Thursday, October 13, 2005

Compelling, motivating, captivating


Jean Jordan working with any choir is quite compelling. She is a woman possessed with incredible knowledge, practical experience, and a passion to make something better. If you were paying attention, you learned alot yesterday. I did. Again.

Did you hear it too? The thousands of possibilities that our music has to offer? The excitement of the UR beginning?

There was alot that was addressed yesterday and I'll just list the items I will be dwelling on in the coming days:

1. Isolating to the individual and not leaving the scene of the crime until there is a change in the sound or way it is being produced. (i must mention how proud i was of red-faced-andy yesterday)
2. Ah vowel; not aw.
3. Brightness in the ah; blending different voices through placing people where they can make the best contribution.
4. Dynamics. Mrs. J pointed us towards the excitment that we could find and it was quite motivating. One singer emailed me after yesterday with some very fine comments that I will excerpt here:
we received a great amount of advice to help us become a better choir today. One thing that really stuck with me was the comment regarding our dynamic levels. Basically, I don't think we ever sing piano and even more rarely do we sing softer than that. Obviously, this limits our dynamic range and like we heard today leaves us "with nowhere to grow." How can an audience compare and appreciate forte when they haven't even heard piano?

4. The superior model. Dropping out voices until the ideal is reached.
5. Space above the note.
6. Singing softly and listening across the section.
7. Doing something with every note; getting it louder or getting it softer. That's a phrase that is said many times by musicians but realized by few.
8. Consonants, the singers best friend.

And did you notice what she talked about the most? METER. In every phrase and measure.

The Jordan's changed the course of my life when I was in college. They exposed me to new places, new ideas, incredible food and international travel. At the root of it all was an unbelievable quest for excellence. It started in music and then it carried over to everything else.

At some point, a fantastic friendship developed and we have been close for many years now. It's that kind of closeness that is at the core of who you are.

Thanks for coming, Jean. You showed us who we could be, and that is, perhaps, the greatest gift a master teacher could give a student.


Marybeth Verchot said...

You should add Luke's blog to the choir blog link list!

Anonymous said...

Doctor Copeland, would it be possible to have my blog added to the former choir members' bloglist? I'm wulfbyu on Also, if you could let everyone know that I miss them and they're great! Thanks!

Bill Giles

Philip L. Copeland said...

It is done.

ms. mimi said...

Jean Jourdan is AWESOME!! wish i would have known she was going to be there . . . .

Sam said...

Mrs. J was very talented at bringing out the things that we were too loud to hear. I really hope she comes back and works her magic again. Lord knows, we could use the rejuvenation. It seemed like when she was there, the whole room got quiet and we were focused enough to hear our problems and mature enough to work them out. The whole pace slowed down a bit and we felt along for rough spots. I loved working with her. But, I've heard her name pronounced different ways. I though it was jordan...but then I heard something that sound like jirden? what's right? I don't want to offend her or anything....