Magic Choral Trick #225 The Prayer Hands Slide
Here’s one that’s been working well for me even though I haven’t said a word about it to any of my groups. My communication has been completely visual.
This can be used by Directors or by singers (during individual practise time, or during rehearsal.)
Palms of the hands together in the universally accepted prayer position. Fingers pointing upward.
Now move them apart about an inch. This is the starting position for the gesture.
At the start of a sustained note, energize the hands. No kidding – strong enough to resist someone pushing against them.
Begin immediately to move the right hand straight upwards, and the left hand on a parallel track downwards.
Isometric pressure is important here. Imagine that you’re having to press your right hand’s finger tips, and the heel of your left hand through some sort of thick, sproingy, semi liquid material. (Maybe some still warm and not quite solidified rubber) The movement is slow, smooth and intense.
The singers (when they’re watching) automatically sing with a ‘taller’ more resonant sound.
Directors – as usual you can test this out by having the chorus sing a phrase once, then asking them to sing it again while they watch your hands.
Singers – When you do this yourselves on any sustained note, you’re helping your body to make tall singing a habit, and you’re helping your mind to stay engaged. There’ll be more spin and forward motion to the sound when the mind is focused on the hands’ intense (and slow) physical movement.