Rules of thumb while singing

Type of post: Chorus Documentation
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Joel Levitz
Status: Current
Date Posted: Tue, May 15 2018
General rules of thumb and things Mike wants us to remember while we sing

First off, there is no such thing as a "run through" or a "rote."  Every time you sing should be treated as a performance - give 100% every time!

What to do with your body:
Feet Shoulder width apart, outside foot slightly forward from the inside foot, both feet pointed in the same direction.  Your weight should be over the balls of your feet, never your heels.

RISER GUYS: Try to “hang 10” – all your toes slightly over the front edge of the risers

FRONT ROW: Stand about a foot (or one step) in front of the risers.
Knees Slightly bent, never locked.  Use the knees during to give your performance levels - usually, you want to get lower when the volume gets softer.
Hands Loosly held at your side.  Never in your pocket, crossed in front of you, or clasped together (unless choreographed to do so).
Shoulders Relaxed and back – leave them down when you inhale
Neck Relaxed – any tension in your body translates to tension in your voice
Mouth Raise your soft palate and separate your back teeth so your mouth can act like the Santa Barbara Bowl and reflect/project your voice forward.  Your lips should never go wide – picture a narrow hallway about an inch or two wide and keep your vowels within it, always travelling forward
Cheekbones Should be lifted every time you sing
Voice Aim your voice’s tone above the level of your soft palate.  Try to make your sinuses or eyeballs vibrate.

Every note should have forward movement.  Never hit a note and sit on it – grow with Mike’s hands.  Always have your voice moving forward through the narrow hallway mentioned above.
Vowels (90/10 rule) 90% of the length of any word is the vowel (or first vowel in a diphthong or triphthong), 10% is dedicated to turning the final sound in the word.  Final consonants in any word should be attached to the beginning of the next word.  So you don’t sing “a son of the sea”, you sing “a so no fthe sea”.
Body, Hand, Face Movement Any time you sing, you should put life into your body and face.  Allow yourself to express the emotion of the song and never stand like a statue.  You should have life in your body and face at all times, even when accepting applause.

Your hands can move during a song, but unless there’s a planned or choreographed move they usually shouldn’t go above the level of your belt.
Posture In general, good singing posture is good standing posture, and vice versa.  You want there to be a straight vertical line between your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles - or as close as possible.  You may wish to receive regular chiropractic care* to help facilitate this posture, as well as free movement of the spine and ribs (useful things if you want to take deep, free, and easy breaths, which in turn are useful if you want to sing well).

*Full disclosure: this is being written by a chiropractor, so take this advice with whatever amount of salt you wish.

If we're rehearsing, give anyone addressing or directing us the same respect you would give Mike.