Carolyn’s Notes for Virtual Rehearsal 3 – 21/4/20

Published on April 18, 2020,

Dear Choir members

Here we go!  Our third weekly virtual rehearsal to give some ideas and helpful hints and songs to keep us all going! The first in this new term!

Yet again it is divided into sections, with anecdotes in italics! More insights into capers down in NZ.


Warm up

 This section is much the same as before with a couple of additions.

Again I will stress the importance of warming up the voice with gentle exercises. Here are some reminders of the sort of thing we do in choir.


Shoulder rolls ending with a hunched gesture and dropping shoulders for perfect singing position i.e. weighted shoulders, straight back with head pulled up like puppet, tucked in tail and softened knees; good for that area where a lot of tension resides. Move onto the jaw with the tongue rolling or raspberry blowing tricks. Thoroughly cleaning your teeth with your tongue is also good for exercising the jaw.


Again warm up with simple 4 notes ascending and descending scales to different vowel sounds. Important that as you go higher into head voice switch back to ‘oo’. Don’t forget working on your diaphragm. Inhale for 5 beats with your hand on your stomach, then blow out the breath in 4 short breaths and one long one. You should feel your diaphragm pumping! Descend a scale singing EVERYBODY but missing out the first letter each time. (Listen to sound file!) Everybody, Verybody, Erybody, Rybody, Ybody, Body, Ody, Dy, Wy etc.

I have also included another new round in the sound files this week; some of you may have done it before. It is called ‘Let in the Spring’.

Open the window and hear the birds sing; See how the blossoms round the trees cling; Open the window and let in the Spring!


Anecdote: Yet more snippets of information from South Island, New Zealand which I sent to my daughters:

This morning round about out tent were several wekas which are birds about the size of hens but which move a bit like roadrunners. They are actually fairly rare throughout NZ except for this area. They are bold and a bit belligerent towards other birds. They also attack rats!
We drove through mountains to Deniston where rich coal was discovered by an explorer at the top if a mountain in about 1860. A community quickly
developed but there was then no road. All the coal, people, food, goods etc. had to be transported in a rail car to and from up a very steep mountain side by an elaborate pulley system. When I was last here I read a novel called Deniston Rose about a young girl who lived there. So I was keen to see the place that she was describing which sounded harsh and bleak. The west coast is very wet. The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful though. In nearby Westport where we stopped for lunch I bought the sequel, Heart of Coal (which I am now reading) as well as some lovely glittery sock wool and fat quarters. Just realised that when we were last here 11 years ago we had no grandchildren! Imagine!

Song list

 Keep singing your new songs from this term including Bushes and Briars and Cuckoo in April from last Term. I have been playing with GARAGE BAND, a package that enables me to multi track. So these songs, plus Wild Geese, are all now on the website for you to sing along to. Huge thanks to your website gurus! Here is another new song this week to keep you on your toes:


New Song:   Harbour

This song was written by eldest daughter, Anna Tabbush. She recorded it with Dom Stitchbury on Facebook so you can hear a really lovely rendition of it there. It is in 3 parts with the tune in the top line. I have again sent in the sound files including a multi track version, plus the words so I hope you enjoy this song.  https://www.facebook.com/AnnaTabbushMusic/videos/235127087534099/  


Anecdote: So another new round and new song to help keep up your spirits!

While weeding the strawberry patch in the poly-tunnel this week I over turned a plank and there hiding underneath was an exquisite small golden slow worm.

Oh! The joys of nature! Keep safe!



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