The "New Voice Type" coming to our choruses
Date: March 3, 2014
As a public school music teacher for 35 years, I had my share of students who had diffuculties matching pitches...usually we could make things work through small group lessons. However, in the past 3 years I have noticed that more and more students are coming to chorus at Alfred State College with vocal challenges which I really never saw 'back in the day'. I have spoken to other directors who have notice the same problem and I have seen it begin to show up in Vocal Solo Competitions. The pop/belter voice is more prolific now and it has created singers who cannot sing in tune, who often sing only one volume--loud and who cannot hear that they are 'off'. "Voices" members select their music for each semester--presently, we are doing "Lacrymosa" by Mozart and "CHoose Something Like a Star" by R. Thompson in addition to some other show and pop pieces. The men, in particular, have extreme difficulty getting in tune---they are surprised when I comment because they cannot hear it. Pop music and show tunes have often been challenging in the choral setting, but since we left behind the 'old' musicals in favor of Disney musicals, "Wicked", "Les Miz", etc., we seemed to have stopped teaching a solid, classical vocal technique which would give them more flexibility. I have decided to have them all download a tuner app which allows them to see when they are matching single pitches and use that as part of warmups. But I have used up my bag of successful tricks and could use some suggestions. Anyone??
Alfred State College "VOices".
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