Intermediate Chorus Rehearsal # 7 Thursday February 16th

Rehearsal #7/February 15th, 2017
February 18, 2017
Vocalise Blog #6: 2/13/2017
February 23, 2017

Intermediate Chorus Rehearsal # 7 Thursday February 16th

Greetings, Intermediate Singers,

Thank you for a wonderful rehearsal last night. You made some real strides in your overall vocal progress and took many of your songs to the next level with expressive detail and fine-tuning. I am so proud of your hard work and passion for singing and it is one of my greatest joys to work with you each week. Please enjoy our week off next week, but also use your free time to review your music and this blog as a resource so that we can return on March 2nd ready to make great progress! And, congratulations to Alina, Millie and Violetta for currently having the most number of practicing minutes so far for this semester!*

Trivia Question: This week we started the song “We Can Plant a Forest.” How many acres of forest are in California?

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!


  • Great work solidifying some key harmonic sections and applying dynamics and articulation; the addition of body percussion gave the song rhythm and energy and helped free up the voice. 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!

Can You Hear Me?

  • Great continued work on this song, in particular, securing the different refrains in 2-part harmony, and in learning the motions and sign language.
  • 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.

For the Beauty of the Earth

  • I heard so much change in your sound when we used the scarves to find extra support and expansion in our breathing! Continue to practice with a scarf or a belt around your ribcage, to feel the expansion and resistance as your breathe and release.
  • 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 was a wonderful introduction to your mastering 3-part harmony. Don’t forget which part I placed you in!
  • 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.

My Maple Tree and Me

  • This is sounding lovely, with great progress on the 2-part sections.
  • 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.


  • 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 your favorite colors, and creating some exciting rhythmic layers. You also played some complex rhythms with the rhythm blocks, and sight-sang in G major.

  • Singers starting Book 2 should complete pages 19-21 – please make sure you are all caught up to these pages!
  • Singers continuing Book 2 should complete pages 33-34 – please make sure you are all caught up to these pages!

Musicianship B

Lovely job improvising “Natural Occurrences,” and creating some cool rhythmic layers. You then reviewed the relative minor of G major, e minor, and sang the intervals within a natural minor scale. You then did an excellent job sight-singing and writing in the solfege for Toembai and Hine ma tov – it sounded lovely!

  • Book 3 singers should complete pages 33-34 – 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.

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 will be available early next week!
  • In the meantime, go on to write an 8-measure piece for two instruments using one of these e minor scales with some of the basic chords in the second part.

Trivia Answer: There 33 million acres of forests in California!

Have a great vacation! See you Thursday March 2nd!




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