... and other music-related stuff

How to use the rehearsal CD

The CD brings choir participants the opportunity to learn the parts reliably. As a result the majority of our rehearsal time will be spent singing the pieces to turn them into performances, with a minimum amount of time spent on "note-bashing".

The CD is useful for all levels of experience and ability.

Experienced choral singers:
Even if you can read and perform a complicated choral part at sight (and very few people can), you will have the opportunity to sing it through with the full version given on the CD to confirm that you're getting it right, especially in terms of tempi, rits, ralls, dynamics and other performance details.

Those with less (or no) experience:
If - as with most people - it takes you some time and practice to learn a choral part, the CD will give you an advantage that participants in most other choirs don't have. If you are a complete beginner, you can first use the CD to find out which voice you have. (Women, girls and boys: usually soprano or alto. Men: usually tenor or bass.)

Getting started

There are a number of stages in using the CD to learn the choral parts in advance of rehearsals. Firstly, it is important to remember that a relatively small amount of daily practice is much more effective than a last-minute cramming session half-an-hour before the rehearsal starts. (If you've ever done any exams or tests you'll know this already.) If you are a more experienced choral singer, you may be able to very quickly move on to the final stage with the minimum of effort.

Listen to the CD

If you do nothing else, merely listening to the appropriate tracks (the ones marked "Alto voices" or whichever is the right set for you) on the CD as often as you can will prepare you for the rehearsal much better than reading through the printed music will. Have the tracks playing in your car while driving to work / to the shops / to visit people. Put them on your MP3 player and have them playing while you walk the dog / chop firewood / prepare lunch.

Practise singing with your own tracks

Once the parts have become familiar, you can start to learn to sing them yourself or improve your singing of them. Try to set aside some time to sing through the parts, following the music as you go. At this stage in the learning process it's best to sing with the highlighted versions that you've been listening to.

Practise singing with the full versions

Once you can sing your parts with the highlighted versions, it's time to have a go with the full versions. The aim is to be able to sing your part correctly without the extra help that the highlighted version gives. When you can do this well, you will be ready to make an effective contribution to the performance at rehearsals.