Challenges when working with singers

Diminishing of the singing phrasal endings

Keeping single phrasal endings is one of the most important music elements which enable that particular music thoughts, musical works or the performance of the whole concert do not lose energy, intensity and intonation. Logic harmonic steps at the conclusion of the phrase by the composer mostly requires the record of falling melody.

It often happens that when concluding single phrases also the singers become less intensive. The consequence is shown as changing the intonation, there is not enough power when performing diminuendo, also the stability by the further performance is swaying (this often happens at the dynamic pianissimo).


singing phrase


Comparison with a ski-jumping hill. In spite of long and stylish correct flight the jump is not finished before the elegant landing and before a calm managing in the atrium of the landing area. High grades require also a perfect telemark. It is similar when performing musical works. After holding and correct sang message follows at the conclusion of the phrase an additional physical activity. During finishing the phrase with a slight bend of the knees you activate and once again strengthen the intensity of the diaphragm air support, at the same time you relax the other parts of the body. I for myself mark similar sequences in the score with drawing a line in the opposite direction (when the melody goes down the line goes up).

Approaches after a singing breath or censorship

When performing the song it often happens that a bad inhaled breath during the single phrases causes a loss of orientation the singing becomes less intensive in the sense of clear pronunciation and concentration of listening. This especially often happens when continuing after a censor with a copy tone height of the last tone. Usually a repeatedly set tone after breathing or pause intonation remote from the before finished song.


On the basis it is about training the musical memory and exercise of persistence. Here is a simple illustrated comparison of a train helpful which rushes in direction of a demolished bridge. When the railway track runs out the locomotive has to jump over the gorge without support. It is about the moment of concentration and active listening which prevents an intonate collapse. The train has to land at the same height on the other side otherwise it crashes into an embankment or it derails.

Listening polyphony

Egoism is a present trouble in the process of polyphonic singing performance. In the human’s nature there is a tendency to listening more an exception than a rule.

The choir or the vocal cast is an active body which bases on cooperation. Musical literature of a well-founded choice offers exceptional chances for polyphony in the form of parallel melodic lines, harmonic supplementing and also in the span of rhythmical sequences. Therefor are appropriate devotion and attentive listening obligatory work virtue of each music ensemble that works on a high qualitative level. Singers too often direct their intensity of singing in the direction of vocal supremacy and own absolute. The quality of polyphonic singing expression shows most of all in equalizing the strength of each voice, in intonate precision and unification of colours or so to say harmonic perfection. Of course you have to be attentive also on the common pronunciation.

On the contrary with common belief is listening of parallel voices necessary and equal to the level of concentration to the own voice. The singing »egoism« should stay in the domain of solo performances without background music (in the frame of the home shower cabinet).

Singing of lying tones

The order of the tones of the same tone height is at singers often understood as good opportunity to rest the concentration. At the choir production each such deduction normally leads to at least a partly intonate shock. The whole of the harmonic relations is threatened, sometimes even the whole ensemble. A detailed performance of the lying tones offers a hard fundament for a hearing support of the other melodic rousing voices. The correct performance of the tones in order of the same tone height can be a special challenge of patience and concentration at long sequences with demanding rhythmical melodic moments.


Are you “curious” about your prior singing knowledge? A broad description about warming up before singing, breathing, singing vowels and consonants, about the singing expression, singing in polyphony, correct phrasing, vocal ambit (gentle singing of extreme remote tones) and about the contentual preparation of a song you find in the material of The basics of vocal technique.

Did you find any useful advice for yourself in the note that is about challenges when working with singers?

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Robert Feguš