How do you handle interruptions like ringing cellphones or chatty people at a gig or concert? And, when is a good time to let your audience know you care about delivering the best “show” possible? How about this…?
“At a concert in Gothenburg Concert Hall October 23, 2013, Christian Zacharias stopped playing in the middle of Haydn’s Piano Concerto, interrupted by a cell phone ringing for the second time the same concert. He also shares his views on disturbed concerts.”
The whole concert will be published at http://www.gsoplay.com in November 2013.
So proud to sing along side these two beautiful voices this morning. This was their first opportunity to sing together and they did great! Their blend is a bit uncanny and I can see some good stuff happening with the three of us.
I’ve enjoyed teaching Mary (center) and Suzette (far left) and being part of their vocal journey. It brings great pleasure to watch your students grow their gifts and use them for others.
There are some real opportunities to use your singing talent in more ways than recitals and karaoke!… And if you aren’t the “put on a show” type and you are part of a church perhaps singing as a worship vocalist is where your voice belongs. The value of this kind of singing may far exceed your expectations! And, if you aren’t sure your voice is “ready” then there’s not better time than now to begin your own vocal journey. Who knows where your talent will take you. Sing On!
Good Monday, Singers! It’s good to be back after a road trip to northern cali, a funeral and a wedding I’m ready to dig in and get some singing on with all you great singers. Here’s today’s singing tip to get things started:
Not only is your voice your instrument but you are a vocal athlete too. Every athlete follows a training regime to strengthen, grow and perfect their technique. Training includes not only the muscles but the whole body and mind through exercises and other factors such as diet, hydration and rest.
It’s important to consider what goes into your body uninvited. Smoke, fumes, smog and allergens all can have an negative effect on your instrument.
Having a healthy lifestyle and using wisdom and caution regarding your environment can be helpful in the improvement and safety of your voice. It’s all a matter of being a conscious singer. Be conscious of your surroundings, your diet, sleep patterns, and other good health factors and you’ll improve your options to Sing On! for years to come.
Every body can sing!
Every human body has the same anatomy and we all can develop our voices to sing well. That doesn’t mean that everyone’s voice is going to be as awesome as their favorite singer, but it does mean that with proper technique everybody can produce a healthy, free, resonant sound. That means YOU!!
In singing, relaxation is key. Learn to observe and feel your body and understand its behaviors; it will always tell you what’s going on, but most of the time we don’t pay attention. People have various tensions and it takes time and patience to retrain how your body behaves – but it’s totally doable! And a relaxed voice is the foundation for good singing.
So, first things first… for the next 24 hours (any date after reading this post) see if you can practice a relaxed posture in your body and voice during singing. Set aside several 5 minute spots in your day to purposefully sing with a mindset to focus on removing tension when you sing. Don’t allow yourself to indulge in your regular singing habits any time during the 24 hour period. Don’t worry about whether your voice sounds good just make sure you have released all tension in your jaw, tongue, throat, vocal apparatus, face, shoulders and body. Think about freeing up your voice. Your voice shouldn’t feel trapped in your throat or sound muddy. A breathy sound is ok, but it should feel free of all tension.
Repeat several times over the next 24 hours remembering to avoid any other kind of singing. Allow what you’ve learned from the experience to get you in touch with your voice. Then come on back to this post and share your comments. Let me know how it went. Ask questions and share some feedback. Let’s get talking!!
One of my vocal students tweeted the following complaint in regards to singing, to which a short conversation got me involved on facebook. Check out the conversation and add your comments or questions. Let’s see if anyone else out there has similar singing challenges!
uggghhh…why must Hillsong songs be so vocally challenging for me…well except for Mighty To Save. but I will press on #challengeaccepted
Why is “mighty to save” not challenging to sing?? I would always choose that song before my vocal lessons because it didn’t seem hard… Maybe Cosima can tell us why?
Cosima ~From TheVoiceBox:
Ahhh that’s easy! First off, Mighty To Save only has one octave in it. That’s a very small range so if you sing it in a key you are comfortable in there’s no challenge at all. You could, in fact, sing the whole song in your chest voice thereby avoiding singing into your head voice.
Essentially, that’s like using only the speaking range of your voice and I don’t know anyone who has trouble speaking unless they have an impairment.
Secondly, the melody is highly repetitive and is uncomplicated melodically as well as lyrically making it a no brainer. So… you can sing the whole song in your speaking range, and you don’t have to concentrate too hard.
Finally, the song starts at the low end of the scale and slowly makes it’s way up to the octave during the bridge, giving your voice time to set up for the “high” note. What could be easier?
BTW, this would make a nice lesson in good songwriting for worship.
(My response assumes that Cherry had transposed the song into a key she was comfortable in.)
Ever wonder what your voice lesson might be like? Here’s a sample of my lesson notes from a 60 min free mini-lesson given this week. Have you set yours up yet?
3/13 Vocal Evaluation & mini-lesson:
Vocal Evaluation determined beginning range to be: Undetermined at this time.
Possible Choral Alto/Choral Mezzo Soprano
Range at first lesson : C3 – G5
- Intro to vocal mechanics
- The vocal registers and range
- Chest voice, head voice, whistle voice, falsetto, vocal fry
- Breathing for singing
- Recognizing and dealing with tension
- Isolating outer muscles of the larynx to gain control and free the vocal cords
- Bubble exercise – placing finders on cheeks where teeth join to produce a loose lip pucker. Sing through the low end of your range to the high end with minimal effort without tripping over the ‘breaks’ in your range. Remember to control breath support. Avoid letting all the air escape all at once.
- This foundational exercise should become a daily routine. The action of the lips frees up the vocal cords by releasing unwanted outer larynx muscles and setting the larynx up for correct speech-level position. Paying close attention to all the sensations in the vocal apparatus will help you isolate the healthy vocal function needed for beautiful, free singing.
- What to remember – learn to recognize vocal cord adjustments by how they feel.
- Working towards Pure Tone
- Vocal fry – vocal cord vibration with no tone.
- Positions the vocal cords for optimum connection thereby producing a pure clear tone with minimal effort. Also foundational. While most exercises such as the Bubble, are only part of a vocal workout or warm up routine the vocal fry will remain part of how you sing.
- What to remember – expect progress over time with good practice habits.
- Good breathing for singing
- Diaphragmatic breathing – using the diaphragm to draw air into the lungs rather than ‘filling up the lungs’ from the top down.
- Making this part of a daily practice routine will build the support you need to move you toward controlled phrasing and support steady well placed tone while maintaining pitch control.
- What to Remember – Breathing for singing is different than breathing for speech.
- Tension busters
- Relaxing in the jaw and mouth. (see blog for exercises to release jaw and tongue tension)
- Open relaxed jaw and mouth for better volume/diction
Having trouble blending vocals? Here's a reblog from 2008.. Sing On!