21ST CENTURY UPDATE: Amazing Revealing Video of A Singer During an MRI. German baritone Michael Voll sang a Wagner aria during an MRI scan. Voice students and teachers will want to see this!



A ROBOT CHOIR SINGS BEETHOVEN: I’m not particularly impressed with the singing, and even less so than the conducting. Perhaps this is good evidence of how difficult choral singing can be.



The first finding was that choral singers and team sports players “reported significantly higher levels of well-being than solo singers.” While this difference was found on only one of the three measures of well-being, it does suggest that activities “pursued as part of a group” are associated with greater self-reported well-being.

Second, they found choral singers appear to “experience a greater sense of being part of a meaningful, or ‘real’ group, than team sports players.” This perception, which is known as “entitativity,” significantly predicted participants’ scores on all three measures of well-being.

The researchers suspect this feeling arises naturally from choral singers’ “non-conscious mimicry of others’ actions.” This form of physical synchrony “has been shown to lead to self-other merging,” they noted, “which may encourage choral singers to adopt a ‘we perspective’ rather than an egocentric perspective.”

You’ve gotta sing in choir — it’s science.


TIM SHARP on the State of ACDA. “I now enter what I consider my third phase as ACDA’s Executive Director, looking to the next four years and the work that lies ahead for us. In this extended blog (spoiler alert!), I would like to reflect on what I know now that I may not have known as clearly earlier in my work, where I think we are as an Association at this point in time, and where I see my work headed in the years to come.


MARIE GRASS AMENTA On Giving Credit To Others. Please treat people well.

He wasn’t called the “assistant music director” to begin with since Felicity*, the music director (a retired director of choral activities from the university), felt he was “only” accompanying, and should be called the “pianist” of the group, not the “accompanist” or even the “collaborative pianist” but the plain, ‘ol pianist. Felicity’s attitude then should have tipped him off….

After the most time consuming and detail bogged down holiday concert he has ever worked on, his name was COMPLETELY left off of the program and he wasn’t given a bow during the concert. He thinks Felicity did it on purpose because he is taking over much more of her Music Director’s job….and not by choice. He has two more concerts to oversee before the end of the subscription year and isn’t sure he will be able to do them without blowing up.




CHORAL NET: Happy New Year’s Resolutions.

Set one goal that you believe you can achieve and one that is a dream. So often if we set out to make the first happen the second can then find its place in our collective reality.

Here are a few unsolicited suggestions:
            *Choose a new composer to use for score study
            *Try teaching a score in a new language that you have not done in the past
            *Pay it forward in line for your daily coffee/tea habit – the joy will surprise you
            *Talk with colleagues about ways to set boundaries for balanced work hours
            *Find a new walking/hiking path to explore once a month with a friend/partner
            *Set time to be off electronics if even for a few hours a day
            *Try out a new hobby – a recent choral grad of mine just took up the violin!
            *Buy a new book and promise to read it in its entirety
            *Make plans to go to your divisional conference – and introduce yourself to at least two new people you meet there.