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Bumblebee!: Rounds & Warm-ups for Choirs Paperback – February 28, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 98 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1482355175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482355178
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,221,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


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From the Inside Flap

Who can sing? Speaking at TED Melbourne in 2013, Tania de Jong asked her audience if they had ever been told they 'can't sing'. About 85% had been told this. It is no wonder that so many of us are reluctant to try to sing. But save the 3-5% (depending on the source) of the population with congenital or acquired amusia, the good news is that we are born with a genetic disposition for making music.
When it comes to singing, everyone has the essential requirements of this greatest and most beautiful of musical instruments. That is:
  • For the motor we have lungs supported by intercostal (breathing) muscles.
  • For vibration we have vocal folds. Isn't it amazing that when we hear a pitch vibrating at say 440 times per second, we can copy it accurately - simply by having our brain send a message to the vocal folds to vibrate the same number of times per second. The physical attributes of the vocal folds are self-adjusted to produce the proper pitch without any conscious effort on our part.
  • For a resonating chamber we are spoilt with spaces. Throat, mouth, and the nasal and head cavities all provide opportunities for resonance, as well as the facial bones, the skull and cartilage.
All instruments have these three 'parts' but vocal sound is further refined by articulators. The tongue, lips, palate and facial muscles polish and cultivate the sound to an extraordinary degree.
To prepare the vocal instrument for singing requires exercise. Warm-up exercises do not need to be complex, in fact the time required to master technical difficulty would be best reserved for the song repertoire. These warm-ups will prepare the motor, vibrator, resonance and articulating mechanisms for singing, and train your choir in technique. Professional singers mostly do only a few exercises to maintain the condition of their voice, and so it is that despite the numerous opportunities within this book, you may find your favourite exercises and be content with those. But even if you only practise a few exercises, these should be varied. The brain loves variable repetition where the essence of an idea is repeated with a small amount of difference. This keeps the mind alert. The core exercises in this book include a number of variations, and you may well make up more of your own. In time you will develop the ability to find aspects of the song repertoire that can be transformed into a warm-up. Like all learning endeavours, one must practise regularly and thoughtfully. With sustained application, seemingly average voices can be transformed into a choir of exquisite artistic splendour.
As well as preparing the choir for the physical and mental aspects of singing, warm-ups establish a rehearsal focus and initiate attention on the conductor.
When structuring warm-up time, pay attention to the following:
  • Motor: physical stretches and breathing exercises.
  • Resonance exercises and humming.
  • Vibration: controlling intonation - diatonic and chromatic scales, and arpeggios.
  • Increasing vocal range.
  • Articulation: a focus on vowels and consonants, mouth shape, lips and tongue.
  • Harmonic independence: round/canon.
I hope you find this collection of choral preparation activities practical and not too technical. These have served a purpose for me and for many other choral conductors over several years. Happy singing!
Michael Griffin

More About the Author

Michael Griffin B.Ed Music, M.Ed Studies, A.Mus.A (Pianoforte)
Born and bred in Adelaide Australia, Michael Griffin has held a range of positions in school music education since 1985. During this time Michael and his school ensembles achieved many awards in Australia, including the Australasian Open Choral Championship in 2004, a first for an Australian secondary school. Personally, Michael was awarded the Education and Arts Ministers' Prize in 2006, is listed in the Who's Who SA Edition (2007, 2008) and was nominated for a National Teaching Excellence award in 2005.
With his wife Rae, Michael moved to Dubai in 2006 taking a position as Head of Arts at a Dubai international school from 2006-2009, and since then has set consulted in schools and at conferences in more than 20 countries. Notable keynote and consultant speaker invitations include the European Council of International Schools conferences in Nice (2010) and Hamburg (2009), The Association of Independent Schools of Africa in Johannesburg (2012), the 7th Annual Leadership Conference in Brunei (2012), Association of Geneva Private Schools (2011) and British Schools of the Middle East in Oman (2010). Adjudication duties in Australia include the National Eisteddfod, Canberra, 2011, 2012.
Michael has authored books for music classroom curriculum, notably in jazz harmony and classroom keyboard pedagogy, and has had professional articles published in Australia, the UK and the Middle East. Trained as a classical pianist, Michael is known for stylistic versatility and performance credits include residencies at Dubai's Burj al Arab and Australia's Hayman Island.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr.P.Herrington on May 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not used the book yet, but from what I have seen (and heard in my head) I think I will change from LIKE to LOVE!! Looks fun too!!
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By Joan Cavender on December 24, 2014
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