Guest Blog: Have YOU Ever Done It?
Date: September 25, 2012
Have YOU Ever Done It? ~ by Mike O'Neill
I often find myself having to defend the art form called barbershop that I so passionately love when conversing with other fellow music educators. The sense I get is my involvement in barbershop isn’t ‘legitimate’ music making. I can honestly say that I have learned as much about music (or in some cases MORE), through barbershop circles. Additionally, my involvement with barbershop singing has afforded me the opportunity to travel all over the world and approximately 3/4ths of the United States! I am pretty certain I wouldn’t have been able to say that had I not taken the leap of faith into the ‘barbershop world!’
The positives of implementing barbershop music into your program FAR exceed any negatives. Don’t just take my word for it…the Barbershop Harmony Society collects all kinds of data and testimonials from music educators about the impact barbershop singing has on their programs. More men will be attracted to choir. Their self-confidence will shoot through the roof. Their intonation will VASTLY improve. The vocal techniques used in barbershop, although a little brighter and little more forward than traditional choral music, are exactly what educators teach every day; proper breathing techniques, relaxed, free, open singing, etc. True, the purest form of barbershop calls for senza vibrato singing…but doesn’t renaissance music also call for a more even tone?!
I challenge you to look at barbershop through a different lens. I know you will have a much different outlook if you do!