Magic Choral Trick #50!!!!! Quit Breathing Altogether During Up Tunes

Drastic issues call for drastic measures.

For years I’ve been frantically trying to find a way to get amateur choirs to sing legato when they’re doing an up tempo tune. Appealing to the intellect, and descriptions of what a smooth sound is, haven’t done any good at all.

However, I’ve now finally had some success with asking them to just not let me catch them breathing – ever – during the course of the song. Yes, they will actually breathe – but using only the strict rules for Perfect Staggered Breathing.

The result is no Energy Leaks, no gaping holes in the sound, accurate steady rhythm, more forward motion, singing that’s less syllabic and a much greater excitement in the delivery. Sure, there will still be some synchronization things to fix, where once there were the gaping holes – but the overall smoothness is much better.

Once the smoother style of singing the song has become habit, then a few judicious breaths need to be put back in so that the audience isn’t left gasping for air.

Also up tempo tunes tend to be the ones with all the choreography, and the chorus will need the occasional synchronized breath.


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 January 6, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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