What we learned from Apollo5

It was our privilege to host acclaimed vocal group Apollo5 last week for a series of workshops and an evening concert, and they were fantastic guests. After a workshop with Prep School-age children that lasted most of the day, Apollo5 then turned their attention to our Camerata and worked wonders with their masterclass in the afternoon.

So, here is a sneak peek at some of their top tips for brilliant singing:

Get your head out of the music – the less you rely on sheet music, the more you can engage your audience, concentrate on performing rather than just singing, and project to fill the space. A simple idea, but one that makes a massive difference.

Know where the musical climax is and how long it should last – all pieces have a shape, and that shape is key to making the piece unique. Without a shape, any piece will be boring, no matter how long.

Warm up your whole bodies – all music making is a physical and mental effort, so being ready and able to give that effort is critical. Your brain needs waking up as much as your diaphragm or vocal chords.

And finally… use what you know to make the music meaningful – if a song’s lyrics describe a starry night, picturing that very thing will translate into your performance more than you think. Doing so may not be a change that anyone can put their finger on, but everyone will hear it. Use the lyrics, use the musical ideas to your advantage.

We can’t thank Apollo5 enough for their brilliant work with all the students, and of course their amazing concert in the evening. If you missed them, check out their YouTube channel.

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