Learning each and every day

My quest to edify myself a bit every day

Day 154 – May 24

Wow, I”m on a roll . . . .FOUR days in a row! And today, I learned TWO things! lol

I found a recipe for a cucumber mint drink, and though I’d give it a try. The recipe comes from simplyrecipes.com and you can also find it on my drinks and desserts board on pinterest. I’ll be honest, mine did not look nice and green like that. It was more like a milky green color . . .not sure why! I have to say that this was pretty much a failure. I only sort of liked it and the babes just sipped it. If they would’ve like it, they would’ve chugged away. DH’s reaction was pretty hilarious. Apparently he’s mowed alot of yards in his life that have mint plants in them. So when he picked it up to take a drink, all he could think of was mowing. ROTFL! Oh well! I’m going to add some more sugar and maybe some coconut extract to see if that improves the flavor. Or maybe I’ll forgo the sugar and extract and just mix it with some Fresca . . we’ll see.

My other lesson was a music lesson. I’m the biggest choir nerd everywhere. I’ve been singing in choirs since I was maybe 8, when I joined the church choir. Since then, I think the only time I wasn’t in a choir was the 3 years we lived in Maryland. I’ve had lots of different directors with equally as many different conducting styles. Most of the time, warm-ups were very basic, not very involved. The exception to that was my college choral director, Bruce Rasmussen. Although he did have many basic warm-ups, we also did plenty of more interesting things. We’d spend time singing bizarre chords to try and get intonation correct (or at least I’m assuming that was the purpose). Or he would take some really tricky chords from a piece we were learning and incorporate that into the warm-ups. I always appreciated his creativity in the warm-up realm.

Robert Shaw was really an amazing choral director. Well, I guess I’m just making that assumption, (having never actually seen him conduct), based on the wonderful results he’d get from his singers in all of his recordings. To this day, I have yet to hear a Robert Shaw Chorale recording that I didn’t like. I never really thought too much about what caused such excellent performances. I figured it was amazing singers who actually listened to their director. A former colleauge of mine, John Stafford, posted this article on facebook today, and I found it fascinating. I must’ve spent the better part of 30 minutes listening to all of the examples. In all of my years of choral singing, I’m not sure that we’ve done any of these exercises, at least not with intent of accomplishing the same goal laid out by Robert Shaw. I need to sit and process the information a bit more, but I can see how these exercises could easily take a choir to the next level. Actually, I think some of these exercises would be very good for solo singers as well. Sometimes I think that singers don’t spend much time trying to stay in tune on their own accord, relying only on the piano or other accompanying instrument to lead them along. I think doing some of these exercises would really challenge many solo singers to actually listen to themselves and be more responsible for their intonation.

Anyway, if music is your thing, or if you’re a choir nerd, or even just somewhat interested in music, you might want to check out this article.


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