Magic Choral Trick #25 Cloud Lifting

Another magic trick to fix ‘end of phrase’ flaccidity. I used to ask people to imagine that they were lifting heavy weights, but when they were really feeling it, the grunting noises took away from the desired effect!

No – not really. However, sometimes there was some throat tension associated with the imaginary weights. Some people still respond well to being asked to use this kind of intensity, but not everyone.

Cloud lifting involves thinking of scooping up a large sproingy rain cloud at the end of each phrase (arms about 2 ft. apart). As with all lifting this needs to be done by bending the knees at the start of the movement, and not bending over and using the back.

You will notice a difference in the way men and women approach this task. Guys tend to think of the bending of the knees and the raising of the arms as two separate actions (and almost always, the arms rise too quickly and easily) – but what you want is for the body to act as a unified lifting device – more the way women naturally tend to lift.

Sometimes I request that people start off by thinking of lifting a small Volkswagon, then work their way to a more gentle cloudlike imagery.

Either way, what this establishes is that phrase endings are extremely important and require sustained mental energy.


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 12, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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