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THIS IS A GREAT VIDEO on why your voice sounds different from a recording than what you think it sounds like. Singers especially need to keep this in mind!

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THIS STORY ABOUT A PROFESSOR WHO IS BARRED FROM using a cheaper textbook is an interesting story. “A math professor wants to do something really simple: use different textbooks from other faculty who teach the same course, because he thinks that a different pair of books is better. Those books also happen to cost less. However, the standard $180 textbook happens to have been written by the chair of the department.

I’ve never been in a department where other professors have been forced to use the same textbook, but I see the advantages, especially with sequential courses. Also, while the Department Chair can be seen as potentially greedy, he/she probably earnestly believes the textbook to be the best learning resource. What do you think?

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A TOUCHING STORY TOLD BY Marie Grass Amenta.

Cassie* had an especially awful form of pediatric liver cancer, loved to sing and Cassie’s Mom thought it would be good to give her a chance to sing with other children.  Kristie was a bit skeptical but checked with her supervisor and decided to give her a try.
 
Cassie came the first day and Kristie was shocked.  She was a tiny little thing, completely bald with a central line (for her chemo) obvious on her chest. But her spirit and her sweet voice made everyone fall in love with her immediately! As the rehearsal period went along, the fifth grade girls competed with each other to sit or stand next to her during rehearsal. In fact, Kristie had to devise a rotating schedule so all of them would get a chance to be next to Cassie.

Read the whole thing.

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WSJ ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SINGING TO BABIES: Singing Wields Power Over Babies’ Behavior. “Infants who listened to [unfamiliar] singing maintained their composure for nine minutes, on average. In contrast, lively and neutral spoken words provided distraction for 4.2 and 3.9 minutes, respectively. In a second experiment, the remaining infants listened to recordings of their mother singing familiar children’s play songs or speaking the words in a child-friendly style. The mothers’ singing delayed infant fussing for 6.7 minutes, on average, whereas the spoken words provided distraction for 3.5 minutes.

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DON”T BE ONE OF These People. “On her way into the store that day, Jackie had put up a poster but on her way out, it was no longer there. As she was walking to her car, she noticed one of her former singers, now a board member of another chorus, loading his car with groceries with her poster in his hand. She didn’t know what to say, so she said nothing and left. The first thing she did when she got home was to call her board president. They decided they would keep aware of what was happening with their posters at those stores and keep replacing them. During the summer, two other board members had a similar experience to Jackie’s; replacing posters and then seeing someone walk off with them, usually someone they recognized as belonging to that other chorus.” This is not how choirs get ahead.

 

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MARIE GRASS AMENTA On Treating Singers With Respect. “Many amateurs singers feel in order to ‘do the music justice’ you need to be treated poorly to be able to achieve true perfection. And when we allow directors to get away with behaving badly, they feel they CAN get away with it. A conductor has the power to attract singers or repel them.” It is important to remember that our behavior during rehearsal is not just about the music or the sound, but about people. How we correct is as important as what we correct.