Practice Tips ~ 7th & 8th Grade Concert Choir
Use the “Online Metronome” found directly above (click on it) to help you practice keeping an even beat while singing through warm-ups and/or solfege.
Keeping voices healthy for singing:
1st Rule ~ DRINK PLENTY OF WATER!
2nd Rule ~ Hum through your songs at home as you practice them to practice moving through your different voice registers. Try to have a tall space inside your mouth as you hum. Make sure your jaw is relaxed, and touch the side of your nose to make sure you feel the vibrations.
3rd Rule ~ When you move into singing the words make sure your jaw is still relaxed, you have a tall space inside your mouth, and you feel vibrations on the side of your nose through many of the words.
Continue to practice solfege, singing the pitches while you sign the hand signs. Practice “interval” singing by singing through the scale by step, but choosing one tone to skip on your way up and when coming back down. This is a great way to begin training your ear to hear how intervals sound.
Put one hand on your lower abdomen and the back of one hand on the upper side of your ribs. Stand tall (straight against a wall or profile to a mirror for a self-check) and take a breath that feels low in your abdomen. Your hand on your lower abdomen can check for the low breath. Practice this breathing as you sing through scales and your songs. Then use “spinning hands” to help you USE your air as you sing through scales and notes that you hold in your songs.
For tone (vowel shape):
Practice the vowel sounds “Ah”, “Eh”, “Ee”, “O”, “Oo” by using your hand signs that we learned in class to shape the vowels. Be sure that your “Ah” does not move to “ee” at the end, and that your “O” does not move to “oo” at the end. Each vowel shape has one sound, not two:-) A method for keeping your tone forward is to practice speaking/singing “nyeh” and “nyah”, feeling the tone placed in your nose; a nasal tone. (You will feel a slight buzzing sensation if you touch the side of your nose as the sound resonates.)
For articulation (energy in words and clear words):
Isolate consonants in order to practice clearly articulating them: “t”, “t”, “t”; “k”, “k”, “k”; “d”, “d”, “d” are some great choices. You can create some patterns in order to challenge your articulation ability and make it more relevant to singing words in songs: “t”, “k”, “d”; “v”, “s”, “th” are examples. Use your music to create patterns of consonants in the order you will have to perform them in a song.
For practice on the National Anthem: Remember the melody has the following solfege pattern: So-Mi-Do-Mi-So-Do. Instead of practicing the melody first, practice the harmony: (“Oh say can you see”) So-Mi-Do-Mi-So-Mi (remember the “Mi” pitch so you can go back to it in order to create a harmony to the melody). To continue: (“by the dawn’s early light”) Mi-Mi-Mi-Mi-Re-Re, (“what so prou—dly we hailed”) So-So-So—So-So-So, (“at the twilight’s last gleaming”) So-So-So-Do(upper)-So-Mi-Do.
Look up “Circle Songs” online with parent permission. Practice solo improvisational singing as the song plays. Students can also sing with one of the parts in the circle song they are listening to and practice rhythmic precision.