Tips to Memorize a Long Hymn

INC ChoirWhen choir members prepare for big events, there are a lot of factors to consider before they can declare with confidence that they are ready for the big and very special day.  One, that requires time, effort, and serious focus, is to memorize a really long hymn.  Here are tips from choir directors, veteran choir members, and personal experience.  If you have been memorizing long hymns a number of times in a year, for so many years now, most of these tactics must be familiar to you.  Remembering them does not hurt.  Thus, read on.

Master both melody and rhythm.  Your voice projection and articulation will only sound confident when you fully know how the notes move and how fast and/or slow they move.  If you do not play any musical instrument to review the score sheet on your own, ask permission to record the organist playing the piece or ask him/her for a voice guide recording.  Study the piece or hymn in sections.  Depending on your learning style, choose to start with the most challenging part/s or with the easier and repetitive ones.

Internalize the meaning of the lyrics.  Read the lyrics.  Check the dictionary for the definition of any unfamiliar word. Take a closer look at the meaning of every line in every stanza in every section.  Think of the emotion/s the hymn aims to impart.  Reflect on how and what the hymn wants you and the listeners to feel.  Visualize its overall meaning and create a story in your mind.  When images get attached to what the hymn means to you, recalling the lyrics comes more easily.  If possible, associate or summarize every stanza or section with an image that is meaningful to you.  You might want to draw or find photos of these images to reiterate these visual cues in your mind.

Practice. Practice. Practice.  Keep a conscious effort to realize your goal: to memorize a long hymn.  Try singing yourself to sleep.  Sing the whole hymn before you go to bed to send the lyrics to your subconscious mind for better retention.  When you wake up, sing the hymn again to refresh your memory.  If you love writing by hand, write the lyrics again and again.  If you prefer typing, then manually (cut, copy, and paste commands obviously defeat the purpose here) type the lyrics again and again.  If you want something tangible that gives you a quick overview, create your own set of mnemonics or flashcards to remember initial letters or first words of lines per section.  If you are more of an audio person, record yourself singing the whole hymn.  The recording alone will take you several attempts before you will be satisfied with a “final” file.  Use a headset to avoid distractions when you are listening to your own audio output.  Do not become too proud to let the whole neighborhood or office department hear you sing a long hymn.  Play your recording in a loop and use it as your daily OST until that special day.  Listen to it while you work and/or made to wait for whatever reason.  Please do not put your headset or earphones on when you are driving and walking on and/or crossing the streets.  Your safety comes first.  You have an important duty to fulfill and we all want to perform with you.

For other lessons and fun videos, please visit my YouTube channel.

by JellSoL, 2018-06-28

How to Pronounce “Papaya”

This video shows how we must have learned to pronounce the word PAPAYA.

Pronouncing words (even the simplest) as little children learn how to talk is a challenging and an entertaining journey.  Dr. Roberta Michnick Golinkoff (from Howard’s “How babies learn to talk” in 2004), a noted infant language researcher, even declared that “language learning begins in the womb.”  So, how should parents support this “little linguistic miracle” they have received?  Experts recommend that parents continue (if not, start) spending quality time with the little one.  Sharing a parent’s daily activities to a baby actually helps him/her “grasp the pattern and meaning of the language” spoken.  Dr. Golinkoff even stressed that imaginative and interactive conversations with the little one (like in this video) can even be more valuable and effective than those expensive toys and computer applications.

Published research data have pointed out that babies begin learning how to talk or understand basic words around nine to ten months.  Dr. Saffran (as quoted in the same article in 2004) emphasized that “babies know way more than they can say.”  In this video, the toddler (only 17 months old) successfully located the page showing a picture of the papaya fruit.  Then, she began her attempts to pronounce the written word.  She understands that it is the name of the fruit she is looking at; which is her receptive language skill.  Her expressive language skill though, the sounds she produced, is not as developed yet; has been the cause of her cuteness overload though (aside from her empathetic personality imitating her dad’s coughing laugh and laughing with her parents).

We, in ThruPages, hope that this linguistic comedy completes your day.  Stay smart.  Share ideas.  How do you pronounce: Subscribe to our channel and follow our site.  

Voice Drill Guide – CGC and Triads

A keyboard guide by JellSoL

It is time for another voice drill guide.  I hope the first one has helped you master the general progression of triads when we do scales.  This video focuses on C to G back to C movement.  Different choir groups have different sounds or words for these notes.  Please feel free to follow the note progression in this video:

C  D  E  F  G  F  E  D  C  …  do  re  mi  fa  sol  fa  mi  re  do

C#  D#  F  F#  G#  F#  F  D#  C#  …  do#  re#  fa  fa#  sol#  fa#  fa  re#  do#

D  E  F# G  A  G F#  E  D  …  re  mi  fa#  sol  la  sol  fa#  mi  re

D#  F  G  G#  A#  G#  G  F  D#  …  re#  fa  sol  sol#  la#  sol#  sol  fa  re#

E  F#  G#  A  B  A  G#  F#  E  …  mi  fa#  sol#  la  ti  la  sol#  fa#  mi

F  G  A  A#  C  A#  A  G  F  …  fa  sol  la  la#  do  la#  la  sol  fa

F#  G#  A#  B  C#  B  A#  G#  F#  …  fa#  sol#  la#  ti  do#  ti  la#  sol#  fa#

G  A  B  C  D  C  B  A  G  …  sol  la  ti  do  re  do  ti  la  sol

G#  A#  C  C#  D#  C#  C  A#  G#  …  sol#  la#  do  do#  re#  do#  do  la#  sol#

A  B  C#  D  E  D  C#  B  A  …  la  ti  do#  re  mi  re  do#  ti  la

A#  C  D  D#  F  D#  D  C  A#  …  la  do  re  re#  fa  re#  re  do  la#

B  C#  D#  E  F#  E  D#   C#  B  …  ti  do#  re#  mi  fa#  mi  re#  do#  ti

C  D  E  F  G  F  E  D  C  …  do  re  mi  fa  sol  fa  mi  re  do

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Thank you, CIS Staff.

An appreciation video by JellSoL


Thank you for this opportunity, CHOCO.

I wish to thank all of these beautiful people.

ALBERT, find inspiration from how you have witnessed me move from being a classroom teacher to being your library trainee.  My life as a teacher librarian has been a learning success mainly through your understanding and support.  Ganbatte, “Sasuke.”

LORY, for all the titles you suggested and see you in Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

LOIDA, for supporting me patiently from receiving my Zalora deliveries to getting my exams organized.

DINAH, for all the crisp bills.

VLAD, for giving me a faster CPU.

LOU, for helping me decide which car loan to get.

Sir LANDO, for introducing me to SCEGA.

Dr EMMA, for inspiring messages via email, in person, or in FaceBook.

Ms D for DINA and Delgado, for always being patient to see me exit twice now.

ARLENE, for helping me when I had Bell’s and when I had those minor asthma attacks.

REINA, for all my pay slips and PAG-IBIG procedures.

NICE, for yummy spring rolls, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and quick snacks.

JOMAR, for catching that author who lives in Talisay.

DERECK, for helping me catch rowdy carpet tiles.

JUSTINE, for helping me get certificates professionally formatted.

KEN, for taking Albert’s seat whenever he is on-leave.

TESSIE, for our Korean drama entitled…

All the SECURITY GUARDS, for helping me keep a smile to survive the last school day countdown.

Strong men of the MAINTENANCE TEAM, for helping me keep my work space safe and clean.

Now, we move on to my teaching buddies.

ROLLY, Twin!  This is it!  See you in your final oral defense.

TED, for extending me once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to retrace my late grandfather’s steps when he was in Hawaii and Japan.

Ms JENNY, for the IB training through the years (from English B to the latest IB Librarianship), for introducing me to the Madrid’s, for being my parent when I was on my own for the first time; symbolized by the tiny spoon and fork you gave me.

RIA, for being my tall and caring surrogate sister.  I will never forget how you introduced us to that grumpy Pit-os principal.

GERRI, for being the patient manager you have always been supporting our WWW program.

ADELA, for reminding me of graduate school life; for being our WWW Drama buddy.

ELAINE, Xiexie, Stranger!  See you online.

KARISSA and CHRIS, for being the most supportive elementary teachers.

Teacher WENG, for all the trinkets through the years.

ACE, for being my “summer buddy” for two years.

D KELLER, I have been missing you, HR buddy.  Take care always.

EMILY, supervising EE has never been a breeze until you came.

Dr BELO, for your listening ears.

RENEE, for sharing my pain in those brief moments of enlightenment.

JESSICA, JACQUI, and MARIA, for helping me with our online summer classes.

MAIKE, for that warm embrace on that gloomy day.  By the way, when are we going to play Scrabble in German?

For everyone else, THANK YOU for the challenges.

I agree with Peter Pan saying no goodbyes and to one of our Preschool darlings telling me… “See YOU later, alligator.”

Rhythm in Music

A short music lesson by JellSoL

You may wish to follow this video transcript:

Let’s start with the main reason why every singer, choir member, and/or musician must know note values.  As emphasized in The Guardian in an article written by Marcus du Sautoy in 2011, he said “Certainly the grammar of music – rhythm and pitch – has mathematical foundations.”  This video focuses on rhythm.  Musicians and singers cannot say that they are following the exact rhythm if they cannot determine correct note values or they do not even bother taking a look at the metronome markings.

So what elements in a musical score refer to rhythm?  We have time signatures that dictate note values and metronome markings.

Let’s review the types of notes first.  Appearing as a note head, we have the whole note or semibreve.  This is followed by the half note or the minim where you see a note head and a stem.  Third is the quarter note or the crotchet that has a closed, colored, or shaded note head, and a stem.  Fourth is the eighth note or the quaver where you find a shaded note head, a stem, and one flag.  Fifth in this presentation is the sixteenth note or the semiquaver where you see a shaded note head, a stem, and two flags.

Now, let’s talk about time signatures.  In this video, we will focus on three common time signatures: 2/2 or cut time, 4/4, and 6/8.  What do these numbers mean?  As defined in most music references, time signatures are generally expressed as fractions.  The numerators, the numbers on top (2, 4, and 6), refer to the total number of beats per measure – that is from one bar to the next.  The denominators or the numbers below (2, 4, and 8), refer to the type of note that receives one beat.

2/2 or cut time means that there are two beats in a measure and a half note or a minim receives one beat.  4/4 means that there are four beats in a measure and a quarter note or a crotchet receives one beat.  Please be aware of broken measures.  A broken measure has an incomplete number of beats.  The first one gets combined with the very last one.  Notice how the quarter note or crotchet in the first measure (which is equal to one beat) completes the dotted half or minim of the last one (which is equal to three beats).  Please be reminded that a dot after a note means adding half of the value of the note or rest before it.  6/8 means that there are six beats in a measure and an eighth note or a quaver receives one beat.

The last section of this video is a quick overview of metronome markings.  The literal metronome is a device or a phone application that musicians use to mark time at a selected rate by giving a regular ticking sound.  A metronome marking which usually appears on the upper left corner of the first grand staff of a musical score, defines the overall tempo or dictates the pace by which a piece of music should be performed.  This is measured by the number of beats per minute.  A metronome mark of a quarter note to 120 means that there should be 120 quarter notes or crotchets or combinations of notes that take the same value sung or played within 60 seconds.  To put these metronome markings into categories and understand tempo better, take a look at these popular pacing.  Next time you see a metronome marking on a musical score that shows a quarter note or a crotchet to 76, you are to sing or play it slow, literally at ease, even if you are in a hurry to get it done.

So as we learn more about music, we will soon realize that rhythm, indeed, is its grammar.

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Thank you, PurplePlanetMusic, for Sweet Success, the background in this video.