Re: [bbshop] Re: If I started a chapter today (formerly BHS (SPEBSQSA))
- Fellow Barbershoppers:
Here is how I learn my part and how I allow others to do the same (Quartet and Chapter).
I put my part on Finale. I like the "String Quartet" sound, since it is legato, like the human voice. I use a "Violin" for Lead and Tenor, a "Viola" for Bari and a "Cello" for Bass. I tell my users to think of being in Church: You listen to the Organ for your notes and read the hymnal for the visuals. I put all 4 parts on each of 4 bands on the CD, with a 5th band with all 4 parts together, so you can hear the chords. I can either put the parts mono on each of the bands, or, I can put them in the Left Channel with the Right having the other 3 parts. With headphones, you can isolate the Left and Right by moving the other earpiece from the ear you don't want to hear. You can play the CD on a stereo, a portable CD player or in your car. If, as Stephen Rafe says, you just learn the notes on a "doo-doo-doo" basis as you listen in your car, you can add the words later at home from a written page. This isn't rocket science. If I can do it,
As I said before, I play 5-string banjo in a bluegrass band. I practice the banjo every (almost) day to keep my chops up. To me, music is an addiction (especially since I gave up drinking, don't smoke, gamble, or do drugs). Ya gotta wanta if you are going to get better. I compare it to golf. Go hit balls and pitch and putt if you want to get better. Not so I can get into a Tournament, but so I can make the ball go where I want it to go so I can concentrate on my game.
If you are too busy to do music, you are TOO BUSY. Think of it as mental health. Music is good for you. Doctor Daniel Amen would agree (check out his website). It is good for your brain. Do it.
In Love and Harmony,
Baritone, Banjo Player
--- On Tue, 7/3/12, GSBMedalMusic@... <GSBMedalMusic@...> wrote:
From: GSBMedalMusic@... <GSBMedalMusic@...>
Subject: Re: [bbshop] Re: If I started a chapter today (formerly BHS (SPEBSQSA))
Date: Tuesday, July 3, 2012, 3:05 PM
You don't have to be in your car to enjoy and learn from learning tracks?!
Surely a singer can eke out SOME sort of time in their day to sing
along with tracks?
(And there are work-arounds for creating any serviceable audio media from
whatever source material they are initially recorded.)
For ex, I carry my .mp3 player and ear buds with me when I'm working
in the garden.
Of course my neighbors get the benefit (ha!) of listening to me sing
either tenor (quartet) or baritone (chorus) all by myself since they don't hear
the playback to go along with what I'm hearing?! ;-)
Same for housecleaning, etc. - which sure as heck makes THAT job
a lot more fun!
And yeah, I would admit to singing along with my tracks while in the
[In fact, after a few reps on any song, I pretty much go to bed at night
with those songs on continual loop (earworm) in my head and wake up
the next morning
with that same "loop"?! I know - sounds "scary" but it's true.]
Are you saying that the ONLY time that people make time to learn music
is at rehearsal? If so, I find that - well - just plain lazy.
About all it really takes for 3 - 4 reps of a 2 - 3 min song is 10 -
Also the "excuse" that "my car only has a cassette player" is a lazy excuse too
when you can get the cassette tape converter thingie that slots right
into the car's cassette player
and it has a plug connection that goes into the earphone (audio output?!)
jack of ANY cassette player or .mp3 player?!
Those converter mechanisms are only about $2 - $7 online or at places
like Best Buy?!
My quartet bass singer learns aurally. Since she admittedly doesn't read music
as well as, say, I do (sight-reading is one of those skill sets I have built up
over time - a perfect sight-reading audition is what got me into the
in 1978 - the band director didn't even bother putting me through the
once I played Illinois Loyalty ;-), she learns pitch-perfect with
having a great NOTES ONLY track
(either piano - I play the line for her - OR computer-generated from
the FINALE based
arr.). She is ALWAYS "off the paper" by the time we next get together.
My lead singer (1983 international quartet champion) also prefers
learning the notes FIRST
before "the words mess me up" (her words, not mine ;-). Once she
gets the note sequencing
in her head, she then works through the word sounds (NOT "words") to develop
muscle memory. And she is EXTREMELY consistent with great
"performance delivery" habits -
a true hallmark of a champion lead.
My quartet bari (also with the 1983 international quartet champion)
loves to learn
by singing along with perfect learning tracks integrating both notes
and word sounds
while doing her daily walk exercise (also on .mp3 player with
earbuds). As a kinesthetic
learner, she really needs to experience the "feel" of where her
baritone part fits in with the
other parts of the chord. I'll bet the people on the north side of
Chicago just love to hear THAT! ;-)
Interestingly ALL of us have very analytical minds - but with
different learning styles.
Latest effort on learning songs - we introduced 2 contest-level songs
about 4 weeks
before Melodeers' recent show staged a week and a half ago.
2 weeks prior to the show, we coached each song, phrase by phrase, with Jay
(the "Chord Lord" as Joe Connelly calls my husband)
who helped fix some word sounds issues right away before we really
mediocre, unprecise muscle memory habits on the word sounds/syllable connection
(in the Mac Huff style - who coached Grandma's Boys on this same art form).
I am much the same way except I am such a strong visual learner that
I like having
the music in front of me to "see the picture" of the music. I am
pretty much able
to get the muscle memory of the word sounds/syllable connection going on the
first read-through, but several reps with pitch-perfect opportunities
(and no distractions
of - quite frankly - mediocre singing going on next to me by others
with less pitch accuracy)
help me to groove the whole thing, including KEY CENTER which seems
to really stick with me.
Of course, I'm the one who sang an F# at Jay (my future husband) the
first time I met him
at a party when he was standing around with a bunch of other
baritones woodshedding and
(get this...) not ONE of them had a pitch pipe in hand when Jay said,
"We really should
try this one in F#." So I hummed it at him from across the table. <grin>
To wit, I learned a whole 30 min. show & a glow for a top
international level quartet
in about 10 days (that was about 10 or 11 songs, as I recall?),
singing along with a cassette recording of a live show performance
(no tenor-specific track?!)
with a Sony Cassette Walkman AND the hard-copy music in hand,
when I was hired as the quartet's replacement tenor back in 1986.
I had ZERO "left-right" balance much less tenor-only for that effort?
I pretty much had the show/glow music under control within 7 days
when they threw the choreography at me. Whew!
(Just to clarify, 10 days was all I had from the time I auditioned in
the lead's kitchen
and was then promptly hired on the spot, until I was riding in the van
to the chapter show we were hired to do in Ashtabula, OH!)
If a singer really wants to learn and NOT be the one "left behind" or always
behind the next week after the first week's introduction of a song,
then he or she will
be motivated to ask for equipment help, etc.
I don't buy the profuse excuse-making - period - even as a chorus director.
We have too many ways to help teach people of varying learning styles,
by giving them great learning tools with a variety of teaching methods,
to have to accept that they can ONLY learn on chorus time which is only 3 hours
a week out of 168 hours in a week.
- Helen Giallombardo
At 04:08 PM 7/3/2012, Stephen Rafe wrote:
>What if, just what if, members don't have the time, the dedication,
>the music-reading skills, the left/right balance equipment in their
>home, and are unwilling to sit in their vehicles to play learning
>tracks as they look at charts?
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