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How To Run A Vocal Rehearsal

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Kim takes us through the ins and outs of how to set up and run a vocal rehearsal. Follow along for some great tips on leading your worship team's vocalists.

What's In This Session?
  • Set Up a Room/Space For Rehearsal (1.09)

  • Write Down the Order of Exercises (2.26)

  • Start With Vocal Warm Ups (2.29)

  • Practice The Song (5.25)

The Full Transcript
"So I'm sure we have all been in a vocal rehearsal before. It might be a one-on-one lesson with a teacher, or just a smaller group of singers, or a large choir. And so what we'd like to talk about today is: how can you run a vocal rehearsal. We find that sometimes in local churches, this is the group of people they get long-forgotten. So we have the band rehearsal, they come on time, and the audio guys are doing their thing, and the singers are just sort of, either left unattended or it's meant to be do it on your own time, etc, etc. However, if you would like to do a vocal rehearsal with your crew, maybe it's once a month on a Thursday night, and you get everybody together; that’s kind of what we're going to talk about right now, okay, and you can use some of our awesome worship solutions tutorials that we’ve done. So there's a short warm-up, for when you're driving in your car on the way in, but there's also an extended warm-up for about 10 minutes that you could literally just play, and it would run the rehearsal for you. But you've got to do some behind the scenes stuff with me, okay. So one of the things is we like to be able to prepare. So make sure that you have a room, and we usually like to have seats in there so that you can sit down for sections of it, because usually you're gonna have them for about an hour to run through your list. So have some seating there, but also have enough room so that you can have them stand for when the gussto comes out and you sing all four parts, and the heavens open and it's glorious okay. So we want a nice, clean open space with some fresh air in it. I think it's going to be great, have some seats available and just think through your mind: how can I prepare, all right. A great tool to have is a whiteboard, or one of those large paper tripods that you can write some things on. People can also come with tablets, it's a new day, technology is our best friend. So prepare for them. One thing that I like to do in a vehicle rehearsals that we teach in the college classes is actually write down the order of exercises. I think just when you're teaching people in general, it’s really excellent to give them a bit of a roadmap of what you're doing, and where you're going. So I will come in, I’ll write the date at the top. This might be really elementary, but this is what I do. So I write the date at the top, vocal rehearsal, and I go through and I write down every exercise that we're going to be doing. If some of those exercises, we do one called sweetly the Swan sings, doo dee doo dee doo, so this one here I actually write that down, because for some people they're like what are we singing they're so confused by the words that they're singing, they're not necessarily going through the rounds training. So I usually write down the exercises on the side of the board. I also write the solfege up the middle, so The Sound of Music, ‘do re mi fa sol la ti do.’ Okay and ascending order up, like thisand then anything else that needs to be written up there. So okay, we're gonna start with warmups. So I start warming up the body before the voice, okay. And again on our vocal tutorials here, the warm-ups, you'll see what I do there. We do a yawn, and then a cough, and then some shoulder bop, some knee bends, and we just want to get them relaxed. And it's meant to be social and fun. Remember life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured. Praise the Lord. So have them have some fun, relax the body, and then get into some gentle warm-ups, which again, you can watch with us. I usually start with humming or lip buzzing, because it cuts, it puts the least amount of strain on the vocal cords, so you can run a high end scale, and you're going to be able to lip roll it a lot easier than just singing an open vows. So start them off nice and easy, go through probably, I don't know, I like to take them through at least 8 exercises, you know. And each one, it might deal with pitch, it might deal with you triads and harmonies training, some might deal with time. I really love them, you can get into the nitty-gritty of expression. Okay I want you to sing it in piano, nice and softly, with staccato, with legato, whether you want them to crescendo. And this is great for other singers to be listening in the acoustics of the room. Sometimes when we're singing on the stage, the acoustics are just in a way that you can't actually hear what sister Susie is singing on way stage left, or what brother Barry is singing wherever stage right. So in the room, they’re actually able to stand next to each other here and be forced to listen and sing in unison, in one voice. So everybody's looking at the same exercise, you’re directing with poise and gusto, and the passion of the Holy Ghost and, then we'll go through it. usually I get to the song and that is the part that everybody just goes into autopilot. So I really don't want to spend minutes and minutes, okay, running through just the song. I like to go through the fundamentals and warm-ups, and then just hit the most crucial parts where you want everybody singing together. They are my awesome tips on how to run a vocal rehearsal, I hope you enjoyed it."