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Periodic Reminders

Half the Old Testament is the word Remember. No, that’s not true. It’s 48%. I just rounded up. As Israel forgot, so do we. Today’s insert is a simple reminder of some of the standards we work to maintain as we sing for the Lord. My prayer is that you […]

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Always Improving

April 9th, 2013


Choir Note- Sunday, April 7, 2013

I have written before on the idea that we should always be improving. Last time we had choir, I wrote the note titled Jammin’, and basically said that you now have the permission to jam in church.

No we’re not the “Flock that Rocks” and we’re not “Jammin’ for Jesus” on Sundays. Jamming loosely means that people hang out and play music together. It’s an informal (ie not like a formal lesson or rehearsal) approach to learning music. It is focused on experience and trying new things without getting corrected or stopped. Certainly, “jamming” is not the only way to learn music, nor is it probably the best way to learn music. But, I will say, I learned more about other instruments, chord progressions, and group instruments by jamming with bluegrass groups than I learned in lessons. Also, I know some people who have never known any other type of learning than that of jamming together.

All that said, take every opportunity you have to learn something new about singing. As a choir member, learn the basics of your voice, of music, and of hymns. Teach yourself through observation and experimentation.

Sing a part. One day in congregational singing my sister pointed to the bass note and sang it an octave higher. I’d never thought about singing bass before… I always just sang the melody. From that time on, I tried to sing a part if I could pick it out.

Develop your ear. You might be able to sing a part by reading the notes, but try a few songs (or perhaps just a few measures) at a time without looking at the notes. Try to develop your ear for music by working to sing a harmony.

Broaden your range. Try to sing the high note. What does it feel like? Does it make your throat hurt? Does it feel like it’s coming out your eyes? Are your abs sore afterwards? Try to sing as low as you can. Are there tricks you’ve learned to sing lower?

Try new styles. I worked on different tones in my voice by testing them out during congregationals. I always thought the “opera” voice sounded weird. Actually, though, you are probably singing correctly when you imitate the fat Viking opera singer woman. They sing that way because it’s correct. It can be taken too far and sound weird, but practice “opera” style and then personalize it to still be “your” voice. Do “your” voice, but do it with how the “opera” voice feels.

Try “jamming” with some of these ideas tonight. –Bro. Ryan

PATRIOTIC MUSIC SPLIT PRACTICES – Usually we do two or three bigger choir specials throughout the year. This year, we will be working on a patriotic special for our July 4 weekend services. We will begin split practices Sunday, April 21. This will give us about 11 weeks to learn several new songs.

TVMC CONCERT – If you have never been to a Temecula Valley Master Chorale concert, I have 10 free tickets if you are interested in attending Saturday evening, 7:00 pm April 20 at Murrieta Mesa High School off the Cal Oaks exit. I would encourage any of you to come see a secular choir concert. Not only is it entertaining, but it gives you a glimpse of the high standards that unsaved people place on music, and it is serves as a challenge to us as we practice music worth singing in church choir! After the 10 freebies are gone, tickets are $15 each.




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