Although rehearsals usually have a good performance as their goal, they should be uplifting and enjoyable in their own right, especially when you are singing with others. You can help to make sure they are by following some simple guidelines.
Before you go
- Improve your hydration if necessary, preferably by drinking plain water, and pack a water bottle to take with you. Your vocal folds need to be kept well hydrated to work safely and at their best.
- Wear clothes that you can breathe in comfortably – so nothing too tight round your waist.
- Give your voice a preliminary warm up with some humming, in the car on the way if necessary.
- Your first responsibility is always to yourself and your voice, even when that means not following exactly what a musical director is encouraging you to do. If you’re not feeling on top form for any reason then your voice won’t be either, so don’t try to force it. A useful thought is: Is it worth it?
- Accepting what your voice can and can’t cope with on any particular day is even more important if you have a respiratory tract infection, or are going down with or recovering from one. Singing over-enthusiastically on an inflamed throat is never worth it. If necessary only sing the less taxing repertoire gently, or even just mouth the words or don’t sing at all. A good musical director will appreciate you being at the rehearsal and will know how much you will be learning just by listening.
- Remind yourself as often as you can about head focus and diaphragmatic breathing.
- Take regular sips of water, especially if the atmosphere is hot and stuffy.
- Once you’re confident notewise, take the opportunity to practise how you want to look and feel in performance. There’s more about this in Section 5.3.