How Can I Keep From Singing

This is an arrangement of an old Shaker hymn written 250 years ago. Even though it was written as a deeply Christian hymn, I appreciate the fact that this arrangement is timeless and open to interpretation. We are certainly living in times of tumult and strife, roaring tempests and darkness. The rock we each cling to to survive is personal and unique to each of us. Some believe in a God, for some it’s the goodness in others, for some it’s simply love, for some the Earth as our Mother. Whatever you feel is your rock, please sing this beautiful song with heart full.

Here are the parts to this arrangement. Please note the time signatures as we move through the changes in meter.

sop 1
sop 2
all parts

As you work on your part, warm up your voice a little, then first just listen and follow along, making sure you have your line of music marked so you don’t get lost. Please as you listen, ignore the words. Don’t even look at them. Pay close attention to your notes and rhythms. The words are easy and will come later.

Then, on the next listen, sing along on a neutral syllable like doo or loo or lah. Learn the notes and rhythms that way first. Have your pencil ready to make any tricky spots that might need extra work.

Repeat until you know all the note and rhythm changes, continue to ignore the words, looking at only the notes and rhythms. Then when you’ve really got it in your ears, eyes and body, you can add words, remembering to use tall vowels and deep full breathing.

Have fun.

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