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Improvisation = Fun in Singing

Improvisation = Fun in Singing

Substitute the word play for improvisation and you will find it easy to enjoy. Children improvise at the drop of a hat. Singers of gospel and jazz consider it their bread and butter.  However many classical singers and their teachers disappear quickly when the I-word is mentioned. Improvisation is made difficult in a culture that thinks it needs to get everything right.  When we are playing the idea that we need to get something right is not even considered.  And, that is what we need to do when we begin to improvise. Actually we improvise all the time in speaking–we are constantly interrupting one another.  In some ways improvisation is an interruption also. Here is a fun way to begin:  respond to comments on a radio talk show with um-mm and yeah-yeah when the commentator pauses for breath–or even before.  Gradually interrupt using more sung sounds like a fake scat–do bee do be doooo or something similar. Next put on some music and interrupt it in the same way.  As you become more confident, you will do this with the music.  You can gain confidence by singing an entirely different tune on top of the one on the recording. Play with sound.  There is nothing here to get correct or right.  This is a beginning....

Creating Confidence in Singing

[rev_slider slider7] Creating Confidence in Singing Confidence in singing is a state of being, not just an outer facade. It is much more than just knowing the music and words. How do you gain confidence? There must be as many ways as there are people.Here are five steps for achieving confidence in performance. 1. How you think Energetically your thoughts are the key to your wellbeing and your vocal performance.  What is your intent or goal when you sing?  Are you there because you want to share the total joy of the music with your audience?  Are you there to impress someone? When the motivation is suspect, the audience will discover you whether it is conscious or subconscious.  The purity of your intent matters at all times! It is not about what happened in the past or what will happen in the future.  It is about now—from the moment you begin to think about singing or from the moment you walk on stage. Fear comes from thinking about the past or future; it doesn’t usually happen when you are truly present. 2. How you talk about your singing Stating what it is you want to do will give you the motivation to achieve your goals without sabotaging your good intentions. Negative thinking leads to negative talking. While it may seem the “in” thing to do, self- criticism to others about yourself or your singing is not a way to breed confidence.  Repeating real or perceived negative statements from others about your voice or your music is not useful either. Using words like detest and hate for any reason lower your...

The Teaching of Singing is Changing

[rev_slider slider7] Teaching of singing is Changing In this age of multi-media, global access, Internet and television, we are exposed, in some cases bombarded, with singing of every conceivable variety and style.  It’s impossible to avoid.  There are even examples of educational courses and information being done in rap style (the Cern rap).  The urge to sing is pervasive.  Our models for learning to sing are changing as well. No longer is it sufficient to accept a four hundred year old model of vocal technique as defined by the “classical style”.  Neither is it sufficient to accept a fixed method of any other style such as musical theatre, pop and rock.  There are now influences from so many cultures that contribute to new fusions of sound and new approaches to singing. Singers are finding and experimenting with new outlets and the teaching of singing is finally moving outside the box. Those who always wanted to sing are finding their own way to do it CoreSinging® brings a universal approach to studying and teaching singing that goes right to the heart of the person, the song and the audience. Energy, Awareness and Imagination are the cornerstones of an approach that includes concepts from Eastern traditions, Western tradition, quantum mechanics and years devoted to the art of singing. Bringing concepts from many cultures and traditions allows us many more options in how creativity and artistry is pursued by the individual.  What’s happening is incredibly exciting and personally satisfying to large numbers of...

Vocal Pedagogy–some thoughts

[rev_slider slider7] Vocal Pedagogy Vocal Performance Pedagogy is a phrase used by Elizabeth Blades-Skinner in conjunction with CoreSinging® —and I really like it.  Vocal pedagogy as it is taught currently has a tendency to become knowledge about the voice rather how we teach teachers to teach singing.  Almost every book you open has endless pictures of the anatomy of the voice from the first page.  It is the equivalent of a new student of the game of tennis being shown the pictures of the muscles of the arm before he has his first lesson.  Do we really want this emphasis in singing? Knowledge is important and it serves us best when our teaching is balanced with awareness, intuition, and practicality. One rule to follow is:  if you cannot find a practical application for your knowledge, do not foist it upon your students.  It has to fit.  Just knowing anatomy, acoustics, repertoire, style, etc is not enough.  How do you use that information?  What is the purpose of the warm up you just gave the student?  There are many possible answers to the question, and you need to know the one(s) you have for that moment.  There is no recipe or formula for teaching, just a very wide range of options. Your intuition and awareness will give you many solutions—different for each student. All the knowledge we have is useful in teaching.  What we need to trust is that we can store much of it in the “hard drive” and know that it is there.  That leaves us free to explore many other paths without sacrificing what we know.  With...

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