Page 36 - Voice for Life Yellow Workbook
P. 36

                                 Understanding the music we sing
As a performer, you have to communicate the meaning of each piece you sing. To do this, you must understand the words and background of the music. For your Yellow level ‘Repertoire’ target (see page 49), you have to collect some information about pieces that you sing in your choir. The worksheet opposite shows the type of questions you need to answer for each piece. If you are unsure where to find out about music and composers, talk to your choir trainer.
At Yellow level you have to find out about the music and texts that you sing with your choir, and make observations about the links between the two. You are also required to show that you understand how an individual piece of music fits into the bigger picture of music history.
To achieve the target, you must show your knowledge and understanding by producing some programme notes about pieces you are working on with your choir, using some of the ‘Topics for consideration’ listed on page 38. You may want to listen to recordings of each piece, and of other pieces of the same style and period. You will also need to do some research, collecting information from other sources.
Here are some tips about making your research as effective as possible:
• The Internet is really useful, but may not always give you correct information. Always cross-check information in several sources.
• Keep a note of the sources you consulted in case you need to refer back to them. For example, you may want to check a fact or find an additional piece of information: it is quicker and easier to do this if you have kept a record of where you did your research.
• You may not find answers to every question about every piece of music. Gather as much information as you can.
• Make sure that you present your own work in your own words. Don’t copy other people’s work – you may copy their mistakes!
  Putting the information together
With your choir trainer, choose a piece that you have sung recently, or are working on currently. Answer as many of the questions on the worksheet opposite as you can. (You may want to make notes on a separate sheet too.) Make copies of the sheet so that you can repeat this exercise with other pieces of music.
Then, when you have collected the information for your piece, go to page 38 for some hints about turning the information you have collected into programme notes.
If you hold your hands behind your back when you sing, this will restrict your breathing. When singing without music, keep your hands relaxed and down by your side. This allows your rib cage to move freely.
  36 Module C: Repertoire

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