• Posture
  • Breathing
  • Tone
  • Vowels
  • Consonants
  • Dynamics


  1. Stand tall…feet comfortably apart...balanced
  2. One foot a little ahead of the other…steady
  3. Posture is never ‘locked’ …rather poised, relaxed


  1. Breathe deeply, not shallow
  2. Think of the sensation when blowing through straw
  3. Expanded midriff…Resist collapse
  4. Always a silent breath…never a noisy gasp


  1. Open mouth
  2. Breathe IN on vowel you are about to sing
  3. Connected tone… (think length…vertical…grounded) assures good tuning
  4. Think OPEN throat
  5. Chiaroscuro…bright & dark; forward, yet with openness at back (pharynx)


  1. Bright, forward vowels assure good intonation
  2. All vowels conceptually sung in same place
  3. Avoid diphthongs (A: does not sound AY-EE)
  4. ‘ih’ sing closer to an ‘ee’ to stay in tune (ie brIdge=brEEdge)
  5. ‘ee’ sing with an ‘oo’ shape…round/warm…not wide and shrill


  1. Sing pitched consonants (l, m, n, v) on the note to which they are attached
  2. Sing ‘r’ with a flip...never ‘uhr’
  3. Release all consonants…do not elide to next word


  1. Forte does not mean ‘yell’
  2. Piano needs to be supported AND projected
  3. Every phrase must have crescendo & diminuendo…”go somewhere…”
  4. Sing within the dynamics of the ensemble…not ‘your own thing’
  5. Contrary motion (cresc. on descending lines / dim. on ascending lines)

Musical Phrases

  1. Do not breathe as air collapses…think to end of musical phrase
  2. Stagger breathe (breathe on a long note when others are singing to achieve continuous sound)
  3. Support sound at phrase ends…do not collapse…think intonation
  4. Phrase ends are a ‘beginning’ to next musical idea.