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Music Education

So You Think You Know Barbershop?

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This regular series is intended for music educators and others interested in knowing more about this unique vocal style. Most importantly, our goal is to provide support for musicians and constructive solutions for singers. So you think you know barbershop? Admit it: the go-to image in your mind of barbershop music is four guys in striped vests and boater hats. From the Dapper Dans serenading Di...
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Building Musicians: Resources for Learning Musicianship

building musicians
This regular series will examine different facets of building musicians in which we hope to dispel myths and inaccuracies. Most importantly, our goal is to provide support for music teams and provide constructive solutions for singers. Personal Musicianship  Singers join our chapters for many reasons, but all share the love of singing barbershop chords. Some singers come to us with years of sing...
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Meaningful Gestures: Riser Placement

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This is the second article in a series for chorus directors and music teams. This article is a companion to a video that HU produced in 2016.   Barbershop chorus singing has two variables that have great effect on acoustic output: riser placement and venue. This article discusses the science behind riser placement. I make a distinction between formation (mixed parts vs. sectional) and placem...
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Vocal Health Series: Vocal Health Perceptions

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This regular series will examine facets of vocal health by which we hope to dispel myths and inaccuracies. Most importantly, our goal is to provide support for those who have experienced vocal concerns and provide constructive solutions for singers.  First, an understanding Vocal health has been a hot topic recently, thanks to high-visibility performers such as Adele, Sam Smith and Michael Buble...
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Meaningful Gestures: What They See Is What You Get

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Directors, have you wondered why your chorus sometimes seems out-of-sync or ragged? This choppiness might be something you’re demonstrating with your gesture, even though you might not be aware of it. This is due to something called mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are the brain cells that pick up on social and emotional cues from other humans. If someone is hurt or upset, we can usually tell jus...
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Structuring Effective Chorus Rehearsals

Theo Hicks Structuring
Learn from classroom music teacher, chorus director, and BHS gold medal quartet singer, Theo Hicks, on how to plan and implement effective rehearsals for your barbershop group. Theo discusses how it is not just about the rehearsal, it revolves around the barbershop chapter experience and your singer’s ownership over their product. Great experiences and rehearsals blend art and science. This 23-m...
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Faculty applications open for Harmony University 2018!

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  Harmony University is looking for a few good teachers!      We are now accepting applications for Harmony University 2018! Our week-long event will be once again held at Belmont University in Nashville Tennessee, from Sunday, July 22nd to Sunday, July 29th, 2018.   As we have done for several years, applications are open to the general public. Even if you were not selected in the past, y...
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Recorded Feedback

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Digital technology makes it easy to provide custom feedback to individual singers As seen in the March/April issue of The Harmonizer, page 28.  By Dr. Jay Butterfield, Musical Director, Parkside Harmony chorus, jvbbbs1@gmail.com   About 20 years ago, when I was director of the Chorus of The Brandywine in Wilmington, Del., we instituted an effective vocal feedback program—effective, but al...
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Breathe life into your singing

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As seen in the March/April 2017 issue of The Harmonizer, page 24. By Debra Lynn, debralynn.vocalcoaching@gmail.com Bel canto (Italian for “beautiful singing” ) was the standard of singing technique from 1800 to about 1840, and is primarily concerned with upper body engagement, creating a clear, concentrated, free, resonant tone without force of any kind. Many other singing techniques have come s...
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Deke Sharon gives incredible keynote speech at Midwinter

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https://youtu.be/UufvNhiwwDg  Deke Sharon, the music director of the Pitch Perfect movie franchise as well as NBC's The Sing-Off, gave a powerful keynote address at the 2017 Midwinter Convention in San Antonio. The BHS Honorary Lifetime Member encouraged Barbershoppers to make audiences cry while singing a Polecat, addressed the issue of mixed singing, spoke about the importance of video in...
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