondering if this rule still applies with the Nothing Vowel Shape, the answer is absolutely – whether the sound to be made is a short vowel, a neutral vowel or when breathing in before a couple of pick up notes.


About janetkidd

I've been waving my arms in front of choirs now for more than 35 years - and these are descriptions of all the very best things I've learned. I direct a Women's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Men's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Med School choir, and for a few weeks each year - Big Choir (about 100 voices) - which performs at an annual fundraising concert. Hope at least some of these Choral Magic Tricks will be useful to you - and thanks for reading. Janet

Posted on December 6, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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