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Finding Emotional Synchronicity Benefits Both Performer and Listener

MAINE -- There are aspects of a cappella singing that makes it pleasurable for both singers and fans alike. When performed well, all-vocal singing achieves what I call emotional synchronicity the expression of deeply felt human emotions (such as joy, love and pain) by many people at the same time, with the same intensity. Its the kind of thrill you get going to a sports event with 25,000 people all cheering or booing at the same time, or doing a line dance at a wedding. Were a tribe. We all feel the same way. Its primal satisfaction.Emotional synchronicity can be a powerful way for performers to capture and energize their audience. When four, or five, or 150 singers match their emotional projections as well as they match their pitches and vowels, the resulting emotion wave felt by the audience increases by orders of magnitude versus what a single singer might achieve. Consequently, the audience is captivated by an empathetic reaction, and their emotional synchronicity rolls right back at the performers. What a thrill!

Amy Malkoff's picture

Dealing With Difficult Group Members

What are the main problems facing today's collegiate a cappella groups? Are they concerned with doing well in competition? Are they worried they are not getting enough people to their shows?  Are they wondering how they can generate enough revenue to cover their own expenses? Yes, yes, and yes.

Amy Malkoff's picture

Weathering Personnel Changes in Groups: Making It Positive

In the life of every group there comes a time when members leave: college groups see singers graduate, semi-pro and pro groups have members whose personal goals change and they want to move in a different direction. How do you, the remaining singers, deal with this? How can you find the right new people? How does the group continue with a different identity?The first thing to remember is that no one is ever irreplaceable. Though your departing singer may be totally awesome, with a four octave range, impeccable pitch and time, surprising creativity and stage presence - an all around stunning performer, or some vocal freak of nature, trust me, the world is full of equally amazing people. You just have to find them.

Amy Malkoff's picture

The 2005 Vermont A Cappella Summit: From The Inside

BURLINGTON, VT -- The Vermont A Cappella Summit was born in 2004, inspired by the East Coast Summit and bringing attention to the rising tide of high school, collegiate, and semi-professional a cappella groups in Vermont. Joe Antonioli (past president of CASA and alumnus of the UVM Top Cats), Phillipe Charles (alumnus of the St Michael's College Sleepless Knights) and I (of the UVM Cat's Meow) decided that it was high time to bring some top-notch performers and educators to Vermont to share their enthusiasm and expertise with our burgeoning a cappella community. After two years of planning, we held our first Summit in March 2004. In light of our first year's success, we decided to bring the Vermont Summit back this year, bigger and better than the original. To support our second Summit, we were lucky enough to receive a grant from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. We went right out and booked the House Jacks for February 2005. What better way to set an event in stone than to hire "the original rock band without instruments"? We carefully engineered a weekend to include high school students, college students, college alumni, and community members.ar, bigger and better than the original.

Amy Malkoff's picture

Challenge Your Ears: Advice From A Voice Teacher

BOSTON -- As a contemporary voice teacher, I find that a lot of my students run up against the same vocal roadblock: fear of their own voice. Sound ridiculous? It's not. It's probably even happened to you. Almost all of us were taught music in one of two ways: we were either taught to sing something exactly as we heard it, or we were taught to sing it exactly as it was written on the page. As we got older, we started to emulate the singers we admired on the radio. I did it too, but I was no Chaka Khan (as much as I tried).