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Magic Choral Trick #172 Developing a Choir’s Spidey Senses

There’s something really magical, exciting and almost intimate about being part of a team that understands the group dynamic so well that great musical moments can be created by a fleeting eye contact or a slight expression of amusement.

As a director I find that singers’ Spidey Senses are activated as soon as I give the chorus less. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing this for the first time on a gig.

Sometimes we work with small groups first. The pitch is given, and then with no visual or audible cue – even from one of the singers – they decide as a unit when to begin.

Singing together with eyes closed will immediately kick start some of the other more subtle senses. It also seems to intensify the emotion of the song for the singers – which means that new vocal dynamics and colours can happen spontaneously.

One area in which this seems to work really well is with finding a natural choreography that everyone can feel.

The choreographer in my women’s chorus will tell us that a certain word or section needs something physical, then encourages the singers to do something that feels right. It’s amazing how often we end up with variations on a similar move – and something that expresses the text perfectly.

Here are two of the older posts that’ll help with the development of the chorus’ Spidey Senses.

The Electric Silence

Blending Back to Back

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