Sing a song with confident harmony stood in a circle. That alone will help the voice sections hear the other parts. Ask for a couple of volunteers to stand in the middle while the group sings. Invite them to immerse themselves in the surround sound by closing their eyes. When they are ready they can move towards another choir member to swap places as they rejoin the circle singing and the new person takes their place in the middle. At the end, ask the people who stood in the middle what they heard or experienced.
Internal listening - developing inner hearing skills
- Sing up and down the first 5 notes of the major scale with either numbers (1-5) or solfège names/signs.
- Use call and response with short patterns, especially if this is new to the choir.
- Choose a note to focus on. Start with 1 or do, the tonic of the scale. Repeat the above activity. Can you ask them to sing that note in their head when appears in your patterns.
- Try call and response again however this time the choir sings the full pattern back to you in their head.
- If using solfège, can you do the signs for short patterns, and they sing it back to you or better still sing along in time responding to your hand signs.Make sure to move slowly for them.
- Could this be an opportunity to select a singer to become the guide leader?
- Lastly, select a simple song eg. Bella Mamas and play the game, how many times can you hear (x) in the song? Maybe start with 1 or do to make it easier. SIng it through twice for them to count. Then sing it again a third time counting aloud together to spot where the focus note was present.
Quite a few ideas here, which could also be spread over a few weeks or months, a little bit each week.