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I always thought it would be a good idea for a whole choir to train more than just singing together, to work out together like a team -- meet to jog in the park couple of times a week, etc... A choir will sometimes do all that hard work on the music while sitting, but then the concert comes and everyone gets fatigued standing up for the dress rehearsals, and their backs and shoulders start hurting and get stiff from holding their choir folders full of music up. I think it's hard for everyone to sound good when their upper backs are tense and their feet are hurting during the concert. The sound coming out of the body is going to reflect the way the body feels!

Claudia Friedlander

Excellent point! There's more to to a choral performance than just learning the music and polishing your group sound. Not everyone is used to standing with good alignment for long periods of time.

Still, there's something Python-esque about the idea of a choir going jogging together…


Great post Claudia! It's very important for students to take responsibility for their own learning, but how to inform them of what they need so that they can go out and get it? Posts like this are a good start.

For objective technical benchmarks, there are certainly some vocal functions that can be tracked. For artistic evaluations, I think much more could be done with the weekly seminar/masterclass that most schools have, including getting the students involved with helping each other in matters of evaluating effective performances. Also, the way "juries" are run needs an overhaul. And of course there are legions of ineffective teachers.

I don't like the current system in the NASM accredited schools of music much either.

Klaus Georg

I would add a focus on having lessons every day, with an entire studio participating. Students hear each others' lessons, advanced students guide the practice of younger students. You know, like the old Italian studio system, where you basically live with your "maestro di canto" for a couple of years...

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