Magic Choral Trick #122 Eyes Closed – Synchronization
I just scanned through my list of previous posts and can’t believe I haven’t yet mentioned this one.
When the synchronization is not yet locked in for a particular phrase I ask my choir members to close their eyes and sing it. It usually takes only a couple of repetitions to clean it up – though by the next week it’ll need to be reinforced.
I think what’s happening here is that with the eyes closed, the Spidey Senses are activated. It’s probably a holdover, imprinted from earlier times, from when we had to listen for sabre toothed tigers in the dark.
I say this because singing together with eyes closed activates not only a greater ability to listen, but also a more keen intuitive sense of group. It reminds me of those flocks of birds that all swoop around together in perfect formation. I’m quite sure there isn’t one guy at the back yelling out “swoop left and downwards at 30 degrees!”
I wouldn’t be surprised if a choir singing with eyes closed turns on some sort of switch that makes us aware of a group energy field. This is also the sort of awareness that we seem to switch on when we walk into a room where there’s a group of people who all know each other – but not us. We immediately pick up a sense of this new group as we stay alert for signs of welcome or disapproval.
Synchronization isn’t the only technical aspect that’s improved with singing with the eyes closed. Blend and balance also work better. Because of this, I try to incorporate some eyes closed time into rehearsals as often as possible.