Watch a video tutorial here after you read this article and I will demonstrate some tips to help you with this beautiful song.
First, I would love to wish you a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year. May your life be filled with joy and peace as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is our hope and our help. He is the forgiver of sins and the giver of life and life eternal. He is love.
One of my most beloved Christmas songs is “O Holy Night.” I would love to give you some tips that will help eliminate some of the difficulties of singing this beautiful song.
O Holy night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world
In sin and error pining
Til He appeared and
The soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope
The weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks
A new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
When Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine
It is very helpful to begin practicing this song on the word Mohm, in order to help set your voice from the top down. You will want to approach this whole song this way instead of pushing up from the bottom end of the notes.
If you will sing the verses on Mohm, then sing the words in the same placement as the Mohm, you will be set for success as you move into the chorus.
A little trick to help you become a better singer is to point the sound where you want it to go, or to place your fingers on either side of your lips and allow the sound to start and remain past them. If you notice that your sound sneaks in behind your fingers, then you are most likely trying to check your pitch before you actually let your voice out. This is a very common practice among my students and the one thing that causes so much trouble with tension and pitch. Once you have tried to listen inside with your inner ear before letting the sound escape, you have created tension in the throat that is then hard to release.
Another visual trick to help you go on the first note of the chorus is to set a water bottle or something one or two feet in front of you, and then picture the sound starting and continuing past the bottle. End the phrase past the bottle, breathe, then start the next phrase past the bottle. If you will do this, you will never feel tension in your throat when singing, because you will be forced to use the proper body muscles to support your sound. Try it and see what you feel happening!
If the Mohm exercise does not work well for you, try singing the song on your best vowel, or the vowel that allows you to feel the most freedom when you sing. Once you feel freedom and ease when singing the song on the vowel, try singing the words, keeping them in that best vowel place. So if ee is your best vowel, you might try singing: “Fall on your knees” by first singing “Feel Een Yeer Knees,” so you can feel what that phrase should feel like. Then sing the real words as close to the ee placement as you can. Try to keep the jaw and the back of the tongue relaxed and OUT OF THE PICTURE. If you take the time to find your best voice using some of these little tricks, you will soon be singing “O Holy Night” as you’ve never sung before!
I would love to help you find your own amazing voice!