One of the most excellent ways to improve your singing voice apart from individual singing lessons is choir classes. Whether you’ve just decided you are going to learn singing or you are an experienced singer, joining a choir singing class can help you develop your vocal abilities, learn new techniques, gain confidence in your singing and perform in a group.
Choir singing is a fun and an incredible musical experience that offers a wide range of benefits, both to the individual singers and the community at large. Being a part of choir or taking choir classes can help you significantly improve your singing voice in numerous ways. In this blog, we will explore the advantages of choir singing and how it can help you enhance your singing abilities.
However, before we dive into the advantages, we will quickly understand what choir singing is all about. And yes, it is quite different from a regular church choir which you may be thinking of.
What is Choir Singing?
Choir singing generally involves a group of people singing together in harmony with or without accompaniment from musical instruments. This group of singers is often referred to as a choir or chorus and can consist of singers of different ages, genders, and backgrounds. All of them come together to perform various types of music, including classical, pop, and more. The choir is usually led by a conductor or a choir director who directs the singers and ensures that they are singing on time and in unison.
Choir singing has been around for a long time. It is even an important part of many cultures around the world. All in all, choirs are incredibly varied in different parts of the world. However, there are two main categories. We have the casual secular choir groups which meet and perform periodically. These choirs tend to adapt existing musical pieces for performance. Then, we have the highly disciplined and organised church choirs who mostly perform religious songs.
Meanwhile, choir singing has been known to evoke powerful emotions in the audience. Their music is known to bring people together in different instances such as during celebrations, mourning, and other events.
How Can Formal Choir Classes Help You Improve Your Singing Voice?
Choir singing offers numerous benefits but the key ones is that it will help you improve your singing voice, develop musicality, better performance skills, and build confidence. Additionally, it is an ideal activity for people of all ages and backgrounds as it is a fantastic way to socialise and build a sense of community. That being said, let’s look at some of the benefits in detail.
Develop Proper Breathing Techniques
In singing, breathing is a very important technique to master. You will need to have proper control of your breath to produce a consistent and beautiful tone. Apart from generic vocal classes, choir classes too can help students learn proper breathing techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing which good singers often use while singing. Diaphragmatic breathing greatly improves your voice projection and breath control.
Your choir director will teach you how to breathe deeply from your diaphragm and avoid shallow breathing from your chest. Since breathing is crucial in singing, joining choir classes can definitely help you develop proper techniques.
Better Pitch and Tone Control
Apart from following a right breathing technique, pitch and tone control are key aspects of singing. Choir singing can help you develop a keen sense of pitch and improve your tonal quality. As you engage in singing different choir songs, you will learn how to match your pitch to the other singers in the group. You will also learn to sing in tune and develop a consistent sound.
Voice Harmonization and Range
Choir singing mainly involves harmonising your voice with others. What is harmonisation? Well, it is the art of blending different voices together to produce a beautiful sound. Since this is what choir groups mostly do, you will learn how to harmonise your voice smoothly with other singers and create a unified sound that is pleasing to the ear. Learning to sing in harmony will also help you to develop your pitch accuracy and improve your overall singing ability.
Alternatively, choir classes can also help you improve your vocal range by teaching you how to sing higher or lower notes. Choir directors will provide different vocal exercises to help you expand your range and develop your voice. This way, you will be able to sing a wider variety of songs and contribute to the overall sound of the choir.
Improve Your Musicality
You need to have a deep understanding of musicality for choir music. You should understand musical elements such as rhythm, timing, and phrasing. While you may not be aware of these points, choir classes can help you develop a better sense of musicality. As you attend the classes regularly, you will get a better understanding of musical elements such as notation, recognizing different musical styles, and interpreting the emotions conveyed in the music.
Choir singing can also help you develop and expand your musical knowledge. You’ll learn about different musical genres, instruments, artists, bands, and composers. Now all these will help you to appreciate and understand music on a deeper level. With all the knowledge and skills you can become a more well-rounded musician and singer.
Better Performance Skills
Singing in a choir involves more than just singing in tune, pitch and harmony. It is a performance and you should be a performer. You should have a stage presence, display facial expressions, and proper body language. With choir classes you will be learning about all these. The next time you are out to perform you will easily connect with your audience and convey the emotions of the music through your performance.
Gain Confidence in Your Singing
Being a part of a choir can help you gain confidence in your singing abilities. In choir classes, you are mostly present with others who can be supportive. Besides, people who are part of a choir group usually say that it is like a second family. So, you will have an encouraging environment and this can be an excellent way to build your confidence. Besides, you also get the opportunity to perform in front of an audience with the group and this can help you overcome anxiety, shyness and stage fright. In the end, you gain a sense of accomplishment, build self-esteem and become a more confident singer.
Feedback From your Choir Director
Usually when you take up formal choir singing lessons, your choir director will provide valuable feedback on your singing. This exercise will help you to identify areas for improvement and they will also recommend resources that will help you improve your singing voice. On your part, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and advice. They will always be happy to help.
How to Improve Your Singing Voice in a Choir?
Improving your singing voice in a choir can be challenging considering there are many things going on and people singing at the same time but it can be done. There are several steps you can take to enhance your vocal abilities and contribute to the overall sound of the choir.
Warm up Before Rehearsals and Performances
Just like any other physical activity, warming up your voice and body is essential before singing in a choir. This way you will prevent any unnecessary strain or injury to your vocal cords. Once your vocal chords are warmed up you will be ready to sing. You can do some warm-up exercises such as humming, lip trills, and vocal sirens or sing scales and arpeggios. These exercises will help you stretch and strengthen your vocal cords while improving your pitch accuracy and range.
Follow Proper Breathing Techniques
As mentioned above, breathing is a crucial aspect of choir singing. It’s important to breathe deeply from your diaphragm to produce a more powerful and controlled sound. You can practise breathing exercises like inhaling for 4 counts and exhaling for 8 counts to improve your breath control.
Focus on Your Posture
You should maintain a good posture for best vocal production. In a choir setup, you will have to stand up straight wherein your feet will be shoulder-width apart. You can keep your shoulders relaxed. Avoid tilting your head up or down frequently and you will be able to project your voice more clearly.
Listen to Others in the Choir
Listening is another important part of singing in harmony. You should pay close attention to the other singers’ pitch, tone, and timing. Once you figure these out you can try to blend your voice with theirs. This might be a little confusing at first where everyone is singing in different parts (voices) but as you sing together often you will get the hang of it.
How do you create a unified sound and enhance the overall performance? The answer is quite simple, regular practice. This is the most important factor for improving your singing voice in a choir. Dedicate some time to practise your vocal exercises and work on your repertoire.
While we have said a lot of things in this article, everything boils down to being patient and persistent. Only then can you become a better singer and enjoy the experience of singing in a choir.
On the other hand, choir classes are an excellent way to improve your singing voice, expand your musical knowledge, learn new techniques and gain confidence in your singing.
How To Join Choir Classes?
If you’re interested in joining a choir or enrolling your kids for one, there may be many options available to you. However, we advise you to find a choir that suits your needs. Once you do that, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get involved.
If you don’t know where to begin, our choir singing class, (currently open for kids), is the perfect choice! Our experienced instructors teach students all the fundamentals of singing, including proper breathing techniques, pitch control, vocal ranges, exercises as well as basic music theory. Not only will they develop their musical skills, but they’ll also build confidence, teamwork abilities, and social skills with performance opportunities. Students will learn and perform a variety of songs, from classics to modern pop hits.