Magic Choral Trick #164 Visual Cue for a Tall ee Vowel

This one is so simple, and really effective. It came to us from Barry Towner, a Barbershop Harmony Society presentation judge.

When some of your group are singing a wide ‘ee’ or ‘ay’ vowel this simple director’s movement will fix it.

To get to the starting position:

Left arm straight out, palm down. Bend elbow to 90 degrees – so that the arm is in the position it would be in if you were standing with your forearm resting on a counter or bar.

With the arm in this position, have the choir sing a sustained pitch on an ‘ee’ vowel.

Now, with the elbow still bent to 90 degrees, trace a quarter of a circle upwards with the finger tips of the left hand. The left palm will end up facing to the right and the finger tips will be pointing upwards. The movement will remind you of a speedometer going from zero to sixty. (Actually – this analogy would work better if you were using your right arm)

Anyway – as the forearm begins to move, and the fingertips begin to point upwards, the choir’s ‘ee’ vowel will become taller and more matched. They can’t seem to resist!

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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 July 3, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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