Dear Intermediate Singers,
Thank you very much for your flexibility this week as we changed rehearsal rooms to allow for a special rehearsal to occur in the Parish Hall. And parents, we hope you enjoyed the impromptu concert in the Parish Hall at pick-up! We were happy to provide Intermediate with the opportunity to see a rehearsal of our top choirs, Aria and Bravi, with a trio of professional musicians from Pacific Mambo Orchestra, who are performing at the Cantabile Gala tomorrow evening.
OPEN REHEARSAL: Parents – we warmly invite you to our next Open Rehearsal, Thursday, February 29th, from 6:55-7:15 pm. Come and sit in (literally) with the choir to get a peek into the preparation process of our All Choir Concert. The staff at Cantabile loves to see parents enjoying music with their singers, and to this end, we will invite parents to join us on stage at the All Choir Concert to sing several songs with us! Don’t worry – we’ll get you prepared at the Open Rehearsals this semester.
To guide you in your practice this week, below you will find:
- Breathing meditation, standing position and Yoga Flow
- Warm ups
- Instructions for practicing each song, with rehearsal tracks and/or professional recordings of songs
- Musicianship homework assignments
- Trivia Question – just for fun!
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
- Sitting on the floor cross legged, close your eyes and lengthen your spine: crown reaching up/tailbone reaching into the ground, sternum lifted, chest expanded.)
- Notice your natural breath for several rounds, while relaxing your abdomen and facial muscles. Notice gentle expansion of the ribs and belly on the inhale.
- Empty the lungs completely by pulling the navel close to the spine but keeping the chest up. Inhale slowly and mindfully, filling up with air from bottom to mid- to upper lungs. Exhale slowly pulling the navel in. This is the extended breath.
- Continue with extended breath for a few more rounds. Feel your body expanding with shimmering luminous light and contracting into the belly. Notice your body relaxing and feeling lighter.
…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
- Inner heels, outer heels
- Mounds underneath big toes and little toes
- Big toes
- Activate the arches of feet by pressing down on the five points, 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. Then go into the yoga flow below.
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.
Remember our ABC’s:
Each practice session, take a few minutes to vocalise before you sing. The purpose of these exercises is not merely to warm the voice up, although that is important, but they also develop habits and muscle memory for good vocal technique. Regular practice of them will make you a better, stronger singer.
- Remember to imagine a softball in your mouth as you sing:
- Move your body with big swoops of the arms and by bending the knees while you sing:
- Remember not to wait at the top – take a quick breath and come right back down:
- Sing through the melody of Imagine using this vocal track.
- Tap a steady beat somewhere on your body. Notice when words fall between beats and give them a little accent.
Menina Me Da Sua Mao
Use this track to practice the Portuguese pronunciation:
Review your part, first singing on a neutral syllable like “doo,” then try putting the words together with the music.
When you are fairly confident on your part, try singing along with this recording and see if you can sing your part accurately.
Away From the Roll of the Sea
Here is a performance of the song by a youth choir in Austin, TX.
And here are the parts individually:
- Go through the rest of the song and fill in the solfege syllables under or over your part in the music.
- Practice singing the melody on solfege syllables first, then on words.
Come and Sing
- We will sing three part harmony on this song, Soprano, Soprano 2 and Alto. Go through the music and put a star or an X out to the left of your voice part’s staff on every score, or system of staves, on every page.
- Listen to this recording of Cantabile singing Come and Sing while following along in your music. Notice the singers’ tall vowels, crisp consonants and beautiful tone. We want to emulate these things as we sing.
- Soprano 1 – your voice track has both the high Soprano 1 part and the low Soprano 1 part at the end. Intermediate Soprano 1s will ONLY SING THE LOW Soprano 1 part. Do not practice the high part.
- Soprano 2 and Alto, use the NEW REHEARSAL TRACKS below to practice your own individual part. I have adjusted the ending to be what Intermediate will sing in your voice parts.
Banjo Pickin’ Girl
- Using the following rehearsal tracks, focus on the second half of the song first (page 9-end). Then go back to the beginning and memorize.
- Use this recording to practice the song with all the parts together.
- If you just started Book 2 this semester: pgs. 17-20 (or 16-20 if your book came late) NOTE: you should have received an adjusted schedule for homework this week. This is no different than the adjusted schedule that has been published in the blog for the last couple of weeks. You will notice that by next week, February 15, everyone should be finished through page 20. If you are not, you will need to catch up by the first rehearsal in March (after Ski Week).
- If you were half-way through Book 2 at the beginning of this semester: pgs. 29-30
Book 3, pages 31-32
Singers should have completed their composition assignment this past week. If you did not complete it, please do so immediately and email it to Jazmine (firstname.lastname@example.org). Additionally, if you did not submit your composition (via Noteflight or handwriting), please note that you are now late with this assignment, and you should complete it by no later than this Thursday. If you have any questions, please contact Jazmine immediately.
Voice Part Assignments
Soprano – Aarohi, Addie, Aidan, Amiya, Anika, Anthony,Chloe, Claire, Daniel, Elli, Irene, Kaitlyn, Kasmira, Montana, Nika, Pascal, Raghav, Rhea, Sara W., Sarah R., Kitty, Sophie, Sunayna
Alto – Asha, Ashwin, Ava, Elisabeth, Millie, Emily, Gabriel, Jacob, Julian, Kahaan, Kayla, Kiara, May, Maya, Naveli, Ruth, Sarah C., Stefan, Vivana
Soprano 1 – Aarohi, Addie, Amiya, Anika, Anthony, Claire, Daniel, Elli, Irene, Kaitlyn, Montana, Pascal, Sara W., Sarah R., Sunayna
Soprano 2 – Aidan, Asha, Chloe, Millie, Kasmira, May, Maya, Nika, Raghav, Rhea, Kitty, Sophie, Vivana
Alto – Ashwin, Elisabeth, Emily, Gabriel, Jacob, Julian, Kahaan, Kayla, Kiara, Naveli, Ruth, Sarah C., Stefan
Trivia Question: Without asking Alexa or Google, how many Beatles songs can you name? Note: you may ask your parents for help! We will see who can list the most songs in rehearsal next week.