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Music Skills Resources

1.   Miriam Duncan's Hymn Playing Lecture - given at Oberlin 1992.

2.   The "Ten Commandments" for Organ Practicing - By Daniel E. Gawthrop, as published in Keyboard World, ca. 1975.

3.   How to Practice Sight-Reading at the Keyboard
- Daryel Nance.

4.   Natural Abdominal Breathing for singers or wind instrument players.

Why all the fuss about something as simple as breathing?  Well... for a moment, try singing without breathing.  Hmmm...  no air, no song,  ...that's how important it is.  Your song is your breathWhether your instrument is your voice, or a wind instrument in your hands, the music you make is the stream of air that YOU create.  By the time most of us have reached adulthood, we have collected an assortment of behavioral mannerisms that can get in the way of natural body processes - even a process as fundamental as breathing.  Amidst all of the popular "vocal hocus-pocus" about what one's diaphragm is incapable of doing, the following link is an excellent description of singers' breathing from Lloyd Hanson, DMA, professor of Vocal Pedagogy at Northern Arizona University.  Dr. Hanson's article is a refreshingly anatomically accurate understanding of how a singer breathes: .

5.    America's Performing Art: A Study of Choruses, Choral Singers, and Their Impact  ...available from Chorus America

In February of 2002, Chorus America released their study on choral participation in the U.S.  An estimated 28.5 million Americans perform regularly with a choir or chorus - more than for any other art form.  There are about 250,000 choral groups in the U.S., including roughly 200,000 church choirs.  12,000 professional and volunteer community choruses, and 38,000 school choruses.  Early exposure to choral singing is the primary factor that leads adults to participate in choruses.  69% reported that their first experience was an elementary or middle school chorus.  "Choral singing provides an extraordinarily accessible entry point for arts exposure, with few barriers to participation.."

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