Magic Choral Trick #100 My Top Twelve Favourite

My goodness, that new trick – Moustache hands is fantastic! I just used it again tonight, and the results were as good as they were on the coaching weekend, and as good as they were with my Women’s chorus last night, and my Men’s chorus two nights ago. Simply amazing how something that easy and that simple could create such resonance in a chorus’ sound.

1. So Moustache Hands would have to be my current favourite.

2. Brass Buzz – the reset button for the voice. What to do when there’s no time to warm
Up. As for sound – bigger and brighter.

3. Breath of Fire. Not only does this get the breathing apparatus functioning – it wakes up
the brain, and helps to free up stuck energy in the diaphragm area – even if the
stuckness has been there all your life. Choral sound becomes richer and more blended.

4. Korg Tuner. Tuning – the ultimate challenge for an amateur choir. With this tool, pitch
is no longer a matter of opinion. No hurt feelings, it’s either right or wrong – and
singers can work on their tuning at home and get accurate feedback.

5. Rehearsal Schedules. Try using them for a while – then run a rehearsal without
one, and you’ll feel like the evening is periodically grinding to a standstill. Not
nearly as much fun.

6. Elastic Bands

7. Toes Down Through Soles of Shoes. Both of these are two of the very best tricks
I know for keeping the energy moving right through to the end of a phrase.

8. Sumo Squat. Obviously not for choir members with compromised knees – but for
those who can do it – great big rich, blended sound.

9. Zzzzzzzz. The beginning of every warm up that I do with everyone – choirs and
students. Also a great tool for working on the high range.

10. Jin Shin Jyutsu holding points. In addition to calming everyone down – a wonderful
blending technique.

11. Inner Smile – Lifts the ‘apples’ of the cheeks and creates more resonating space. Also
works from a presentation point of view – makes the singers look vaguely interested.

12. Laser Eyes (through the director’s head). Appearance of the choir more blended – and
the audience will feel the intensity.

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 February 29, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. All of these WORK!..must be time for me to get out my elastic bands again-I had forgotten them…

  2. What model of Korg tuner do you use for voices?

    • Hi Hugh – My Korg Tuner says Chromatic Tuner CA-30, though I’m pretty sure there are now newer models. The important thing is that the tuner be a Chromatic one – so that it can identify every one of the twelve pitches – and not just the four needed to tune a guitar or a bass.

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