rehearsal tagged posts

You can feel however you want, but you can’t do whatever you want.

Ultimately my accompanist, Bryon Dobbs, deserves all the credit for this one. He said something in class once that had a great impact on me. He said “You can feel however you want, but you can’t do whatever you want.”

Now, many of you reading this are all grown-up. You’ve already figured this out. You go to work even if your head is splitting or you’re low on sleep. You clean the house when you’d rather flop on the couch. I’m not talking to you personally (other than as a gentle reminder).

No, I’m not talking to you personally. I am, however, talking to you as a musician – one who inevitably is going to be (a) working with some young’uns OR (b) find yourself in a rehearsal funk in your own group. I’m also talking the choristers/your students/etc...

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Go to school on someone else’s dime

One of the most valuable things I ever learned from RD Mathey at BGSU was how to go to school on someone else’s dime. By this I mean I learned how to watch, listen, and think analytically every second of rehearsal. Let’s take a look at how getting into this mindset can help singers. If you are in a traditional choral setting, think director and choir. If you are in a self-run a cappella group, it still applies. Even if you don’t have a formal “director,” someone has to be steering the ship, right?

Some common ways “going to school on someone else’s dime” helps:

1) But I’m doing it – Most singers think they are doing what the director wants them to. They mean well, so they think their intention translates into action...

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Zebra Question

Zebra Question

I asked the zebra,
Are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on
And on and on he went.
I’ll never ask a zebra
About stripes
Again.

-Shel Silverstein

I was reading this poem to my daughter recently (it’s in a book called “The Little Big Book for Dads”) and it made me think about both my teaching and my students in a new light. This poem crystallized something for me, something that I have always felt deep inside.

As a teacher, I look for ...

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Joint rehearsals – a great way to sharpen your group

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. Honestly, it never entered my mind. Maybe it hasn’t occurred to you either that having a rehearsal combined with another local group can be amazingly beneficial. Recently, Eleventh Hour has been doing joint rehearsals regularly and we love them. They actually started by accident…

There is group just up the road from us in Dayton named V ega, from Chaminade Julienne High School. Their director, Joe Whatley, student taught with me and still calls me for advice from time to time. He wanted me to clinic his group, but my schedule was really tight. I told him that if he brought Vega to my school, I’d work with them on the night that Eleventh Hour typically rehearses without me.

Vega had really improved since I worked with them the previo...

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