Intermediate Blog # 8 Thursday March 2nd

Rehearsal #8/March 1st, 2017
March 4, 2017
March 6 – Bravi/VTG Rehearsal #7
March 9, 2017

Intermediate Blog # 8 Thursday March 2nd

Greetings, Intermediate Singers,

It was wonderful to see you last night after our week off, and thank you for a great rehearsal! I heard many beautiful sounds throughout the evening, along with stunning moments of pristine 2 and 3-part harmony – you are striving to reach our goal of beautiful singing and beautiful intonation.  Please continue to study your music at home as we start to memorize and PLEASE listen to all the vocal tracks provided below – we don’t want to review any more notes than we have to!

Trivia Question: Last night we learned a simple partner song based upon the Irish Blessing. What is the Irish Blessing’s origin and history?

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 and Recap


  • 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!

There Has to Be a Song

  • We are starting this next week – please listen!

Can You Hear Me?

  • Great continued work on this song, however, the 2-part sections require more study at home, particularly from Part 1!
  • We sang some sections in solfege last night: m. 4-7 and mm. 18-21 – these passages are similar and easily confused, so please study them and note their differences.
  • 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

  • Great work singing the “delicate section” (mm. 27-38) in solfege and singing it delicately as well – sopranos do not forget to make “finery” easy and light, like a walk on the beach! Use the motions we incorporated to improve the sound as you practice this week.
  • Listen to the vocal tracks while following along in your music!
  • Continue to review the measures we sang from the board, by singing in solfege: m. 17, m. 26, m. 30-31, and m. 36.
  • Continue to study the dynamics and how you can sing them healthfully, with plenty of expression and clarity in the text.
  • Listen, while following along in your score.


  • Great work! The addition of body percussion is truly giving the song rhythm and energy and helping to free up your voices. Brava! To review:
  1. During “Inkum kiddy kum kimo” it is clap-chest-chest pat-pat-stomp-stomp
  2. During “Bah bah bah bah billy illy inkum” it is clap-chest-clap-chest-clap-chest-chest-pat
  • 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!

For the Beauty of the Earth

  • Lovely work – this song is getting close to the polishing stage – please study the score as all the sections are similar, but different and easily confused. Try to remember the order of the verses:
  1. For the beauty of the earth
  2. For the beauty of each hour
  3. For the joy of human love
  4. For each perfect gift of thine

    I recommend speaking the text like a poem from memory!

  • 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! Sopranos, in rehearsal D, please remember to sing the word “hymn” for its full value, and sing on the “ih” vowel sound.
  • 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 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!

We Can Plant a Forest

  • This is sounding quite good, though please study the middle section (known as the “bridge”) mm. 48-56.
  • Write in the solfege for the 3-part sections. It is in B-flat.
  • This song is pitched quite low, so be sure to stand tall and use a light and focused voice in the lower part of your range, so as to not over-sing or “belt” – sing on the vowel, and use a scarf to encourage strong breath support for this one, too.
  • Listen and follow along in your score.


  • 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.

Musicianship A

Lovely job improvising Spring words and sight-reading some complex “Spring Rhythms” in 4/4 time. You also reviewed F major and sight-sang a beautiful piece about Spring, “Shine, Gentle Sun.”

  • Singers starting Book 2 should complete pages 22-24 – please make sure you are all caught up to these pages!
  • Singers continuing Book 2 should complete pages 35-36– please make sure you are all caught up to these pages!

Musicianship B

Lovely job improvising in 12/8 and sight-reading some complex “Spring Rhythms” in 12/8. You then reviewed the F major scale, and how to find its relative minor key, d minor and you also reviewed its notes below doh – low ti, lah, sol and fah.  Great job splitting up into groups to sight-sing in 6/8 and F major – I look forward to hearing more next week!

  • Book 3 singers should complete pages 35-36 – please make sure you are all caught up to these pages!

Singers who have completed Book 3

  • Log-in to Cantabile’s Noteflight (first name and first letter of last name) with password cantabile2016
  • Be sure you are all caught up with your assignments and have read and followed my comments and feedback which ARE NOW AVAILABLE. I am very impressed with your compositions! Next week, we will share some in class.
  • Please work on the attached sight-singing excerpts by:
  1. Identifying the key (major or minor)
  2. Writing in the solfege
  3. Identifying the time signature and how you would conduct this piece
  4. Sight-singing one piece per day

Trivia Answer: The Irish blessing is an ancient Celtic prayer. Celtic literature is famed for using images of nature and everyday life to speak of how God interacts with with His people.

Have a great weekend! See you next Thursday!



Advanced Sight-Singing

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