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Choir Lessons

Chamber-Choir-by-RLH-Photography

About the Choir

A choir (also known as a chorale or chorus) is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans from the Medieval era to the present, and/or popular music repertoire. Most choirs are led by a conductor, who leads the performances.

Choirs can sing with or without instrumental accompaniment. Singing without accompaniment is called a cappella singing. Accompanying instruments vary widely, from only one instrument (a piano or organ) to a full orchestra of 70 to 100 musicians; for rehearsals a piano or organ accompaniment is often used, even if a different instrumentation is planned for performance, or if the choir is rehearsing unaccompanied music.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Singing is mostly about breath control. If you’re running out of breath, then this could be due to not inhaling enough breath in, in the first place or exhaling too much out when you sing (listen to your voice and make sure it is not too airy). There are breathing exercises that are available to singers, to train your diaphragm to breathe for singing.

Well, some people are born pitch-perfect. Those people have brains that would interpret music pitch the same way you’d identify for example, colors. However, that kind of natural skill isn’t prevalent as you might think and a lot of great singers who were NOT born with it can build it over time with training and persevere practice.

So that’s fortunately good news! Another good news is that maybe your body isn’t the culprit here at all and you just need to stay focused when you sing as distraction maybe hinders your performance.

It helps to know which pitch or key you need to hit or sing in and you also need to pay attention as you go off-key to whether you’re going too high or too low. A lot of pitch and ear training exercises are there to help you and they’re available as apps that you can download over the internet (fortunately free) to your mobile. Make a daily ritual to practice and your progress would be a sure thing.

Breathing through the mouth allows you to take more air in as you sing but if you sing in an air-conditioned environment, this could dry your throat; that’s why it’s important that you make sure you moist you throat with water before you sing (or while you sing, if it’s ok maybe between songs)

Well, this is a difficult question to answer as it has much to do with what’s preventing you from reaching the high notes. Some people don’t breathe correctly to allow for power to reach the high notes and hence put the load on their vocal folds and hurt them over time. Sometimes it has to do with how you pronounce vowels as some vowels are harder to achieve on the higher notes. Another reason why is, maybe you don’t know how to place your voice properly and hence need more education or training. And sometimes, a person doesn’t have the vocal range they wish to have. We are all born with a certain voice and some of us have higher voices, whereas others have lower voices. Maybe we have to work with what we have. It helps so much to know your vocal range and to place you voice properly to hit the notes that are within your range.

Singing involves using your diaphragm muscle and the muscles in your vocal folds to control the voice. This is very similar to using your muscles to left weights, run, swim … etc. putting sudden strain and tension on the muscles without warm-up exercises to stretch them out can harm and cause severe damage to them.

Well, assuming the high note you’re trying to hit is already in your vocal range, we bet this must be due to not breathing correctly. Your vocal cords have the same function as the reed on a saxophone; the air flow supported by your diaphragm causes the cords to vibrate producing the sound. NOT having enough air support may cause your vocal cords to NOT vibrate in the manner that would produce the high note you want to achieve. Your body will try to do what’s asked of it nonetheless and will put all the load on the muscles in your vocal folds to produce the note causing your voice to break. It’s strongly advised to do breathing exercises as well as vocalises exercises before you attempt to sing the high notes not to put much strain on your vocal folds’ muscles.

Some people are capable of singing by using their auditory and singing skills without the need to read sheet music, however, reading & writing music (just like reading and writing anything really) and understanding the concepts of music theory can play an important role in:

  • Helping you understand and build your sense of rhythm while you sing
  • Helping you know when you go off-key
  • Teaching yourself different types of music that are different from your own cultural color
  • Understanding and analyzing the music that you hear and sing better
  • Writing your own music, keeping it from being forgotten and communicating it to others
  • Understanding better how certain types of music has that effect on people emotionally
  • Improvising

And for these reasons we, at Finoon, always make sure that our students get a really good understanding of music theory concepts in addition to reading sheet music