Singing Workshop

NEXT WORKSHOP DATE–Meets every other Saturday from 9-11 a.m. in the We, Montana! Great Room. See the calendar in orange below.

To RSVP, see the contact form below.

Please be sure to read our COVID policy before coming.

Need a refresher on how to sing well? Or thinking about starting fresh? These bi-weekly workshops could be just the ticket for getting started conveniently and affordably.

What?

This is a two-hour workshop that meets every other Saturday, generally. There will be demonstrations and small bits of lecture and plenty of hands-on time with the class doing various vocal exercises. Also, as time permits those who want to volunteer to sing in front of the class will get some coaching–and this will probably prompt some further exercises for the class—as in having everybody sing (together) the difficult line that the singer is being instructed about. Remember, it’s a workshop, so generally, the participants come to work with their voices. Can you come only to observe? Sure. If everybody does that, will the workshop go well? No, it would crash and burn. But we can certainly handle it if a few come as observers.

Here’s a list of the sorts of things we’ll typically be working on:

  • Breathing exercises.
  • Vowels
  • Breathing exercises.
  • How to sing big leaps, such as “A—mer-i-ca, A—mer-i-ca, God shed his grace….”
  • How to add more notes to the top of your range.
  • Breathing exercises.
  • How to have a consistent tone throughout your vocal range.
  • How to sing with a rich tone, as opposed to a whispery tone.
  • How to avoid muscle tension in the voice.
  • Ping/Snarl/Mask
  • Singing in different styles.
  • Breathing exercises.
  • Word painting
  • Word stress
  • Word Emphasis
  • Melodic line
  • Sing & See software—for analysis of pitch and resonance
  • Breathing exercises.
  • How to sing out loud.
  • And if there’s any time left, we’ll work on breathing.

When?

Every other Saturday, generally, from 9-11 am. Here are the dates as of right now. Please check the following periodically for changes:

WORKSHOP DATES FOR SPRING SEMESTER 2022
05 February
19 February
05 March
19 March
02 April

Where?

At the We, Montana! Great Room. See the location information here.

Cost / Registration

The cost is $2 per person–drop it in the donation box when you come in the door. (Cash is fine, or you can make checks payable to We, Montana!. There is no official registration for the class. You are not obligated to be at every session; come when you can. We’re not asking much money for this class, but we do ask that you let us know you’re coming. If we get fewer than 10 RSVPs for any given Saturday by the day before, we’ll cancel the date.

Who?

For nice people, ages 12 and up. The workshop can help anybody who wants to sing do so better. It was prompted by the need to help members of Sing, Montana! Freedom Choir and We, Montana! Homeschool Glee Club work on their singing technique (for which we just don’t have much time in rehearsals), but the same techniques are good for every singer, whether you’re brushing up or just getting started.

What Should I Expect?

The We, Montana! Great Room

Expect classroom seating (though without the tables shown here) and lots of humor, demonstrations, and whiteboard discussions. We’ll present some basic descriptions about singing techniques, and we’ll warm up as a class. As things come up in class, we’ll discuss and/or demonstrate. Generally, however, volunteer students will sing some simple song for the class, and then we’ll coach those singers on their singing. This may include having the whole class stand up and sing the same line all together (which isn’t embarrassing)—so that you can all experience the challenge that the singer is having. We’re not looking to embarrass anybody, and if you want to observe without participating, you can sit in the back and you won’t be pressured to get involved.

About the Teacher

Jack Pelham is the Founder and Executive Director of We, Montana! and teaches most of our courses in our three overall programs: 1) Homeschool Program, 2) Community Program, and 3) Sing, Montana!. He’s the choral director for Sing, Montana! Freedom Choir and the We, Montana! Homechool Glee Club. Jack has a bachelor’s in music from The Florida State University, with a heavy emphasis in both choral and instrumental music education, and with voice as his principle instrument, though he was previously also a trombone major. He has experience in musical theater, and is also the director of We, Montana’s Skitworks classes. He teaches several courses in the humanities–beyond the subject of music alone.

Is This All There Is?

No, these workshops are more of a sampler than a course. You can come for as long as you like, but there’s no guarantee how much personal instruction time you’ll get in this sampler workshop. We’re hoping to kickoff some regular weekly voice classes soon, and those classes are limited to 12 students in each one. They generally run for a 10-week semester, and are designed to be focused on different skill level groups. The classes are designed, however, such that even a rusty pro could get into Level 1 and find it useful and entertaining—even if it would work at a slower pace than he or she might be able to handle. Keep reading more about this in the next paragraph, Sing, Montana! Voices.

Sing, Montana! Voices

Continuing on about the discussion in the paragraph above, there are three levels of this voice class conceived, and a fourth level–once we’ve had time to grow—would consist of a group of skilled singers who are good enough that a general audience wants to hear them sing. This group will be more of a performance troupe, and will center around mostly solo performances of the sorts of songs that go well with voice and piano. We would sing genres like these, in no particular order:

  • Arias
  • Art songs
  • Standards
  • Jazz
  • Ballads
  • Show Tunes

We would hire accompanists and have periodic practice sessions in between our performance events—which would start out rather informally in the Great Room, but may evolve in time to fancier venues, or perhaps, into restaurant settings, where we’d provide dinner music for willing audiences.

So, no, these every-other-Saturday workshops are not the end of the concept, but just the beginning. We hope in time to have a rich fellowship of singers, from beginning quality to pros, and to help facilitate their singing opportunities! If you’re interested in Sing, Montana! Voices, please let us know on the RSVP form below.

RSVP

It’s important that you let us know you’re coming. If we have fewer than ten who say they’re coming on a Friday, then we’ll cancel the session for the next day. And if we don’t have your contact information, we can’t reach you to let you know of the cancellation. Also, you can use this form to ask questions, or to discuss the workshop otherwise.