Expressive singing doesn’t happen automatically, particularly in the puritanical USA where emotions are so often viewed as something to be controlled and hidden. Particularly not in a TTBB choir, where traditional views on masculinity consider sensitivity a flaw. Particularly in teenagers, who are self-conscious and cautious of being seen as different.
Here, then, are a few strategies I offered my students on how to enhance the emotional expression in their singing.
1. Consonants. Give more attention to consonants: they really are the dramatic elements of singing.
2. Focus. Show more focus when singing: especially focus on the emotional content. If you can get into character and do your level best to express the meaning of the text, it will come through.
3. Trust. You will simply never put yourself out there emotionally without trusting the singers around you. So in rehearsal, try trusting each other.
4. Practice. Every performance is a chance to practice emotional connection with an audience. The more times you get out there and perform for people, the better you’ll be able to connect.