Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Singing with Inspiration

"Singing must come from an internally inspired and uplifted place." I find that the emotion of inspiration creates a relaxation within the lower body muscles which makes for a wonderful feeling in singing. Elastic energized flexible muscles are the result; a state of the body which I strive to achieve with my singers. It is important to remember that each of us must experience successful singing before the 'emotion of fear' will drop away.
from "How to Apply Technique to Repertoire" by David L. Jones
This is an excellent quote with which I heartily concur. In it Mr. Jones is quoting Alan Lindquist, one of the foremost vocal researchers of his day.
I always tell my students that when they are singing properly they will achieve a feeling of euphoria. The breath will be balanced and the body will feel energized and, yes, inspired. The sound flows without overly strenuous exertion, and hopefully, the feeling that the music is conveying will be embodied by the singer as well. This is ultimately what we are trying to achieve, yes?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What about those online and DVD voice lessons?

That is a very good question. I recently had a student come to me who was using a dvd he had purchased from a voice teacher online. I have no idea if that particular program is any good or not-but I can tell my readers what I told him. You can do those exercises until the cows come home but you won't know what you are doing right or wrong or sideways and backwards unless an actual teacher is listening to you doing them. Furthermore, you won't know what adjustments to make unless you get feedback and actual instruction. So, the value of that kind of thing is limited at best. You could use the cd/dvd exercises as a supplement to real study or for warm ups, I suppose, but in no way can that replace a real teacher/coach, which means a real pair of eyes, and ears, with which to watch and listen.  A real teacher with education about the techniques of singing, sound production, performance, etc. and experience using those techniques is what the voice student requires. A teacher who, almost certainly, is also a singer, who is not only physically present but sensitive to what the student is doing physically, whether or not it works,  and how it can be improved. There are any number of perils the beginning singer/performer may be subjecting him or herself to while executing vocalises without any actual feedback from an instructor, from simply singing out of tune repeatedly and thus reinforcing the negative, to straining and thus possibly injuring the voice. Please get a real teacher-PLEASE!
Now how to choose one? To be continued.....