Importance of Playing Chorales
beginning of a rehearsal, commonly called the warm-up, is often
looked upon as the most critical stage in the development of
a quality band program. Considered by many to be one of the
highest areas of recall, it is essential that fundamentally
sound performance goals be established during this time frame.
These goals, based on high standards of musicality, should then
transfer to the remainder of the rehearsal. The playing of chorales
will assist you in attaining those objectives and will allow
your students the opportunity to reach their fullest potential
your ensemble to try and play a chorale without breaking the
indicated phrases. Promoting the ability to play long sustained
lines helps to develop breath support which, in turn, aids in
the improvement of tone quality. When the quality of tone is
enhanced, better intonation is more likely to occur. Many intonation
difficulties are often compounded when student musicians attempt
to tune with an immature or less developed tone. The following
is a suggested list of performance rules created to achieve
the goal of playing with improved breath support. These guidelines
not only will provide benefit to the performance of chorales,
but may also be applied to other aspects of sustained playing
during the warm-up as well.
as many notes as you can, with as nice a sound as you can,
before you take a breath.
you need to take a breath, avoid taking it at an obvious place.
not to take a breath at the same time as the person next to
aid in the improvement of aural skills, it is strongly recommended
that you sometimes ask the members to sing a chorale. Select
a syllable and suggest that they listen carefully and, if needed,
creative in your daily approach to conducting chorales. Varying
the tempo, altering the dynamics, and stretching the phrases
are just a few ways to help prevent student familiarity. It
should also be stressed that when the students actively respond
to your musical gestures it means that they, too, are focused
on the creative process of musical expression. This magical
moment will become a common occurrence when both teacher and
performer realize that musicality is generated, not from habituation,
but from the inspiration of the baton and the music.
Capital University Conservatory of Music