Grow or Die

jdfrizzell a cappella, Choral Methods, Teaching, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Has your choir “failed” you lately?  You know what I mean– you go into a rehearsal excited to make music, but leave frustrated and dejected, lofty goals sitting in a pile of rubble. Your singers leave as if nothing odd happened, and you wonder if they even care about the craft to which you’ve dedicated your entire adult life. As …

America’s Got Talent- Why You Didn’t See Me (And Why I Hope You Never Will)

jdfrizzell a cappella, Teaching, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Recently, my a cappella group OneVoice was featured on the primetime NBC reality show America’s Got Talent.  As their director, I am very proud of them and all of the hard work they’ve put in for this achievement.  Many of my friends and colleagues keep asking the same question– “Why didn’t we see you at all?”. The less salient answer …

Staging Concepts For Contemporary A Cappella

jdfrizzell Uncategorized 0 Comments

My last post about standing in a semicircle provoked quite a bit of conversation!  Many people brought up great points in defense of the formation for things like choral works and homophonic charts (which I completely agree with).  Others thought that movement outside that traditional formation was only possible with wireless microphones and in-ear monitors (not true…you can use them …

A Letter To Aspiring Composers

jdfrizzell Uncategorized 2 Comments

Dear Aspiring Composer, You want your music to be heard, to be performed, to be appreciated, and to be acknowledged.  You hope that some day your compositions will be played by professional ensembles and performers all over the world.  But for now, all you really want is some constructive and helpful insight– and someone who will give your piece(s) a …

Stop “Running Through” Pieces

jdfrizzell Uncategorized 0 Comments

I’m serious…stop doing it. If you never let your singers just sing through minutes or whole pieces of unrehearsed music, then you may not even need to read on.  However, if you do, please consider the following. We already know that with every repetition, notes and rhythms in any piece become easier for a singer.  Repetition can and should be …

Improving Your Choir, 1 Percent At A Time

jdfrizzell Uncategorized 0 Comments

Recently, I read a fantastic article by James Clear in which he describes how British cycling coach Dave Brailsford took a unique approach to improving the team’s performance: His belief was that if you improved every area related to cycling by just 1 percent, then those small gains would add up to remarkable improvement. They started by optimizing the things …

When Rehearsals Go Bad

jdfrizzell Uncategorized 0 Comments

One of my favorite parts of my job is when we finish a fantastic, musical, productive rehearsal in choir.  I leave excited, energized, and invigorated.  Students have fun, leave singing the music they just learned with a sense of accomplishment. Then there are “those days”… You know what I’m talking about– the worst thing in the world for an ensemble …

How To Make Choir Sectionals Effective

jdfrizzell Uncategorized 0 Comments

Okay, so the idea is simple enough, right– separate different voice parts into their own sections in various areas around the room or building, and they can rehearse ALL of the details you could have in the same time together with only ONE of them in a full ensemble setting.  It’s a miracle rehearsal tool!!!    Providing absolutely no context …