Emma Su and Julie Reminders, Refreshers, and Revelations!
Reminders, Refreshers, and Revelations!

Reminders, Refreshers, and Revelations!

On 16th March, Emma Beale, Su Roberts, and Julie Macnamara from Fascinating Rhythm attended the LABBS/BABBS Singing Education Day in Coventry. What a fabulous day it was. We couldn’t wait to get back to share what we learned with the rest of the Fascinating Rhythm Chorus. We’d also like to share it with you.

Let’s talk about those nifty SOVT exercises. Ever heard of them? They’re all about partially closing your mouth to create some back pressure. The fancy term for it is Semi Occluded Vocal Tract. Basically, it helps your vocal folds vibrate with less effort, so your voice doesn’t tire out as quickly.

Now, onto vocal pedagogy. Craig Kehoe gave us the lowdown on mouth shapes and breath management. Picture this: tongue behind your lower teeth, start your phrases with a forward position and keep that jaw relaxed. Oh, and remember, “Toned but not tense” is the name of the game.

Let’s not forget about alignment. Start from the ground up—literally. Think about aligning your body from your feet all the way to your ears, and watch out for tension creeping in! It’s all about finding that sweet spot for your best sound.

Next, we deeply explored stacking with Craig and how different arrangements affect chorus sounds. From random placements to arranging by resonance, it’s like a game of musical chairs but with voices. Finding your spot in the stack can make all the difference in how you feel and sound.

Barry Clinton took us on a musical journey through tuning. ‘Equal temperament’ versus ‘Just intonation’ is all very technical and scientific, so thank goodness Barry broke it down for us, showing how dropping pitch can be natural in certain intervals.

Then there’s vocal expression—they had us dive into the emotional side of singing, bringing lyrics to life, experimenting with different emotions, and really connecting with our audience.

Jen rounded things off with vocal flow. We learned all about breath control, legato singing, and maintaining pitch. Plus, we got to practice hissing like a pro. Who knew it could be so fun?

Finally, we peep behind the curtain and see how judges score performances with Alison Thompson. It’s all about consistency, fairness, and watching and listening to the best of the best to know what excellence sounds like.

So, there you have it, a whirlwind tour of vocal technique, performance enhancement, and judging criteria. Who knew singing could be so multifaceted? But that’s what makes it so fascinating!

Thank you to the LABBS/BABS Judges and Barberlicious Quartet for a wonderful day.

Emma, Su and Julie
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