Intermediate Rehearsal Blog # 11 Thursday November 3rd

Vocalise Rehearsal #9: 10/31/16
November 4, 2016
Prep 1 Rehearsal Blog # 8 November 3rd
November 5, 2016

Intermediate Rehearsal Blog # 11 Thursday November 3rd

Greetings, Intermediate Singers!

Thank you so much for a focused and productive rehearsal on Thursday – Elena was so impressed by your sound, and your hard work and focus! Please keep up the great work and be sure to continue practicing at home so you can come prepared each week.

New 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!

THIS Saturday November 5th: Fall Choir Rehearsal & Concert

Where: First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto

When: Saturday, November 5 (morning until approx. 2 PM)

Call time: Intermediate: 10 AM

Clothing: Red Cantabile polo shirt, smart blue jeans, sneakers

Concert for parents: 1-2 PM


Action Items for this Week:

Stars Tonight – excellent work with Elena – I am so proud of you!

  • Recall all the points Elena worked on with you, particularly how you express the text with graceful singing, and tall, beautiful vowels – particularly words like “around” and “pines,” – words with diphthongs!
  • Practice conducting and performing cut-offs in order to be sure of when your final consonants come – recall what Elena said – final consonants are still part of the phrase and the music, so they should be connected, yet delicate and precise.
  • Continue to memorize not just the lyrics and pitches, but also the dynamic markings, tempo changes, and the sections where we added colors and painting to create phrases.
  • Be sure to count the measures and rests between sections, and watch for the pitch material for “cannot vex or tire” which is always a bit shaky!
  • Always think tall vowels and a relaxed jaw, particularly in the high sections (“White and topaz” and “Over my head”).

Rise Up Shepherd, and Follow – this is sounding very good – keep up the good work!

  • Study your score this week and have as much of this memorized as possible for tomorrow’s workshop– keep feeling the big 2, step and sway while you sing!
  • Part 1, be sure of your pitches in the opening section ( the response “rise up shepherd.”) Remember first you answer in unison, and the second time you respond in 2-part harmony. Know your line solid!
  • Watch for words lie “herd” and “word,” and other words with the R consonant. Keep the r light and focus more on the vowel being tall.

The Moon

  • Practice the phrasing and colors we incorporated last week – create phrases with your own motions for depicting the contrasting dynamics –  loud and soft, and crescendo/decrescendo.
  • Part 2, create delicate hills in the sections “Where will you go,” and “Over a cloud,” to keep your voices light and playful – this is like light laughter!
  • Focus on tall vowels and a beautiful “ooh.”
  • Have this performance ready for our Saturday workshop!

Shiru – good work, but more work is required!

  • Last week you made a breakthrough with learning the tricky passages (measure 30-55) but continued study is needed this week for reinforcement. Study the challenging sections and sing them everyday!
  • Memorize not just the lyrics and pitches, but also the dynamic markings, tempo changes, and the sections where we added colors and painting to create phrases.
  • Speak through the text with light and rhythmic voices, keeping the 4 rhythm block as you go (except for the measure in 3!)
  • Continue to listen and sing as you follow in your score
  • Watch and listen to yourselves rehearse – what do you think? It has so much potential!

Intermediate Shiru


  • Please completely memorize, including the dynamics and expressive elements of the song
  • Continue to study the text, and find all the diphthongs, and determine what vowel you will need to extend to create a beautiful sound (for instance “pine” should have a beautiful and tall “ah”).
  • Take special care to review the 2-part harmony section we worked so hard on, in mm. 37-44.
  • Please relax the face and jaw muscles as you sing in the higher sections of the song by gently placing your palms on your cheeks to produce tall vowel and a more vertical feel.
  • Feel a release and expansion in your ribcage between phrases!
  • Continue to Listen as you follow along in your score

Allunde Alluya

  • Please continue to listen and watch the video of Cantabile performing this in 2012, which also features beautiful movements which we will perform at the winter concert! This is a beautiful African Prayer Lullaby with Swahili text.

Musicianship A – start reviewing for your exam on November 17th!

This week, singers should use their books and past activities in musicianship to review these concepts:

Music Theory:

  • Identify 2nds, 3rds and octaves
  • Name all the notes of the keyboard
  • Name all the notes of the treble staff, with accidentals
  • Differentiate whole and half steps
  • Identify C and G major, both key signature and solfege
  • Identify simple meters (2/4, 3/4 and 4/4)
  • Write in counts for rhythms in those meters
  • Identify and explain basic vocabulary
    • Different note values
    • Dynamics

Aural Skills:

  • Sing a major diatonic scale on solfege syllables and with handsigns
  • Matching pitch accurately
  • Identify the difference between major and minor tonality
  • Sing major and minor triads

Singers working out of Book 2 should use their books and past activities in musicianship to review these concepts:

Music Theory:

  • Write a major scale (C, G, and F major)
  • Write in counts for rhythms including 16th notes
  • Music vocabulary (tempos and articulation markings)

Aural Skills:

  • Sing a diatonic scale (C, G, and F major)
  • Sing a tonic triad (in solfege)
  • Identify whole and half steps

Musicianship B – start reviewing for your mini-test!

This week, singers working out of Book 3 should review the following concepts:

  • Identify major key signatures up to four sharps and four flats
  • Know the order of sharps and flats
  • Identify and write all diatonic intervals
  • Write in counts for rhythms with mixed sixteenth and eighth notes
  • Sight read in keys up to two sharps or flat
  • Do simple dictation in those keys
  • Identify intervals
  • Sing a tonic and dominant triads (on solfege)

Singers who have completed Book 3

  • Please catch up on all your Noteflight assignments, including the comments and suggestions I have made.
  • Be prepared to perform 2-3 sight-singing examples for your mid-year test on November 17th in small groups. You can prepare by singing the major scales up to 4 flats or sharps, including low sol, la and ti, and reviewing counting in 4/4 and 6/8 time. Also review all the sight-singing examples we have worked in this term.

Have a great weekend! See you tomorrow at 10am in Palo Alto!


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