Magic Choral Trick #333 Focus Hands
Many, many thanks to Alison Thompson (LABBS) for showing Harmony Inc.’s Area 1 choruses this in her class – the day before competition.
It was so amazingly effective that I immediately incorporated it into the way I directed all the sustained chords at phrase endings, and it transformed our sound!!!
During the 2 short rehearsals my women’s chorus had before the competition, I drilled this with them until just by watching me, they could recreate the feeling – and the incredible resonance.
I have absolutely no idea how this works – and no real interest in finding out – yet. (Just as I don’t feel the need to know why a light comes on when I flick the wall switch.)
1. Hands apart – palms facing each other, fingers together, and pointing upwards – as if saying “the fish was this big”
2. Smoothly and gradually, during the first part of the sustained chord, bring palms towards each other.
3. But then, with the hands/palms themselves in the same position, align them so that one is nearer your face – and the other is lined up beside it (thumb beside pinky of the other hand). The hands will still be upright (fingers pointing up), one palm still facing left, and the other right – forming a plane at right angles to your face.
The sound will already be more focused, but now comes the really magic part.
4. As a continuation of the movement, swivel the plane that your hands are forming so that the fingers point away from the body. While still maintaining that plane, move both hands away from the body together, as if pointing straight out, and keep the movement continuing forward until the end of the sustained chord.
This should all be done in one smooth movement from the beginning to the end of the sustained note.
However, you’ll soon want to be in a big hurry to get to the pointing outward phase, because the sound is so amazing!
You don’t even need to wait for your next rehearsal to try it. You’ll probably notice a difference right now if you do this when you’re singing a sustained note all by yourself.