BIGMOUTH Chorus are a brand new and innovative non-audition singing group in Thanet for anyone aged 14 and over who loves to sing. You don’t need experience to take part and don’t even need to think you can sing! Our role is to support you in believing you can while having a great time. Get in touch if you or someone you know would like to join a fantastic and fun choir.
What a year it’s been! Every year with Bigmouth is a great year, new faces and new songs make all the difference, and it’s truly something special to see familiar faces with us, returning each year to lend their voices to the choir.
In many ways, it’s sad to be breaking up for the summer holidays. The end of year concert is always a high point, and it makes you want to just keep going but, as some of you may have noticed, we’re now well into summer, and rest is needed.
So what final notes can we talk about before we spend the next couple of months on the beach?
1. Keep practicing!
You’re singing voice is like a muscle, and keeping it honed is important. By now, you should have an understanding of how to warm your voice and keep it working.
It’s easy to fall out of the habit, without Emily to lead you, but you’ve spent a year learning about your voice, and it’s a shame to let things slide while you’re away.
2. Keep drinking water!
I know, I know, we always say this, but by now, you’ve probably come to understand the many benefits hydration has for a singer. We’ve probably mentioned drinking water in half of our blog posts, so if ever there’s only one lesson that land with you, we hope it’s this.
As we’re guessing many of you will be spending your summer holidays in the sun, catching a tan or visiting the pub for a nice, relaxing pint in the garden, drinking water becomes even more important.
3. Keep your ears open!
Bigmouth is a wonderful platform for appreciating new music but it’d be impossible to cover every single song worth covering.
As you walk about, keep your ears peeled for new music, even if it’s not the kind you would normally listen to. Try to apply what you’ve learned to appreciate what the singer is doing.
Some of you may even remember an older article of ours where we talked about the benefits of listening to music recorded in other languages (it helps the brain multitask), or perhaps you’ve become fascinated by one of extended vocal techniques we’ve discussed and you’re hoping to catch them out in the wild.
4. Follow our fearless leader!
Emily, our choirmaster extraordinaire, also has a busy career as an artist. While the resat of us are taking the time to relax, Emily is no doubt cooking up something new and exciting.
Regular readers will remember she won a British Composer Award for her work at Folkestone Triennial, while others might have seen her installation at Ramsgate Harbour’s Sailor’s Church as part of Ramsgate Festival of Sound.
Whatever else she has planned, it’s bound to be exciting and we can’t wait.
And so, we come to the end of another year of Bigmouth Chorus, but never fear, we will be back in the new term, which starts September 10th. Until then keep singing, and we look forward to seeing all our friends again, as well as new faces and voices.
There’s a lot of things to love about learning to sing in a choir. Of course, there’s the sense of community. Obviously, you learn to sing, and sure, you get time with a teacher who can offer constant feedback and support but one thing we don’t talk about enough is the setting of goals.
Goals are super important when learning any new talent. It’s a clear way of measuring progress but what do you consider a goal? For some, it’s nailing a certain song but for a lot of people, it’s performing live. Most of us who want to sing want to share that gift with others, but it’s probably a bit too much to travel around singing at individual people.
Fortunately, there is another way. As part of the yearly cycle of Bigmouth Chorus and en Choir, we get the opportunity to show off what we’ve learned at an annual concert. It’s a massive deal, a full-house of friends, family and public eager to hear the well-honed instrument the choir has become.
This year, Bigmouth Chorus and en Choir take the stage at a pair of gigs, offering mutual support to each other, with a catalogue of songs including Guns ‘N’ Roses, The Bangles, U2, Queen and Simon & Garfunkel.
Catch Bigmouth, with en Choir, on Friday 19th June at Queens Road Baptist Church in Broadstairs.
Then make your way to Whitstable on Saturday 20th June, St Alphege Church (opposite Whitstable Playhouse) for en Choir, with Bigmouth.
Tickets are £8/£6 with children under 12 admitted free! Tickets are available in advance from We Got Tickets, from Three Graces gift shop (The Broadway, Broadstairs) and on the door, subject to availability.
It has been inauspicious start to the summer season. We were thinking it would be all beach weather and barbecue but English Summer weather, true to form, has thrown us for a loop again. So while we’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about how the heat can effect your voice, perhaps its time for us to talk about how storms can change your tone? Continue reading “Stormy Summer Singing”
If you’re anything like me, the start of barbecue season also means food with a little kick. Summer just doesn’t seem right without a jalapeño or two, but is spicy food affecting your voice?
I’ve always heard about professional singers avoiding spice but it seems the issue is a little deeper than it might first appear.
It turns out there are pros and cons to spicy food, but hopefully we can break down the complexities for you. Continue reading “Is spicy food affecting your voice?”
Summer is definitely on the horizon, and with that comes the heat. While it may be great for relaxing by the beach, the heat can actually throw a spanner in the works when it comes to singing. Heat can dry your throat out, pollen counts are super high and we have plenty of opportunities to shout during the summer months. Of course, there’s plenty you can do to battle the heat and emerge in cooler seasons with your voice intact. Continue reading “Some Like it Hot – Singing in the Summer”
The sun is out again, and for most people that’s a great thing. However, some of us have experiences with hayfever and allergies which can make it more difficult to sing. Allergies can play havoc with your breathing and tone, as swelling in your nose and throat interfere with the systems we usually draw upon to sing. It’s a lot like trying to sing with a cold. Continue reading “Singing during allergy season”
A few weeks ago, we spoke about falsetto and mentioned, in an offhand fashion, the existence of a register above falsetto. The whistle register, or flute register as it is sometimes known, is unique from falsetto in that the sound produced has a unique timbre, akin to that of a whistle. Continue reading “The Whistle Register – How High Can You Go?”
A few weeks ago, we talked about overtone singing in preparation for a workshop with Lunatraktors, but while doing our research, we came across another fascinating extend vocal technique. While overtones are high ethereal notes that dance about an octave above the normal singing voice, undertones are their inverse.
Undertones are low, droning sounds that occur under the singer’s voice. These are normally produced through one of two methods. Firstly, we have the use of strohbass, also known as vocal fry, which you might remember from our article on the death growl. By slowing down the vibration of the vocal cords, the note produced becomes creakier, or fried, and produces the lowest register notes. Continue reading “Undertone singing”
We know all about chest voice and head voice but have you heard of “disconnected head voice”, a higher register with a shrill, thinner tone than your usual head voice. This is falsetto, and it often covers the highest notes a person can reach (outside of whistle register at least).
The falsetto voice uses only the thin, leading edges of the vocal cords to generate sound, and although this means it uses less power, it also uses less breath support and can, in time, anecdotal evidence suggests it may cause damage to the throat. Continue reading “Hitting the high notes – Falsetto”
Last week on this blog, we spoke about beatboxing. In particular, we were really impressed by the ability to make more than one noise at a time. Imagine if singers could do the same…
This practice is called overtone singing and not only is it an amazing skill, it’s becoming more talked about.
A talented singer is able to produce a two notes (or even more): firstly a low base or fundamental note is sung before a second, whistle-like note appears about two octaves above the base note. Continue reading “The wonderful world of overtone singing”