Middle school boys' transition voices
Date: December 20, 2011
I'm sure there's a forum for what I'm asking for, but unfortunately I don't have much time to browse, so I hope I can get some great responses. I have a middle school choir of 42 girls and 25 boys that is separated into two classes: one for girls, and one for boys. This is HUGELY beneficial! The boys sing out better without the pressure of "looking manly for the girls they are trying to impress, and the girls can focus on better blending by being separated. It's a huge deal. My boys are really pretty good. We are singing in 3-4 part harmony when we work solely on male literature, and SATB when we're with the girls.
For warmups, I have 6-7th graders that still have not changed, and some 8th graders that have almost fully changed. The boys that have already changed have trouble. This I have expected, but I'm having trouble getting them to even attempt using their falsetto to work on their transition voice. The exercise that works the best for me is to have them start as high as they can and slowly fall on a "hoo" taking their falsetto down as far as they can go and as light as they can. My hope is to help them work throught their "transition" voice (sort of like helping to fix the "break" area in clarinet players). I have read many topics on the subject of male changing voices, but am still looking for specialized warmups!
My warmup arsenal is becoming "old hat" and I would like to spruce it up. Are there any more great exercises for bringing the falsetto or even their head voice to blend with their chest voice?
Also looking for girls warmups that help focus on 1) stregthening the "airy" sound that so many of them have, and 2) strengthen their chest voice for altos.
Any and all comments are SUPER WELCOME!!! Thanks to everyone, and have a great Holiday Season whatever your beliefs!
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