The Lost Sound - We're still going!

Choirs and coaching on Zoom

My choir, The Lost Sound – Dartmoor folk Choir – has always been one that uses both my singing teacher skills, as well as my choir coaching ones. The teacher makes sure the production of the voice is correct, free and flexible whilst the choir coach puts those free voices into a sound that blends and is able to interpret the songs as a unified group, not 40 soloists!

Right from the word go, I have taught them to use their voices in ways that release and open up their sound and connection – we use the word ‘Integration’ – a lot! Integrating the voice into the whole body, not just the neck. Forty minutes of each of our sessions is skill based – vocal techniques, breathing techniques, work on placement, resonance etc so that their voices can be open enough to play with sound!

Open voices emotionally connect with an audience – they communicate everything with a tone – a vibration.
As singers – that’s our job!

On Zoom, this training has been more difficult, but we have continued with our training in a new and different way – with lots of images and now, videos of functions in both sound making and breathing, I seem to be having breakthroughs with singers who previously hadn’t got the understanding in their bodies. It’s not possible to play videos in our rehearsal room – too small a screen and 40+ singers won’t see it – but here, it is working really well. Not being a particularly visual learner, myself, I’m an auditory kinaesthetic, it is really interesting to see how much they are picking up from these visual aids. I’m loving that it is working so well!

The best bit is that we have recorded the sessions, so we can use them with future intakes, as well – we are creating a library of techniques, so that we can help our singers in a longer term way. I don’t think I could have imagined at the beginning of lockdown, that this would have been the case – but now…. who knows what we will come up with next!

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Sandra Smith is the director of The Lost Sound Dartmoor Folk Choir, visit their dedicated website to find out more.

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