Not many of us actually LIKE listening to ourselves. However, I feel it has a huge value. When I was a competitive dancer, the best way for me to learn was to watch back videos of myself and partner dancing. We could see all the mistakes much clearer by looking back – it’s hard to watch yourself properly in a mirror whilst giving it everything as part of the dance.
So the same applies to singing. Whilst we are actually in the moment and singing, it is hard to appreciate what we sound like. I do encourage singers to stick a finger in one ear (their own, obviously!) so that they can hear themselves differently. I also record soloists in private lessons and encourage them to listen to themselves in their own time so that they can hear all the little problem areas as well as being able to appreciate the great bits of their singing.
When we sing in a choir, we get very used to hearing just the people immediately around us. I often invite people to come up to the front at rehearsal so that they can hear what I can hear – but of course, I can’t have everyone or else there would be nothing to listen to! So this week, I recorded a couple of our newer songs so that we could appreciate the progress we are making.
What strikes me as brilliant are all the lovely comments. I firstly released these recordings on the Facebook group for the West Bridgford Liberty Singers and people listened, and commented and enjoyed. One comment simply said “Is that really us!?” I don’t know why I’m surprised – the level of support in our choir is immense. There’s always positivity and love as we interact together starting right from when we sing together. Listening to a recording allows us to appreciate not just how our ‘part’ sounds, but also how the parts knit together and sound as one. My choir members can start to appreciate the balance that I’m trying to achieve. They can understand better when I keep saying “Don’t hold on to that sssssssss in the second line”. They can start to make the alterations necessary to creating a lovely sound together. The value of recording is amazing.
These two songs are by no means finished, but they are definitely going in the right direction, or as one member points out “We are on to a winner”.
California Dreamin’ 04.02.19
The Fear 04.02.19