Last week, we discussed several aspects of "preparation". To summarize:
** Plan ahead for Thursdays/Sundays
** Vocalize before you come
** Watch your Saturday night activity.
** Be on time: Warm-up is essential
Let me expand on why proper "warm-up" is essential for good singing: signing involves muscles, tendons and ligaments. Just as an athlete has to "warm-up" before an event, so must a singer. If the singer does not take the time to properly warm up, two things will inevitably happen:
1. The vocal mechanism will be stiff causing the chords to vibrate in an inefficient manner. This is why singers who don’t warm up properly usually sing flat. No matter how good your instrument, you must use your voice for at least 20 minutes before each rehearsal in order to properly "stretch" your vocal chords"
2. In addition to singing out of tune, the voice must be warm in the "high" notes are to be sung on pitch and also the "low" notes. Again, using the analogy of an athlete, the extreme part of each person’s range must be "exercised" if the notes are to be sung on pitch.
The choir begins at 9:10 and then sings for 20-25 minutes before going into the service. If you do not participate in this "warming process", you will encounter significant difficulties as you sing the various anthems, descants and service music.
In addition to not singing the notes on pitch, lack of warm-up will significantly hinder the ‘mental’ aspects of singing. The mind as well as the voice must be attuned to the morning’s assignment.
Singing in the choir is a great privilege – but one that comes with great responsibilities.