Awakening Artistry in the Choral Rehearsal

Mary Ellen Pinzino
(International Choral Bulletin 2006)

You are at a choral concert. The intonation is perfect. Rhythm is exact. Attacks and
releases are impeccable. The sound is beautiful. Yet the performance does not move
you. What is it that is missing? What inspires performance? What does it take to bring
vitality to choral performance?

Colleagues across the globe are discovering that movement in the choral rehearsal can
activate musicality, build music skills, develop vocal technique, and stimulate energy in
singers of all ages. Every musical nuance can be represented in movement. Everything
musical can be communicated through movement. Every movement evokes style,
expression, and momentum to match. We can make our singers come alive, make music
come alive, and make choral performance come alive by engaging our singers in
movement in rehearsal.

Movement embodies every aspect of choral singing—tone, articulation, line, phrasing,
dynamics, expression, style. It is the physical means through which singers can literally
grasp the intangibles of choral artistry, feel nuance, and actively engage in the wonder of
the choral art. Movement is momentum, energy, vitality. Movement is the life force of
choral performance.

Movement in the choral rehearsal is overt physicality applied to every dimension of
choral singing, vitalizing performance. It is not dance, choreography, choralography,
prescribed movement, or a particular methodology. Movement is the current of
electricity flowing through singers that generates line, phrasing, dynamics, momentum;
for how the singer moves, so does the voice, the line, and the human spirit.

Movement is the finest accompaniment to choral singing. It invites singers as well as
conductors to interact with the energy of the line. Every musical nuance is a push and
pull of that energy. The choral rehearsal becomes a “sandbox of energy.” Through
movement, singers can play with the energy of the line in all its nuance, uncovering the
power of text, rhythm, melody, harmony, and the interaction between the various
elements of the choral art. Singers in movement are the directors of a “play” of energy,
with the score as script.

Movement awakens musicality in singers of all ages and degrees of expertise. It
neutralizes the broad range of skills within an ensemble, enabling less experienced
singers to efficiently rise to the expected level of performance. Further, movement
mirrors musical comprehension, providing conductors with visual feedback about the
ensemble’s understanding of the music, with a window to each singer’s concept.
Movement transports singers of all achievement levels to greater focus, greater
deliberateness, greater artistry.

© 2005, Mary Ellen Pinzino

Shared movement charms President of the International conductor and singers into revealing greater Federation for Choral Music. high school festival choirs. the shifting of weight. musicality. Choral sound and expression soar when movement includes the lower body. Collaboration ensued. different vowels. different kinds of mepinzino@comechildrensing. Listen for changes in sound. yet it is the University of Illinois at Chicago singers who most need to exercise musicality. artistry in movement. and musical. You will discover movements you will use as cues to evoke a particular kind of tone. and rather than words that we can best communicate his with college choirs at the musicality to singers. fueled by Talking is not musical. in their career-long applications of movement with singers of very Movement is a non-verbal language that speaks different ages—hers with preschool directly to the choral art. become more Come Children Sing Institute. together. Notice that energized arms moving to an open position activate space in the sound. Explore different here. and directly to the children and children’s choirs at the artistry of the singer. kinds of movement with different vocal exercises. It is through movement Come Children Sing Institute. the very artistry we are trying to achieve. line. Movement brings conductor and singers into Background greater intimacy with each other and with the music. more playful. articulation. Singers will follow. more energized through Michael J. uncovering shared discovered surprising commonality passion for the choral art. Talking explains to our singers with Edwin phrasing. that energized knees activate breath. The final year of the three-year association included the choirs at Tradition allows conductors to move. by each conducting college choirs. as their laboratory. Movement gives singers the tenure singing under Robert Shaw. 2 . There are only dramatic differences in tone. Vice movement. the bending of knees. The summation Try introducing movement to your singers with of their perspectives is presented your favorite warm-ups. and by joint presentations throughout the Rehearsal Technique US. means to feel it themselves. dynamics. poised to move forward. and upper torso. Director of the Conductor and singers. when singers move as they sing. Move beyond habitual conducting gestures. Anderson. defined planes. creating a community of musicians. Notice the greater sense of momentum when singers are on the balls of their feet. Words get in the way of University of Illinois at Chicago. mja@uic. vowel color. by Michael’s what we feel. Movement conveys observations of each other’s work. and back for the decrescendo. There is no right or wrong way to move. momentum. as movement and music are by Mary Ellen’s extensive study inseparable. Mary Ellen Pinzino. Notice the beauty of the phrase when singers transfer weight forward from one foot to the other within a crescendo. musicality.

or to move in specific ways—“skating” the phrase. in turn. Be prepared to hear a quality of sound that you have never heard from your choir. so you can move forward with the line.” (Conductor sings and demonstrates the “energy of the line” in movement). As you visit my rehearsal today. “Note the change of direction. Aha! Musical delivery!” “Let‟s take the next section of this work with everybody on the soprano part. Use your arms to follow through as you reach the peak of the phrase………. My verbal comments during rehearsal will be for your benefit more than for my singers. and bask in the energy of making exciting music with their peers. Step into that line and use your arms to place that phrase. Find full-body movement that best communicates the turn of a phrase. Experiment with movement with choral repertoire. Wow! The vitality of that line being tossed around from one part to 3 . “Watch this line move. Movement allows for every singer’s individuality. They “need to sit” only when rehearsals get bogged down with explanations or unmusical activities. Step into my rehearsal. Get on the balls of your feet. Sing and move it with me. guiding the musical play. and creativity. Now sing your own part. but our movement serves as a springboard. The power of movement speaks for itself with singers. A mirror can help you better translate your concept of a piece into movement. fragmented warm-up sequences become very musical phrases.” to mirror the conductor’s movement.articulation. Be prepared to witness breath support you have not been able to achieve through breathing exercises. Use your knees to initiate the next line. They choose to stand so they can be more actively involved in making exciting music.” (Conductor sings and moves the energy of the line. You may find traditional. My role is that of coach. the more music can command the singers. and invite singers to move with you as they sing. riding the powerful twists and turns of the choral art. Be prepared for singers to become fully engaged in the choral art. and the more musically they will sing. The less I talk. When movement becomes part of the process of singing. and when you find that line or something similar. Discover the movement of a line that makes a passage unique. The first statement of the theme moves like this. building our confidence and movement vocabulary. Energy and imitation characterize this entire section. move accordingly………. “throwing” the attack.) “Sing and move it with me. Singers reluctant to move may respond to the invitation for all “to conduct. show us more daring moves. initiate movement with everything they sing. Singers. singers overcome inhibitions. Overt musicality is hard to resist. musicality. you will notice that my singers rehearse standing. the energy of the line. That‟s it! Throw your shoulders into that next phrase. Sitting encumbers movement. as we all risk being utterly musical. or like another. We demonstrate interaction with the energy of the line. inviting singers to jump in and surf the waves themselves. as I communicate musicality to them through movement.

The kinesthetic sense of a line rehearsed regularly with movement brings the rehearsed nuance with it in performance. Aha! John. stepping back on the decrescendo………. Step into my rehearsal. More rage!……….” “Go to Letter „B. Let‟s explore it again………. articulation. Bring it to your body and then reach out and grab the next one. Take your own part this time and shift your weight into each of those phrases………. Use your knees. The muscles remember what the mind forgets. always finding greater abundance than we assume to be there. Movement can be applied to every dimension of the choral art—line. then step back and put your hands in your pockets………. Singers who rehearse 4 . Two of them.another was very exciting. dynamics. “This line needs greater power. Every application of movement energizes singers and awakens artistry in the choral rehearsal. Place that first phrase as if you were gently lifting a bird over a fence. John. Sing with rising fists. so we can all do it! “Go to Letter „C. Every movement generates the corresponding nuance in vocal delivery. Ah! Your phrases are so musical!” Movement uncovers musicality in our singers. Make your movement crisp and diction will follow. Wow! That created a beautiful diminuendo!” “Sing the staccato section with staccato movement. enunciation.‟ Snap each of those chords into place with the thrust of your hands. It frees the voice rather than trying to control it. releases. Every musical nuance can be manifest in movement. Wow! That was stunning!” Singers write musicality into their bodies instead of into the score.‟ Reach out and grab that descending line.” “That last phrase needs something different. showing your power. transferring weight to the forward foot. I‟m not sure what.‟ Everybody sing the tenor part. Let‟s experiment with movement as you sing and see if we can find what works………. attacks. That‟s it. I still haven‟t seen what I want to hear. It draws artistry out of our singers rather than trying to put it in. Movement invites singers to become the music. Move into that crescendo. There are a series of similar phrases weaving through the various parts. your movement was beautiful! That‟s just what that phrase needs! Show us. Continue for the entire sequence. “Charge forward into that sforzando. Make a fist. phrasing. Each phrase in the sequence requires similar movement………. and the „undulating choir‟ beautifully reflected the structure of this piece!” “Now go to the next section of this work. Aha! That‟s it! Now you‟ve got that line!” “Go to letter „ A.

Rhythm is not intellectual activity. but in sound. All styles. 2003. shoulders. and moving. Intellectual thinking actually gets in the way of musical thinking—audiation. We often rely on techniques with text or mnemonic devices to secure rhythm. and expression. knees.” Yet the beat should be felt rather than tracked visually. chanting. It also puts in motion the raw material for tonal skills.” flowing movement in which some part of the body is always moving. and tempo. in movement.” to “think. We implore our singers to “follow the beat.” to “pay attention. and Patterns A Music Learning Theory. Nor does it develop rhythmically independent singers. Rhythm Skills Movement is the key to developing rhythm skills. all tempos. all music invite sustained movement. but that does not develop rhythm skill that can be transferred to the next piece of music. hips.consistently with movement become so musical that they cannot sing without it—without musicality. they define only the corners of the vast space of choral music. Freeing singers into sustained movement opens the full range of musical expression that can be applied to all dimensions of choral singing. There is far more musical material to conduct than the beats. Rhythm is movement. Time values and note names provide snapshots of notes on the page. Audiation is to music what thinking is to language. 2000. the greater the musicality.” We need to get singers into movement to get them out of thinking. Rhythmic competence requires the internalization of beat. meter. phrasing. The entire body is the instrument of sustained movement. whatever the age or experience of the singers. GIA. It is physical activity. Musical thinking is the body’s way of making sense—a sense of meter. 5 . and Rhythm: Contrasting the Implications of Audiation and Notation. GIA. Traditional beat patterns mark only time. We must move beyond our traditional notions of beat patterns. rather than through intellectual channels. * For a complete discussion of audiation and of rhythm.* We often put a bandage on singers’ lack of rhythm audiation rather than fixing the problem. We must take our own concept of rhythm out of the mind and put it into the body. Content.” “take my tempo. Singers must be able to navigate the space between the beats in order to accurately impose beat and meter within that space. Singers must be freed of the measuring sticks of notation and the mental gymnastics of music theory and experience rhythm through movement. Involving singers in “sustained movement. weight.” “watch the conductor. but they do not capture song in flight. which is not in words. We intellectualize rhythm and pitch through music theory and then chide singers to “concentrate. primes the canvas for the placement of beat and the defining of meter and tempo. It demands the processing of aural input through singing. Learning Sequences in Music: Skill. The greater the use of arms. a sense of tonality—rather than the mind’s. see Edwin Gordon. not in theoretical constructs.

No words.” It is within sustained movement that we place weight—beat. as weighted micro beats in relation to more heavily weighted macro beats are essential for singers to sustain tempo. in order for singers to perform rhythm precisely and musically. That will give them weight!” (Conductor demonstrates suggested changes in movement while continuing chanting and movement throughout. Moving only micro beats will not define the meter.) “Now you are rushing the tempo. The strength and pattern of weight determines meter. That‟s the idea. Step into my rehearsal.) “Now you are delivering weight on macro beats. Get those knees bouncing micro beats with greater weight on macro beats. and propels musicality. There is no „correct‟ way to move. Choral warm-ups can be designed to develop a sense of meter through experience with a variety of meters in movement. just move. Throw your weight around.” Sometimes I will throw in more difficult patterns in triple meter for you to repeat after me. but you have let go of micro beats. Wow! What a difference! Now I am feeling triple meter.” (Conductor coaches over continued movement and ensemble chanting in the meter. secures tempo. as without stronger.) “Move with me. establishes triple meter. Find out what happens between the beats. chant on a neutral syllable.” (Conductor begins chanting and moving in triple meter. literally. Rehearsing a song in any meter with singers moving both macro and micro beats.Step into my rehearsal. I‟ll start chanting to get us into triple meter. Chant with me whenever you are ready………. shoulders. “We‟re going to chant some simple patterns in triple meter and keep the meter going. Just let the song move you as you move the song. sustains momentum. with appropriate weight distribution. micro beats. we do not define the meter. musical delivery!” 6 . Use your hips. Leap into those macro beats. weighted macro beats. Select one meter to use as a warm-up in each rehearsal. each with its own pattern of weight in macro and micro beats. even if with beautiful tone and precise intonation. Weight in meter is best manifest physically through body weight. Other times I‟ll give you a pattern and you can respond with your own patterns in triple meter. knees. all beats sound alike. including unusual meters in five and seven as well as duple and triple meters. We need more weight on macro beats. with appropriate distribution of weight. and rotate meters through successive rehearsals. Both macro and micro beats are necessary. Performance in any meter without weight that defines the meter is unmusical. We‟ll chant on “BAH. to weight. “Move with me as you sing this song. rather than interrupting the meter with talking. nor to musicality. A regular pattern of weight that defines strong beats. Swaying or moving only macro beats will rush the tempo. Don‟t feel you need to move to the beat. “Counting” beats does not guarantee their relationship to meter. No melody. macro beats. arms. steady tempo. whatever the time signature or conducting pattern. Without micro beats. divided into three beats of lesser weight. momentum. Keep some part of your body moving throughout. Try leaping into macro beats while stepping micros……….

With music. and for tongue-twisting text to fall into place. That was very musical! What a difference!” Meter propels performance. gesture/body language serves speech. Step into my rehearsal. for syncopation to play against the expected weight. but in the sense of meter. With language. Mixolydian. That‟s better! Now those lines have momentum. Tonal Skills The connection between movement and rhythm may be more obvious than the connection between movement and the tonal dimension of music. The singer who cannot sing on pitch is one who has not yet grown beyond “tonal babble. we jokingly use the phrase “open mouth.Chanting and moving in a variety of usual and unusual meters. the better the singer will sing in tune.) “I don‟t feel any difference in weight between macro and micro beats………. Tonal audiation provides for singers to sing tunefully. “What we know” is dependent upon aural input as well as oral output. Movement connects tonal input to tonal output. helping us to express our thinking. and coaches while singing and movement continue throughout. drawing out what we know into song. Phrygian. one who has not yet 7 . Movement alerts the vocal mechanism to pay attention to tonal audiation. we “open mouth. easy placement of challenging patterns within the matrix of macro and micro beats. “In this piece you are singing the right notes at the right times. It inspires momentum. insert foot” to describe the act of speaking without thinking. and discrimination between meters—not in theoretical definitions. stimulates the perception of relationships between macro and micro beats. It keeps the act of singing on task.” (Conductor initiates movement in triple meter with appropriate weight on macro and micro beats. A strong sense of meter provides for shifting meters to be easily navigated. It sounds boring. The use of body weight to appropriately weight macro and micro beats in both usual and unusual meters develops rhythm audiation. In speech. tonally. but there is no sense of meter. Lydian. Your singing mirrors your movement. drawing out what we know into words. and to sing in tune. no momentum. Proper weighting of macro and micro beats is as important to achieving rhythmic vitality as vocal technique is to achieving a beautiful sound. no driving force. We need both macro beats and micro beats within us as we sing………. secures tempo. This time while you sing. move in triple meter as you did in our warm-up.” one who has not yet learned to sing with tonal audiation. Similarly. and drives rhythmic vitality. sing out of tune” if we sing without audiation. The stronger the sense of tonality. equally important for the development of tonal skills. gesture/movement serves singing. focused on audiation. and can be applied directly to all choral music. It is the catalyst for the fusion of aural to oral. without melody or text. Engaging singers in Dorian. Now you are swaying to macro beats and there are no micro beats. and Aeolian as well as Major and Minor tonalities develops a sense of tonality. however. helping us to express our audiation. Movement is.

to establish a sense of tonality. with movement. focus audiation far more than any deliberate attention to “pitch. the modes.” (Conductor continues to speak on the resting tone. The singer who generally sings tunefully.” (Conductor continues to move and speaks on the resting tone so as not to interrupt the tonality with talking. will encourage singing in tune from the start.) “Just listen again and move with me. The very act of moving while singing songs in various tonalities enhances the development of tonal audiation. the above “warm-up” would serve to stimulate the audiation of Phrygian. Keep moving as you sing………. singers will sing better in tune because of their experience with various tonalities in movement—because of their sense of tonality. Movement activates breath. Select one tonality to use as a warm-up in each rehearsal. sing on a neutral syllable.” The least familiar tonalities. breath becomes a natural part of being musical.” (Conductor sings and moves the song repeatedly and then speaks on the resting tone. with movement. echo my patterns………. rather than an imposed process for vocal technique. Let‟s go back to the song………. When singers are engaged in energized movement. but in sound. We know the importance of breath for singing. For example. “I‟m going to sing a little Phrygian song repeatedly on „TOO . leading singers to discriminate between tonalities and sing better in tune. with movement. You respond to each with the resting tone. but who has not yet had experience with various tonalities and tonal patterns. yet overlook the importance of movement for breath.) “Sing with me again. but does not sing in tune. Now you are singing beautifully in tune. You aren‟t yet in this tonality.had experience with a variety of tonalities with movement to develop tonal audiation.‟ Move with me (sustained movement) for the first couple of times through and then sing as you move when you are ready………. Now you are in the tonality. much as one traces a drawing rather than being able to draw independently. Conductor then speaks on the resting tone. Following immediately with the new Phrygian song. Choral warm-ups can be designed to develop tonal audiation through experience with a variety of tonalities in movement.) “This time.” (Conductor sings tonal patterns that highlight the characteristic tones of the tonality. is one who has grown beyond tonal babble enough to approximate pitch relationships. Breath becomes part of the expression of line. These singers sing through imitation rather than through their independent tonal skills.) “I‟m going to sing tonal patterns in this tonality.” The experience of multiple tonalities with movement directs audiation to pitch relationships—not in theory. Movement serves another important function in the development of tonal audiation. and rotate tonalities through successive rehearsals. We can assure better intonation when learning a new piece of literature by approaching it from the perspective of tonality and movement. with singers very naturally taking timely and sufficient breath for whatever line they are executing in 8 . Whatever the tonalities of our chosen repertoire. if our repertoire includes a new piece in Phrygian. Step into my rehearsal.

Movement focuses audiation. Step into my rehearsal. Full-body movement that opens the arms opens the sound. The more we explore the power of movement with vocal production. and the less we need to rely on traditional practices of teaching 9 . take that octave stretch with deep knee bends as you sing the lower octave. Step into my rehearsal. assures space in the sound. Arm movement that generates energy while singing in the high register. which can then be triggered in any piece of choral literature through movement.” ………. Use those knees. The physical experience of good vocal production stimulated by movement teaches the muscles far more effectively and efficiently than the intellectualization of the vocal process. The kinesthetic sense of sound and vocal production stimulated by movement becomes the template for singing with good vocal technique. so musical thinking guides breath rather than intellectual thinking about breath. and wide as you straighten the knees and sing the higher octave. Movement makes vocal technique more tangible. breath. the more they naturally develop vocal technique. yet we have traditionally addressed it intellectually. returning to the first position with the lower pitch. Use your arms! Bend your knees!………. “Thrust your arms out from the body in an upward motion to initiate this descending five-note pattern on „HAH. Repeat. Movement that actively engages knees evokes appropriate breath. It stimulates not only a supported sound. vowel placement. Step into my rehearsal.‟ Repeat successively. but the sound is glorious!” Singers become more focused on the production of sound through movement than they do by trying to will the muscles to obey. Wow! The climax of the piece was beautiful! The sound was gorgeous—fully supported. Thrust those arms! Step into each repetition. The development of tonal audiation with movement activates the whole musculature for singing.movement and song. The mechanics of singing can only be imagined. high. and resonance. “Show me in movement the building of phrases as you sing this song in Dorian tonality. Good for you! Your sound in the upper register was wonderful! Movement breathes life into efforts to breathe properly.”………. the more we find that good vocal technique commands our rehearsals. moving arms from a closed position at the knees to reaching broad. and so well in tune!” Vocal Technique Vocal production is in the domain of the body.” ………. Try it this time on “AH. We look like a ballet class.”………. The whole body is the vocal instrument. Let‟s try “OO. communicating non- verbally to the whole body—relieving tension. as we move up in half steps………. “This time. developing tone. The more singers develop tonal audiation. Let‟s do the same thing on “OH. each time a half step higher. but also a “head sound” and natural resonance.

Movement energizes every aspect of choral singing. “Take your imaginary bowling ball and get ready to throw a strike. No matter how well crafted the choral sound might be. but we have granted notation far greater power in the choral rehearsal than it deserves. We often become so concerned that singers get the right notes that we fail to recognize the need to trigger the human spirit. It is energy that moves the breath. both in rehearsal and in performance. It only represents the music that is birthed through the life force of our singers. the vibrance that propels choral music. Choral artistry consists of the energy of the line. Of course. subordinate to musicality rather than the generating force. Music comes alive when the energy of the life force meets the energy of the line. The mechanics of diaphragmatic breathing. that strike is more exciting than that! Show your triumph!” Silly? Absolutely! Playfulness does wonders to release the life force! “Playing music” generates energy. with every musical nuance pushing and pulling that energy. bringing new life into our rehearsals and into the music. Repeat as we move up by half steps………. and their singing becomes more energized through playfulness and humor. the love of life. Step into my rehearsal. choral singing is boring—for the singer and for the audience. the performance practices of a particular period in music history. The more we can get our singers out of the notation. Joy and humor have the power to move the soul. without energy. Movement puts the focus on musicality. Notation is one thing that stifles the energy of our singers. One of our greatest challenges as conductors is to stimulate the energy of our singers—to make our singers come alive. Notation rivets our singers’ attention to the page rather than to the music. the more we can get them into the music. yet singers become more focused and more deliberate with movement. assuring that vocal technique takes its rightful place. unless we unleash the energy of our singers. suppressing the awakening artistry. Come on. We often discourage movement and energy in the interest of maintaining discipline. Without energy. and the understanding of the harmonic structure of a piece of choral music do not contribute to artistic performance. or how sophisticated the repertoire. It can only approximate what our singers can manifest. Movement can serve as an antidote to each. As you sing this exercise. to awaken reluctant or dormant musicality—our own as well as our singers. choral singing is boring. throw that ball into the peak of the phrase. Energy Energy is at the essence of choral artistry.vocal technique. how precise the pitches and rhythms. and the energy of the human spirit. energy that moves the soul. notation is necessary in our quest for choral artistry. It is just as important to get the life force moving as it is the vocal chords. 10 . Many of the common practices in the choral rehearsal deflate the energy of our singers. energy that moves the line.

using music as needed.” Rehearsal pacing also affects the energy of our singers. Look at page four. Mary’s International School of Tokyo. Movement energy is essential for exciting performance. making greater individual contribution to quality performance. Our verbalizations about vocal technique. the more movement energy will propel performance. intonation. Again. Pick up your music and turn to page three.) “Put your music down. It can be applied to every aspect of the choral rehearsal. If the delivery needs a richer sound. Anton Armstrong and his esteemed US St. Step into my rehearsal. One more time. Now pick up your music and sing the first phrase. Singers “exercise” greater artistry in movement. Movement is our greatest resource as conductors. Movement that stimulates rhythmic vitality also improves intonation. Articulate that first phrase with movement………. we can apply movement to secure meter. Movement that stimulates breath also improves sound. Randy Stenson and his acclaimed Varsity Ensemble of St. bound by their traditional holding of hands. This time throw your whole body into that opening chord………. there is not much left to “talk about. Singers “moved” by their own musicality will “move” the audience. Movement that stimulates energy also improves expression and vocal technique. Movement accelerates rehearsal pacing and propels energy. Japan. There it is again. Each application of movement infuses singing with greater vibrance and enhances all other dimensions of music making. have found movement so powerful in rehearsal that 11 . Sing and move the first phrase with me……….” Movement also generates energy by shifting power from the podium to the singers. “You are familiar with the opening of this piece. Olaf College Choir brought an assembly of the American Choral Directors Association to their feet at their 2005 national convention. or vocal technique. even for the smallest segment of a piece of music. Decreasing the reliance on notation. Let‟s sing this piece from the beginning. The more singers engage in overt movement in rehearsal. frees the artistry of our singers.” (Conductor sings and moves the energy of the line. whether the conductor chooses overt or covert movement in performance. and taking greater ownership of making exciting music. we can apply movement that stimulates the desired outcome. style. just rippled in movement. dynamics. Put your music down. When we communicate all that is musical through movement. It needs more energy………. Now sing the opening chord as you just did and go on with the first phrase………. The energy of this choir. Sing your first note. You‟ll find the same musical material. we can apply movement that enriches the sound. Movement empowers singers with their own musicality. If the delivery needs more rhythmic definition. Movement affects every dimension of the choral art. If the delivery needs finer articulation. but applying the artistry throughout that you just demonstrated. and holds captive the life force of our singers. Some of our most respected colleagues produce choirs with movement energy in concert that just ignites the audience. and rhythm interrupt musical energy. That phrase moves like this.inhibits movement by the physical presence of a score.

this high school male ensemble chooses to perform internationally with each singer conducting while E-Book—128 pages. It is through movement that we can vitalize. including art songs for young children.comechildrensing. unbound by cages of notation. Many songs in various tonalities and meters. Their unobtrusive movement only enhances their stunning performance. www. songs for choral performance. Developed at the Come Children Sing Institute. Birds sing beautifully. on their own schedule—includes MP3 files.comechildrensing. Topics include movement. Babies and Toddlers—Early childhood music classes for parent and child in their own home. and songs and chants without words. write: mepinzino@comechildrensing. See notation. and choral decorum. animates singers.php Letters On Music Learning—reflections on music teaching and learning at the Come Children Sing Institute. and humanize choral performance.comechildrensing. a new tonal syllable system. composed by Mary Ellen Pinzino. Movement invigorates the choral rehearsal. children’s chorus. and classroom research on the development of tonal and rhythm audiation in relation to the work of Edwin Gordon. music reading and 12 . Classes taught by Mary Ellen Pinzino. parent tips. hear songs. It is natural to move to music. CD-ROM www. Written by Mary Ellen Pinzino. Let us give wings to our singers’ musicality and propel choral performance to new heights.comechildrensing. Sing! Online Music Classes for Infants. art songs for young children. Curriculum developed at the Come Children Sing Institute. Printable PDF file. and inspires musicality. energize. print copies. It is unnatural to stand still and sing. and a resource for busy parents about early childhood music ****** Additional Resources by Mary Ellen Pinzino www. To request permission to reproduce any part of this article in any form. https://www. elementary. as it is so SONG LIBRARY—More than 500 new songs for children of all ages—preschool.php Come Children. vocal technique. activities.

1998.comechildrensing.comechildrensing.) www. (Michigan GIML.php Come Children. Includes extensive writing for parents about early childhood music (Southwest Division on their own schedule—includes MP3 files.php “Audiation In Flight.) www. discussing various aspects of his work. https://www. parent tips.php .php Selected Articles from “Letters On Music Learning. spanning children through college singers.php “A Conversation with Edwin Gordon. Sing! Online Music Classes for Infants.php Articles by Mary Ellen Pinzino “Awakening Artistry in the Choral Rehearsal.” E-Book addressing music teaching and learning at the Come Children Sing Institute “Audiation—Another Way of Knowing” https://www. Curriculum developed at the Come Children Sing Institute. 2006. Classes taught by Mary Ellen Babies and 2005. Sing! Online Music Classes for Infants. (Musicstaff.comechildrensing.comechildrensing. Babies and Toddlers—Gift Certificates for early childhood music classes for parent and child in their own home.” Article addressing movement with song in the elementary school context.php “Feed the Meter.comechildrensing. Gift Certificates—Come Children.)” Article addressing the use of movement in the choral rehearsal.” Interview with Edwin Gordon.” Article addressing the importance of meter in choral performance.php “Ode to Movement” https://www. (International Choral Bulletin.comechildrensing. and a resource for busy parents about early childhood music learning. 2006.

a CD-ROM resource of more than 500 new songs for preschool. and the Gordon Institute for Music Learning. Mary Ellen received bachelor’s and master's degrees in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She authored 14 issues of Letters On Music Learning for music teachers. She is the composer of the Come Children Sing Institute SONG LIBRARY. teaching preschool classes and conducting the children’s choruses at the Come Children Sing Institute. and directing the Institute’s teacher training program. the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. . and creator of the Come Children Sing Institute music curriculum for children from birth through thirteen. high school choral and most recently in Indonesia for the East Asian Regional Council of Overseas Schools and the Jakarta International School. has written additional articles for national and international publications. including the International Society for Music Education. the Organization of American Kodaly Educators. She is in demand as a clinician.php Mary Ellen Pinzino is the Founder/Director of the Come Children Sing Institute. her work with children’s choirs and the application of movement in the choral rehearsal with singers of all ages. and writes extensively for parents about early childhood music learning for Come Children. Mary Ellen has taught all ages from birth through graduate presenting nationally and internationally for music educators’ Sing! Online Music Classes for infants.comechildrensing. her research on the process of music learning and music literacy.php “Song Writing” https://www. Suzuki Institutes. She has also presented in Portugal at the University of Lisbon. elementary school and children’s chorus. She can be reached at mepinzino@comechildrensing. toddlers and preschoolers. graduate school music education courses. a center for research and development in music learning since 1984. now compiled as an E-Book. and served as conductor of the Women’s Choral Ensemble at the University of Illinois at Chicago. the American Choral Directors Association. the Music Educators National Conference.comechildrensing. and her unique applications of technology to music learning have put her on the cutting edge in the field of music education. Mary Ellen’s comprehensive work with infants. She is the developer of Come Children. the television program for preschool music. She has also taught elementary school music. babies and toddlers. Sing! Online Music Classes.“Art Songs for Young Children” https://www. Sing!. and leads the production of Come Children. and studied extensively with Edwin Gordon. her many compositions for children.