Magic Choral Trick #296 Sing the vowel – not the mouth shape

What’s going on in your mind is far more important than specific mouth shapes.

I find that if everyone is very clear about exactly what vowel the group should be thinking, then a completely relaxed, neutral mouth shape will allow the words to be crystal clear, and the sound well blended.

The synchronization will also be better because jaw hinges will not be moving different distances, and different speeds.

This technique works best when the chorus already understands the concept of target vowels, and diphthong/resolution vowels, and the importance of a relaxed tongue during the singing of the longer, initial (target) vowel.

Light = lah________eat

Day = Deh_________ee

Rose = Ro_________ooze

A high soft palate will also allow more resonance – making it unnecessary to open the mouth wide.

Eventually, when the group gets a sense of how little movement is necessary, I do allow them to open up more in the forte sections at the climax of the song.

When we train our minds to focus on the clarity of the vowel, the group’s sound is rich, resonant, blended and synchronized.

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 4, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: