Whether we rehearse our ensembles once per week or every day, there never seems to be enough rehearsal time. Right? What if there were a way to extend ensemble rehearsal time beyond the walls of our rehearsal space? What if we could give our singers a huge advantage by helping them learn notes, rhythms and language before they even walk into our rehearsal space?
Well, there is a way to extend rehearsal time, and it is through the use of rehearsal tracks. I am talking about an MP3, created for each voice part for every song your ensemble is preparing. Some publishing companies provide them, usually at a very low price. For those companies who do not make them for you, it is not too difficult to make them yourself. Either way, here are some benefits of providing rehearsal tracks for your singers:
If the publisher sells them, they are quite accessible. At easychoirmusic.com, each individual track is available on the dropdown list for each individual piece and listed by voice part. These tracks are created from our master recordings by professional singers.
In most cases these rehearsal tracks are inexpensive. In most cases at easychoirmusic.com, they sell for only $2.95 per voice part. Of course, you can always make your own for free, but in this case, I’ll bet the value of your time exceeds the low cost.
With each pre-made track, the work is done for you, and with the click of a button you can download an MP3 for each voice part.
These MP3 files are small and can be easily transported to an electronic notebook, iphone, website, etc. This will make it easy for your singers to rehearse everywhere they go. Imagine every note and rhythm properly in place before each singer even enters your rehearsal hall.
BONUS FEATURE – Jess Hollenbach, fellow music educator, currently serves as music teacher at Hudsonville Christian School in Hudsonville, Michigan. She has recently created a very simple and straight-forward method for practical piano instruction by video. These short videos are professionally done and are simple and effective tools for teaching practical piano. Jess says:
“I am beginning to teach lessons online for people looking to learn how to play chords on the piano. The (FREE!!!) lessons will be in a series of videos that I'll release on YouTube. These lessons are meant for beginning players or experienced pianists. Viewers will learn how to play from a fake book or lead sheet or chord sheet (but start from the very beginning). Look for one new video per week. I'd love it if you shared the videos or even try them out and let me know how it's going!”
Take a look at these three videos by Jess:
How to Play Chords: Basic Chord Pattern
How to Play Chords: Mixing Two Patterns
How to Play Chords: The Rocking Pattern