Intermediate Rehearsal Blog

You accomplished a great deal in last night’s rehearsal; we were able to touch upon a number of challenging sections in several of your songs, and made our way through most of your repertoire for the Spring concert. I am confident that you will have your songs memorized and ready for polishing by the end of February, which will allow us a lot of time to polish and explore other songs, as well! Keep up the good work, and please listen to all the vocal tracks I made for you today HERE!

Trivia Question: This week we did some rhythmic activities centered around National Parks – one of them being the Gates of the Arctic. Where is this park?

Practice Log: It is very important to practice at home, and to know how much you are doing each week. At Cantabile, we expect our Intermediate singers to practice at least 20 minutes per day. Please use this practice log every Thursday morning as a tool to record the approximate number of minutes you have practiced that week (for example, Week of 10/20: 106 min). This does not include musicianship homework. The singer who has logged the most number of minutes will receive a special prize on the last day of rehearsal!

Action Items

Warm-ups

  • If you practice, you must warm up as well, as we do in rehearsal. You can choose from any number of warm-ups we do, and move up and down by half-steps: Mama Made Me Mash, Vowels (Oooh Oh Ah Eh Eee), My Dog Has Fleas, Sing Ee Sing Eh Song Ah, I Sing My Song La-la-la, Soda Pop Can…and many more!

Can You Hear Me?

  • Excellent start on both the music and sign language for this incredibly moving piece. It took a bit of work to get started, but you were already singing it quite successfully in 2-part harmony. Listen to the vocal tracks this week whilst following in your music.
  • Also watch this video of Biralee Chorus from Australia – their sign language is largely what I would like to use, with a few additions.

My Maple Tree and Me

  • Listen to the vocal tracks while following along in your music!
  • Continue to review the measures we sang from the board last week, by singing in solfege: m. 17, m. 26, m. 30-31, and m. 36.
  • Remember to breathe through all your sustained notes and give them energy and direction – aide this by pointing to the sky as you sing, creating a wheel like motion, or another motion to imply that the phrase is still moving – this will help the pitch stay vibrant and in-tune.
  • Continue to look for tied and syncopated rhythms in the song. Practice clapping the rhythm first without the ties, and then add them in, as we did in class this week. When you listen, see how accurate you were!
  • Listen, while following along in your score.

For the Beauty of the Earth

  • Listen to the vocal tracks while following along in your music!
  • Excellent work on the final section with all those time signature changes: From 3/8 to 2/4 to 4/4 – mastering it first with body percussion was very helpful – continue to practice this way at home!
  • Continue to review these sections in solfege: 1. Page 5 “of the day and of the night..” 2. Page 6 “Lord of all…..hymn of praise.” 3. Page 7 “Friends on earth..//thoughts and mild.”
  • Continue to watch your vowel for the word “Praise,” keeping it tall and beautiful – the “p” and the “r” should be quick and delicate.
  • Continue to watch the rhythm and the way you pronounce the word “praise,” with dotted quarter note-sixteenth notes  – this should be a precise rhythm, but sound like easy laughter at the same time!
  • Continue to find all the phrases which have sustained notes such as half notes, dotted half notes, whole notes, and tied whole notes – how will you continue the sound and give the note direction? Use your finger to “paint” the phrase or aim the note in a direction so the music continues to move!
  • Continue to read the lyrics aloud like a poem
  • Listen whilst following along in your score.
  • Practice singing whilst keeping the 2 Rhythm Block, alternating between right and left sides. Prepare your breath by expanding the rib cage and releasing on an exhale as you sing tall and beautiful vowels. Remember the sections which are like laughter!

Kimineero

  • Listen to the vocal tracks whilst following along in your score.
  • Continue to review the refrain which does feature tricky harmonies in mm. 14-16
  • Please review the final section from our key change (m. 89) to the end of the song, particularly the last page, which some singers are rushing. Keep your 2 Rhythm Block and sing it slowly!
  • If you have not yet done so, please go through the entire song and circle the dynamics, taking note of the contrasts between loud and soft throughout the song, and how they relate to the text. Practice the song while implementing the dynamics.
  • Step to the beat and speak through text with a highly rhythmic and crisp approach, giving extra energy to you “K” consonants and contrast in the mood as you tell this macabre tale
  • Continue to Listen while following along in your score.

Kusimama

  • Listen to the vocal tracks while following along in your score.
  • Continue to review the following:
  1. Sopranos: m. 7, m. 11, m. 15 mm. 43-45 – also remember to check for all sustained notes and to sing through them for their full value, for example m. 16 on “do”.
  2. Altos: m. 7, m. 8, m. 10, m. 12-14 – you must also keep track of longer notes, and be sure to hold the “oh” in measure 13 for its full value to create a dramatic harmony with part 1!
  • Reinforce this song’s complex rhythmic motifs by keeping your 4-Rhythm Block whilst singing or chanting the different sections.
  • Please remember the true literal pronunciation and practice speaking in rhythm:

Koo-see-ma-ma, mee-mee koo-see-ma-ma, nah yoo-pen-doh, nah tai-mah-nee, wa-toh-toh nee kah-ree-boo doo-nee-yah

  • Continue to watch this amazing video from Cantabile’s Spring Concert in 2013 to review the dance moves that you learned!

Thula Klizeo

  • Listen to the vocal tracks while following along in your score.

We Can Plant a Forest

Musicianship A

Lovely job playing and chanting the National Park Rhythms in 3/8! You also studied the role offlats, sharps and natural signs and worked on sight-singing in the key of F major, in 3/8 time!

  • Singers starting Book 2 should complete pages 16-18 – please make sure you are all caught up to these pages!
  • Singers continuing Book 2 should complete pages 31-32 – please make sure you are all caught up to these pages!

Musicianship B

  • Book 3 singers should complete pages 31-32 – please make sure you are all caught up to these pages!
  • Lovely job improvising in 6/8 and playing those complex park rhythms in 6/8. We also discussed how to find the relative minor key of a major key and then sight-sang in e minor, in 4-part canon. It sounded lovely.

**Advanced Intermediate B singers – please spend this week reviewing intervals and key signatures and for those of you who are feel confident, these chords. Next week I would like for you to help me review some of these concepts with the rest of the class, by explaining how we study them, writing some on the board for us to identify, and playing some basic intervals and triads on the piano for us to aurally identify!

Trivia Answer: The Gates of the Arctic is a National Park located in Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle.

Have a great week! See you Thursday!

Warmly,

Katie

February 11, 2017

Intermediate Chorus Rehearsal # 6 Thursday February 9th

Greetings, Intermediate Singers, You accomplished a great deal in last night’s rehearsal; we were able to touch upon a number of challenging sections in several of your songs, and made our way through most of your repertoire for the Spring concert. I am confident that you will have your songs memorized and ready for polishing by the end of February, which […]
February 4, 2017

Intermediate Rehearsal # 5 Thursday February 3rd

Greetings, Intermediate Singers, Thank you very much for your hard work and focus last night  – we again embarked upon some much-needed part-work and we are now almost ready to have some serious fun with these songs! Get ready for much movement and imaginative exploration as we turn these songs into adventurous works of art – and please, keep up […]
January 27, 2017

Intermediate Rehearsal # 4 Thursday January 26th

Greetings, Intermediate Singers, Thank you very much for your hard work and focus last night  – there was a lot of sight-singing and part-learning involved, which can be challenging and static, but will pave the way for great artistic moments later in the semester. You are actually learning your music so quickly that I may be hunting down some additional […]
January 20, 2017

Intermediate Rehearsal Blog # 3 January 19th

Greetings, Intermediate Singers, I heard great things about your work with Maggie, Elena, and Jazmine last night! Thank you for your flexibility and openness to new approaches, while maintaining a high level of musicianship and beautiful singing. I was called away very suddenly this week, and I greatly missed working with you last night. I will be back with bells […]
January 14, 2017

Intermediate Blog Rehearsal # 2/January 12th

Greetings, Intermediate Singers, Thank you for your great work in last night’s rehearsal. I could tell from your singing and the questions you answered that many of you had practiced your songs and diligently read the blog. Even in these first few weeks I continue to hear growth in the beauty and depth of your sound, and your hard work and […]
January 7, 2017

Intermediate Blog Rehearsal # 1 / January 5th

Greetings, Intermediate Singers, Thank you for a wonderful first rehearsal back from Winter Break. I missed you all dearly, and it was such a pleasure to jump right back in and continue our musical journey together, with plenty of movement, fun, and beautiful singing. Our Spring concert in May seems a long time away, but this semester has a way […]
November 18, 2016

Intermediate Rehearsal Blog # 13 REPOST

Greetings, Intermediate Singers! Thank you so much for a focused and productive rehearsal yesterday– our next meeting will be at our dress rehearsal on the California Theater Stage, and we are in good shape. Please keep up the great work and be sure to continue practicing at home so you can be prepared to do some extensive polishing and detailed […]
November 12, 2016

Intermediate Rehearsal Blog # 12 Thursday November 10th

Greetings, Intermediate Singers! Thank you so much for a focused and productive rehearsal on Thursday – we only have one rehearsal left before our dress rehearsal on the California Theater Stage, and we are in good shape. Please keep up the great work and be sure to continue practicing at home so you can be prepared to do some extensive polishing and […]