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Warm-ups: Choral gestures during Warm-ups


Gestures to improve singing is definately a topic that can be explored
further! Thank you for all of your responses!


Just tell her I am a professional university teacher who has taught
elementary, college, jazz, voice and you name it and it works better
with movement!!!! (I liked this one best! GH)
I believe one of the reasons is that the singer is putting the
"extra effort" into the movement of the arms, rather than tightening the
throat, shoulders, neck, jaw, etc.

As a soloist, I use this method during all of my lessons and at home

A good contact for this would be Dr. Rodney Eisenberger.
I believe he is still at Florida State University. He has a
video entitled, "What They See is What You Get". It
addresses your topic to some extent. But I believe he too has delt
with the use of hand gestures to improve singing.


I don't have proof, but I'm a firm believer in the use of movement in
choral rehearsals as well. (Closest thing to proof is research done on
modality/learning styles - the more ways you learn something, the more
likely you are to remember it.)


John Dickson at Texas Tech Univ. has published
previous articles in Choral Journal about the
effectiveness of kinesthetics (using gestures in
warmups) in the choral rehearsal. He's a firm
believer in their value, and I agree 100% from my own


I just recently ordered and received a video from MENC. It is called
"Movement in the Middle School Choral Rehearsal". Christine Jordanoff
and the Children's Festival Chorus of Pittsburgh demonstrate rehearsal
exercises in a workshop setting. They do movement activities in the
areas of body conditioning, breathing coordinated with movement, and
rhythmic skill development. You can order it through the MENC website.


I implemented the Patti DeWitt sight singing course this year
in my choral program, grades 7-12. I have been made a believer! When
my students sing the syllables, there is not the 99% accuracy that is
present when they sing the syllables and simultaneously perform the hand
signs. It's an amazing phenomenon. I would never have believed it
until I put it into practice.


I know what you mean. At first they do not want to do this because they
feel goofy. But I stress "all for one, one for all" concept. and let
half of the group listen to the difference between the sound with no
gestures and with gestures. Then trade. They will usually confirm that
the gestures make a difference in their sound. That is the only proof I
have come up with. If you get anymore let me know. Good luck


John Dickson, "The Training of Conductors through the
Methodology of Kinesthetics" Choral Journal, March
1992 pp. 15-20

Hilary Apfelstadt, "Choral Music in Motion: The Use of
Movement in the Choral Rehearsal" Choral Journal, May
1985 pp. 37-39

Anne Farber and Lisa Parker, "Discovering Music
through Dalcroze Eurhythmics" MEJ, November 1987 pp.

Virginia Hoge Mead, "More Than Mere Movement: Dalcroze
Eurhythmics" MEJ, February 1986 pp. 43-46


I don't know of any website, but you could do an in choir demo.
Have someone listen in front of the choir with her eyes closed & back to
the singers. See if she can hear the differences in sounds with various
gestures & with no gestures.
I have done this with my adult choir & now they are mostly buying into
Of course you should use a very dramatic gesture such as tossing or
pointing the sound to the far corner of the room. After a few different
people check it out for themselves word should get out that you have
some magic.


Gina Haugen