Thank you for a productive and meaningful rehearsal this week. We did not get to the part-testing I had planned to do, but I felt it was important to take a few minutes to talk about the events in Las Vegas earlier in the week. Parents, we talked about how it would be normal for singers to be experiencing many emotions after such an event – shock, sadness, fear, anxiety. Many of the singers shared how their teachers at school had been working with them and giving them ways to process these emotions. At Ensemble rehearsal, we talked about what we could do, here in our own little corner of the world, about such a tragedy. I shared a quote with the singers from Leonard Bernstein, a great American composer and conductor, who had these words to say in response to the assassination of John F. Kennedy back in 1963:
This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. And with each note we will honor his spirit, commemorate his courage and reaffirm his faith in the triumph of the mind.
Here, Bernstein was speaking of Kennedy, but I suggested to the singers that perhaps we could dedicate our rehearsal to honor the people who lost their lives in Las Vegas. Those folks will never know that we did this for them, but in doing so, we keep their stories alive and let them not be forgotten.
So, let us continue to make music intensely, beautifully and devotedly!
Practicing for next rehearsal in detail: WHAT and HOW
Just a reminder that practice time expectation for the Ensemble choir is 90 minutes per week. Lori recommends this routine:
BREATHING MEDITATION, STANDING POSITION AND A YOGA FLOW
Continue practicing breathing as follows (5 min a day.) This technique will not only relax and center you but will also greatly improve your ability to sing long sustained phrases.
MInd and body are one continuum, reconnected through breath
Is the most important pose to learn for anyone who wants to improve his/her singing, posture, health, wellbeing and creativity!
Here is your “template” practice daily and try to keep this posture intact while walking too!
Stand with FEET parallel, feeling “rooted” through the 5 points in connection in both feet
Activate the arches of feet, relax the KNEES with a microbend
Tap THIGHS to activate them but stay relaxed
Tuck and tip pelvis slightly to find the neutral position of the HIPS: in line with knees and heels
Lift STERNUM noticing the space between hips and RIB CAGE
Relax SHOULDERS down and back (shoulder blades tucking into imaginary pockets)
ARMS relaxed and long, by your side
Reach up through sides of the SKULL, CHIN tucked in, JAW relaxed, NECK elongated.
Gentle smile – – feeling calm, present, rooted to the groups and open to the limitless sky of possibilities.
Our first yoga flow…
Singers and musicians of any kind, athletes of all types, and creative people all over the world have long recognized the power, benefits and joy of yoga. Mindful, fluid movement through yogic poses — a flow — is one of the greatest ways to re-align your body with your mind, to feel calm, joyful and energetic. We will spend about 5 min at each rehearsal practicing different poses — monkeys, pigeons, roosters, green dragons, cats, cows, dogs and sphinxes!
Flow #1 (Forward bend/monkey/chair)
Begin in standing pose (as described above)
Hands together in front, slowly raising them to a forward salute (inhale)
Exhale — forward bend: round the back, release neck, head, arms; let gravity pull you down, stretching the hamstrings, lower back, calves.
PLace hands on lower back, bend knees, chin tucked: slowly unbend – vertebra by vertebra- to standing, neck and head come to place last — this takes INHALE and EXHALE
Slowly bring arms up as before, inhaling — forward salute and forward arch
Exhale- forward bend
INhale — monkey (legs straight but relaxed, spine straight and long,hands on knees, back and head make a “table”
Exhale — forward fold, bend knees
INhale — Chair (knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms raised above head.
Exhale — standing
Exhale into standing.
Peter, Go Ring-A Dem Bells
Here is the recording of of the full performance of this song.
NOTE: if any recording file tells you you need permission to access, go ahead and request permission. I will open it to you as soon as possible.
The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy
Concentrate on the section of this song that has 3-part division: p. 9-12. Use these rehearsal tracks:
Unending Flame by Paul Carey
Caribbean Mass (Santo and Agnus Dei)
OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS:
Happy practicing! If you ever have questions or need help with an assignment, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .