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Choral Potpourri: Choral Ethics; Bein’ Highfalutin

September 29, 2016 -

“It is impossible, in our condition of Society, not to be sometimes a Snob.” William Makepeace Thackeray Recently, I’ve become aware I am being referred to as Highfalutin, an Elitist, and a Snob. All those things are, apparently, bad things. In my own work, I suppose I am a bit

Can anyone point me to some advice regarding helping teenage boys sing through their voice change? I have two 14-year olds in my adult church choir, one whose speaking voice is very high and is starting to break, and one whose voice is incredibly low already and has difficulty singing above C3 (though I suspect this is due to shyness, not inability.) I have only ever worked with adults, so while I know it's important to keep them singing I don't know how to help them specifically. Thanks! ... See MoreSee Less

20 hours ago

Thou N Susan Yang likes this

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Thou N Susan YangBeing unable to sing above C3 when the voice first changes for a bass is common - I was the same when my voice changed and just assumed that singing was not for me since I couldn't sing like everyone else. A lot of directors lose basses and baritones because of this, sadly. I had a senior bass who had a good C2 but didn't join choir because he wasn't sure if he would be good like everyone else. Keep them singing every day - focus on breathing, rhythm, theory, eae training, and have them sing the notes that work best for them, even if you have to create an extra part for them to sing (cambiata voice). Here is something for quick reference:

18 hours ago   ·  1

Shannan DavisFollowing.

17 hours ago

Austen WilsonAlso I would highly recommend not referring to voice change as a voice break. Voices aren't broken. Hear their ranges and a tessitura on a somewhat regular basis. Start with having them count backwards from 20 to 1 outloud so you can hear where their speaking voices are. Probably the most important thing is having them in a range where they find success. Keep them singing in treble clef as long as possible. When they get further into voice change, you may need to create completely different parts for them (i.e. sing alto here, tenor here, etc., or even add a note if it's in the chord but not in the score). Keep in mind that no two voice changes are exactly alike. Flexibility is extremely important!

17 hours ago   ·  3

Graham LackExpert on this is David Swinson, Music Director Trinity Boys Choir London.

5 hours ago

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