Page 72 - Voice for Life Songbook 1
P. 72

                                19. A blessing for Mothersí Day
Track 19
This blessing would make an ideal ending for a service on Mothering Sunday. It reminds us that, although we usually refer to God as our heavenly Father, he also displays maternal characteristics.
Your singers will need good breath control to help them sing through the long phrases and negotiate the wide leaps which appear in the melody.You might like to do some breathing exercises with your singers before teaching this song, to get them used to taking a good deep (relaxed) breath and then controlling the expulsion of air very carefully (e.g. breathing in to four counts and then hissing or humming for eight counts).You can gradually increase the number of counts to which the singers are expelling air. Make sure the tone they produce is even – this will require good breath control.
You may also like to use the following exercise as a warm-up at the start of your rehearsal, moving the pitch up a semitone on each repeat.
Make sure that the note at the end of the second bar is as flat as possible.Ask your singers to make it re- ally ‘bluesy’!
They will need to use plenty of breath support as they negotiate the seventh between ‘bless us’ and ‘now’ in the third bar of the exercise. If they find this jump difficult, add a slide between the notes so they keep the tone connected.When they can do this successfully, omit the slide.
Once they are secure with the notes of this exercise, ask your singers to breathe after the first bar, and then go through the rest of the exercise in one breath (when they can breathe again on the rest before repeating back to the beginning).This will become more tricky once you have moved the pitch up a few times – they will need to take a deep breath each time to help them sing the highest note (which comes near the end of the phrase) in tune and with good tone.
Teaching the song
It is helpful for your singers to follow the music while learning this song, but demonstrate the melody to them four bars at a time and ask them to repeat what you have sung.They may need to hear certain sections of the melody more than once to help them internalize the syncopations and some of the wider interval leaps (e.g.‘bless us’ bars 7–8, and ‘may God who broods as a mother’ bars 12–14).The final phrase of the melody will already be familiar to them from the vocal exercise used in your preparation.
Once your singers are secure with the notes, go through and decide where each of the phrases lie, and where your singers should breathe. Ask them to mark these breathing points in their music. It will also be helpful to decide which points in each phrase they should be aiming for – which words need special
    3 
 
       
May almighty God, Father, Son,and Holy Spirit bless us now and for  e  ver.

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