Singing in the morning
Date: January 23, 2014
I just got done having a conversation with my supervisor, who is an instrumental musician. He would like me to move my college chamber singers rehearsal from 3:00pm to 10:00am, because currently my class overlaps with Jazz Combo, and they've always had it at that time, so they get the rehearsal room. He wants my chamber singers to have the rehearsal room for our practices too, which I appreciate. And, a lesser concern is that students who want to participate in both groups, have to choose one or the other.
This is not a scheduling question at all, so please no suggestions on scheduling, alternating rehearsal spaces, etc.....
Here's the problem: My supervisor does not understand the age-old problem of singing in the morning. He is not a trained singer by any means, but he sings in his church choir, and says that, to him, it all feels the same and it doesn't matter what time of day he sings.
Being a non-vocalist who sings in a church choir is MUCH different than being a student in a select, auditioned ensemble that does challenging choral repertoire. I've talked to dozens of vocalists who avoid singing in the morning like the plague. I am one of them. If I have to, I will wake up at least three hours before my engagement (ideally, four or five hours prior), start drinking hot fluids, talking, sighing, lip buzzing, taking breaks to allow the voice to rest, then doing it all over again, singing simple songs with narrow pitch ranges in low-medium range, and gradually working up. It's a SLOW process. On the flip side, if I wake up an hour before a morning rehearsal, no amount of warming up and hot water will make my voice ready for a "rigorous" rehearsal. If I want to get any legit sound out in the morning without ample time to wake up and warm up, I need to force my voice to do things it doesn't want to do, controlling it with throat muscles, which I am quite unwilling to do in most cases. I'm sure we've all seen students struggle through morning rehearsals, rubbing their throats, straining their necks. I hate that.
Granted I know some directors - especially in public schools - don't have a choice of when they rehearse their groups, but I do. My problem is, my supervisor wants me to move the class to the morning and does not understand why I won't do it. When I explain why (above), he just rolls his eyes and discredits my argument. Don't get me wrong - he's a good guy and I respect him - but he clearly doesn't understand this from a vocalist's perspective.
What I'm looking for from you:
A) Affirmation that I'm not crazy.
B) Thoughts, ideas, links, or materials that might help support my argument.
Thanks for your help!