Dear Understanding HST Families,
We had 50 students sign-up to audition for A Cappella Choir this year. While, it is exciting to see how many students enjoy singing, it is hard to know that we can’t handle that large of a choir in the short amount of rehearsal time allotted. Therefore, many students ended up not being accepted.
It is VERY important to me that students realize that A Cappella acceptance is not a way to determine if you are a good singer – for several reasons:
*First *- any try-out, audition, or judged competition is simply an assessment of your performance at that moment. *Second* -choral singing requires that voices blend well and regardless of how well you sing solo, how well you blend depends on the others who are auditioning (thing colors…all colors blend well with some colors but clash with others). *Third *- there are basic physical realities about singing that we have no control over:
– *Human vocal cords develop at different rates/times for different people,* in the same way that people grow in height at different rates/times. – *Many adults who are great singers were not great at singing when they were young*. Our own SR Troupe Director, Mrs. Alexander, who has sung beautiful opera solos was never selected for a solo in college. She will tell you that her voice was just not ready for solo work at that age. – *This varying rate of vocal cord development is why no one should tell a child that they are tone-deaf or that they cannot sing.* We have adult alumni who are now professional musicians/singers, but when they were young HST students, they struggled with singing on key. – *Vocal chords are like a muscle* – *they work better and get stronger when they are used regularly*. – *The best way to get better at singing is to sing! * This doesn’t mean you have to be in a choir (runners get better at running just by running – they don’t need to be on a track team). You can sing with the radio, sing in the shower, sing in the car……*as long as you are singing out loud your vocal cords are getting a work-out and your singing will improve. * – *It is NOT true that anyone who is good at singing is good at A Cappella.* – Instrumental accompaniment gives us something to match our voices to and helps us “hold” the correct notes and gives us something to follow. – A Cappella does not have musical accompaniment so it is harder to “find” and “hold” the correct notes. *You have to have the ability to hear your own pitch without being influenced by the different notes being sung by others.* This is not something everyone can naturally do. It is a skill that gets easier with continued singing, but even with practice, it will always be harder for some singers than others. *In the same way that all sport players get better at shooting/hitting with practice but there are some players who are just better at defensive skills, so too in singing some singers will always be stronger with musical accompaniment. *
*PLEASE go over these point*s with your student if they like to sing and hope to one day be part of HST’s A Cappella Choir. *They should not get discouraged if this goal is not met before their highschool career ends* because their voice will continue to develop (if they sing regularly) and some goals just take longer in life to achieve. There are *lots* of choral opportunities at colleges, churches, and communities. *The key is to just keep singing! ** No one masters a musical instrument without practicing and no one gets better at singing without singing! *
Blessings, Mrs. Mullan
Dear Understanding HST Families,