Adapting to ministry in my new parish has been a personal challenge. Seven months now of listening most carefully to musicians, especially singers. As for rehearsals, I would take for granted the notion of warming up. But I find that many parish singers have little awareness of how preparation plays a role in producing good sound.
I try to keep rehearsals fresh. One organizational point that helps me is to sketch an outline on a notepad for my Thursday practices. I don’t have to go thumbing through mental files to grasp at what I want to do. I’ve also begun cycling warm-up exercises based somewhat on the music the people will be singing. Three things I’ve decided that need work this year are self-confidence, breathing, and posture. Most everything I’ve tried speaks to these qualities.
In the image above, I have my newest project to keep myself better organized: notes on colored index cards. Purple cards have physical exercises–various stretches. Blue cards detail breathing exercises. Red is for musical exercises. One card for rounds, others for scales and arpeggios, or exercises in legato, etc..
This way, I can cycle through various warm-ups, and keep things fresh. And the singers guessing instead of arriving late for rehearsal.
Any singers or directors with other good ideas?