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Guest Blog: FLOATING OR SWIMMING? – Brody McDonald

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Floating or Swimming? Brody McDonald, via Choir Bites More articles from Choir Bites can be found on their Facebook page! I was recently working with my top choir about developing habits aimed at increasing technique and literacy, rather than “learning their songs.” You know, the “you can do better” speech. A student came to me after class and said, “You know, Mr. McDonald, it just hit me. I t...
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Vocal Health: Voice Production and Resonance

vocal health series
This regular series will examine different facets of vocal health in 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.   This article is designed to be an introduction to how the vocal sound is produced and resonated. It also serves to clarify sometime...
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A Grand Finale for the Saturday Show | Midwinter 2018

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    Three International champion choruses... a mass Youth Chorus of nearly 600 singers... a world class organist... and an acoustically stunning concert hall designed around a majestic pipe organ. When these elements are all in place, it’s not difficult to decide how to close the Saturday night show -- get ‘em ALL on stage! One of the many enticing reasons to hold the Midwinter Convention eve...
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Vocal Health: Intro to Healthy Singing

vocal health series
This regular series will examine different facets of vocal health in 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. Healthy Singing In order to establish a dialogue around the topic of vocal health, it is important to understand the components of healthy...
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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

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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

vocal health series
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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