Nowadays when I give specific instructions about how I want something sung differently, the first time my group does it the way I want to hear it, I hold up one finger.
Without further instruction, they now know that we’re going back to the same starting point and that we need to drill this improvement.
After the second time, I hold up two fingers – which means that we’re going to go back and run the section one more time.
Ideally it would be three times right in a row, but sometimes there are mitigating circumstances like a power outage, or just not enough time for all the other work that has to get done that evening – so we do what we can, and press on.
The beauty of this arrangement is the time saved by me not having to talk, and the group now really understanding that anything new needs to be drilled in order to become habit.
And habits are what we’re building. Great singing habits are what allow us to think only about communicating the emotion when we’re performing.