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Singing Skills

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

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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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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How to match vowels

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By Gary Parker, Bass of Dealer's Choice, 1973 International Champion In 1973, Dealer’s Choice quartet not only won our international contest on its first attempt, but changed the sound of barbershop harmony forever. Their innovative “expanded sound” techniques create a stream of beautifully locked chords and a sonic richness that continues even through the consonants. Virtually all of today’s top...
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Harmony University announces returning faculty members

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Join us in welcoming back our returning faculty members! We are thrilled to share our roster of returning faculty and staff who taught with us last year... or perhaps for the last 25! These 38 rock stars are being joined by our first year class of 12 and our 8 returning faculty that have been away for a time.    Please welcome back.... Coaching TrackGary Plaag, DEANSteven ArmstrongAntho...
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2016 Youth Chorus Festival order of appearance announced!

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We are thrilled to have 18 youth choruses joining us in Reno for the 2016 Youth Chorus Festival. This year's roster looks to be a terrific show with a wide range of singers, tons of variety, and a fun draw that will make for a quality afternoon of barbershop. Here's the order of appearance: Emerald City Sound  Boise Chordsmen Youth Chorus  The Voice Some Assembly Required East Coast Sound B...
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News from Abroad: A barbershopper’s visit in Wales

Music Category Specialist Paul Wigley thought he was just attending a judging seminar for our barbershop brothers and sisters in the UK. That simple trip expanded dramatically once he decided to add Wales to his schedule! Paul writes: "I have a lot of relatives in Wales, and when I added that to my itinerary, the next thing I knew I was doing a workshop in Caernarfon, Wales, at the Canolfan Gerdd...
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