Magic Choral Trick #102 Breathing Out

Been wracking my brain – trying to figure out why Moustache Hands (Post #97) works so well. There’ve been various suggestions – like the fact that because the rib cage is raised, there’s more room to breathe. Maybe – but we’ve tried rib raising tricks before which haven’t been as successful.

What I noticed yesterday evening was that when the chorus was using Moustache Hands it suddenly sounded like they had all the breath in the world. It’s almost as if when the hands are in that position it feels like playing a wind instrument. And the spot on the upper lip, through which the singing is being guided, acts to focus the sound – like the mouthpiece on a wind instrument.

I was reminding my Med School choir tonight to keep Breathing Out (whether I want the singing loud or soft) and that seems to produce a similar result.

I guess it’s the same concept as Wasting Air – but for some reason, singers hear the instruction in a slightly different way – and it’s working well.

I ask them to take in more air than they need, then make sure to breathe it all out – especially on sustained notes. What’s great about this is that the resulting sound is similar to Moustache Hands, and Breathing Out can be done in performance.

Hmmm. Perhaps it was necessary for the singers to have some experience with the incredible resonance of Moustache Hands before they could duplicate the result simply by thinking “Breathe Out, Breathe Out Breathe Out”

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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 March 21, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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