Essentials of the Choral Warm-Up: Science, Method, and Pedagogy

James Jordan, Sean McCarther

Item #: G-10957     Status: Available

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Many of us have acquired a vast toolbox of vocal technique ‘tricks’ that give the illusion of improving the singing technique of our singers. While some of these techniques might improve the overall sound of an ensemble ‘in the moment,’ the harsh reality is that they do nothing to improve the long-term vocal technique of the ensemble. . . . In this book, we are all about paying new pedagogical attention to the science and to developing a long-range plan for the vocal health and development of choral ensembles. We are advocating for a specific method and a specific and concrete opening sequence in the choral warm-up that will lead to healthy, resonant, and free choral sounds.

James Jordan, from Chapter 7

For more than three decades, James Jordan has been at the forefront of the evolution of the choral warm-up, choral pedagogy, and music teaching and learning, applying the principles of Edwin E. Gordon’s Music Learning Theory. Now, Essentials of the Choral Warm-Up aligns choral pedagogy with the principles of voice science, which will transform the sound, intonation, and musicianship of choral ensembles at all levels. Topics covered include:

  • Voice science pertaining to alignment, respiration, articulators, phonation, and registration and resonance 
  • Debunking choral folk legends about “fixing” choral ensemble sound 
  • Teaching via architecture of the vowel 
  • Pedagogical “miracle” of the mixed vowel ü 
  • New warm-up sequence and music learning sequences that align with voice science 
  • Vocal registration and the choral warm-up 
  • Rethinking a pedagogically efficient choral warm-up to build healthy choral tone 
  • Determining acoustically correct standing positions for choral ensembles 
  • New essential 1-3-5 exercises for use in choral warm-ups that align with voice science 
  • Eliminating blend and intonation issues within choral ensembles 
  • Guides to teaching phrasing 
  • Understanding the horizontal part of the conducting gesture and its role as the primary method of communication to singers about all things regarding vocal technique and musical intention 

This book continues the pedagogy contained in The Anatomy of Tone (GIA), The Choral Warm-Up (GIA), and Intonational Solfege (GIA), and together with the companion 1-3-5 Essential Choral Exercises book is a landmark publication for choral conductors and choirs.

GRAMMY-nominated conductor James Jordan is Director of Choral Studies at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where he holds the Scheide Chair for Conducting. He conducts the Westminster Symphonic Choir and the acclaimed Westminster Choir, serving as its seventh conductor in its 100-year history.

Baritone Sean McCarther is Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. He teaches classical and musical theater voice, voice science, and movement for performers.

Categories: Warm-Ups

Number of Pages: 292

Format: Softcover

Discipline: Choir