Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Stress and Your Schedule! How Do You Manage Physical and Mental Health to Keep Singing?

The world continues to whirl around and you want to get off!  How can you manage your stress and find time to keep practicing?  First take time to explore what helps you relax. Map out time to do just that.  Take care of yourself physically and the mental health will soon follow.  Physical conditioning in moderation is a benefit to both the act of singing and the mental focus needed for performing and dedication to singing.  Find a way to relax and your singing voice will improve when you practice.  
Some general advice on how to best take care of yourself as a singer can be found at  http://bit.ly/PXIRSk.  A routine of taking care of yourself both mentally and physically can make a huge difference in how you deal with the rigors of singing in general and keep you practicing for that next performance.


Spend some time figuring out what re-routes you when you are in a bad mood. Do you like to go for a run?  Do you sip a cup of tea?  Do you call a friend to talk it over? Do you write it out in a journal identifying what went wrong?  This will help you re-organize you mentally to be able to focus on your success again.
Take the time to explore what works for you and set a routine for yourself to maximize your singing potential.  Find someone (a good teacher and a friend) to help you and support you in your quest.  Time spent on physical attention and mental re-focus will make you a more balanced individual set for success.  Follow the advice of others in taking care of yourself, but ultimately you learn what works for you to make you the best singer you can be! 
Once you have mapped out what physical activity will help you relieve stress, schedule in time to practice to keep yourself on the right track!  Organizing all of the things you have to do is much easier after you have gotten rid of the excess stress in your body with a good workout or journal session.  Then you can get back to the important things!  Sing on!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

NATS Auditions, Competitions, and Auditions for School Musical Theater Auditions! How to Prepare!


There are so many opportunities to audition or compete in the singing world this time of year!  Local NATS Chapters are hosting their Student Auditions, competitions for scholarships are starting, and many folks will be having auditions for school musicals soon.  What are the best things that you can do to prepare?  Prepare yourself and your materials!

For NATS auditions and other competitions:

- Select your repertoire early and in accordance with the requirements indicated.  Decide on repertoire with your teachers' guidance.

- Make sure that you have made all deadlines for registration EARLY.  Carefully check if you are to bring originals only.

-After registration, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

- Work technique, breathing, and phrasing.

- Analyze lyrics of each song thoroughly so you know what you are really saying and can communicate it to the audience (judges).

- MEMORIZE, MEMORIZE, MEMORIZE

- Decide if you are using the house accompanist or your own.  If you are bringing your own accompanist, set aside time to practice with them.

- Carefully select your audition attire and practice in the shoes you will be wearing (it really affects your posture!)

-"Perform" for someone in your family or good friend.  This way you know how you will react to an audience and how they will react to your performance!

-Break a leg and make sure you warm up before you get to your auditions!

For Musical Theater Production Auditions at School or Otherwise:

- Find out the audition selections or requirements as soon as possible and start practicing.  Often times music directors select a song from the production that they will use for auditions.  Sometimes they give you a choice.  Be prepared either way.

- Follow all the steps above, knowing that you will be auditioning with the house accompanist.  

- Break a leg and make sure you warm up before you get to your auditions!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Take Care of Your Body, Take Care of Your Instrument

Take care of your body, it is your instrument as a singer!  

As the fall rapidly creeps along, so too do the problems of allergies (thank you falling leaves) and colds (thank you all of us being together and sharing our germs).  It is so important to take care of your body as a singer at the first sign of a sniffle. You can stop it from getting worse with some preventive measures.



It may be allergies.  If you are prone to fall allergies due to the falling leaves, mold, ragweed, start taking your allergy medicine. Wash your hair before you go to bed or regularly change your pillowcases so you don't sleep in the allergens.  

It could also be the start of a cold.  If it has been going on for a few days, it may have started as allergies and gone to a cold.  Go to bed earlier and drink some more O.J.  

You may be feeling some stress since the school year schedule is in full swing! Stop and pay attention!  The best thing you can do is respond to what your body is telling you! What are some specifics?

10 Top Things to Take Care of Yourself and Your Singing Voice 
1.       Good Hygiene- Wash your hands and don't touch your face

2.       Drink 8-10 glasses of water (or non-caffeinated beverage) a day

3.      SLEEP  at least 8 hours every night!

4.       Exercise 3-5 times a week to keep up your immune system 

5.       Reduce Medicines - Use nasal saline spray first, medicines last, but take allergy medicines

6.       Sing Well - good posture, breath support, and sing in correct range       

7.       Speak Well Support your speech as if you are singing, minimize talking, don’t
          yell over loud noise!

8.       Practice Everything in Moderation (Singing and Speaking and Activity Level)

9.       Pay attention to your body signals.  If it doesn't feel good, don't do it!  

10.   Find time for a little relaxation and de-stressing time!
     Your body knows what it is saying.  If you take care of it and listen to it, you can make it through the allergies and stress and not get sick thus preserving your wonderful singing voice!  Keep singing! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What Can You Learn in Singing Lessons in an Independent Voice Studio?

Why should you take voice lessons in a private voice studio?  Can’t everyone sing? 

Almost anyone who can speak can learn to sing, but most people don’t use their voices to their full potential. Voice lessons teach singers how to control their breath and find vocal resonance to create a fuller, healthier, and more beautiful sound. Lessons also teach general musical skills and build more confident singers.  
The average singing student needs weekly guidance to establish a solid technique.  Through solid technique you can find the capabilities of your singing voice, not merely imitating those that you hear on recordings.

What we hear while we’re singing just isn’t true, so we are always dependent on someone we trust to take the role of our ‘outside ears’. Renee Fleming 
We don't always hear ourselves as others hear us.  Think about when you hear yourself speaking on your voicemail greeting.  It sounds different, right?  The same is true with our singing voice.  

In a private voice studio, the student gets guidance on their own individual voice, not the overall sound of the choir. This individualized attention helps develop the voice in a unique and powerful way.  Together teacher and singer explore a variety of styles of music based on what the teacher hears in the potential of the voice, students' interests and how the voice starts developing.  There is so much music out there than many of us have never heard!  There are also many styles of music which we particularly like which may or may not be suited to our voice type and range.  Exploring your voice from a solo standpoint can help you find your potential and uncover beautiful things!

What about the fun of the choral experience, singing with others?

Add to your choral singing with voice lessons and keep having fun in choir!  Other opportunities arise too which give you more confidence and enhanced singing skills.  In an independent voice studio, the singer not only gets access to a voice teacher and vocal coach, but to the camaraderie of belonging to a group of people who enjoy singing.  Most voice studios provide opportunities to perform musical repertoire one or two times a year.  Some also give the opportunity to work on the repertoire in front of and with others in the studio (please see more information on my studio at www.susanandersbrizick.com).  With more opportunities to share music with others, a student has a higher drive to perfect the craft of singing, builds a higher confidence level in their singing and themselves, and the better music we create!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why Take Singing Lessons this Fall?



With the return to school this September, there are so many opportunities to start so many things!  A great supplement to musical activities at school is taking singing lessons!  Why?

Do you love to sing? Are you singing in choir at school?  Do you want to become a better singer?  Do you want to find the courage to audition for a select choral group or a solo for the Holiday Concert?  the musical theater production at school?  Do you want to get the lead in the next musical theater production in your high school?   Do you want to learn to sing better because that is something that you have always wanted to do and never had the time?  Do you want to sing back- up vocals in a band or sing better karaoke?  Do you want to become an opera singer?  Do you want to sing without others asking you to stop? The singing opportunities are endless.  All of these things can and should be the reason to look into taking singing lessons!

Find a teacher who meets your singing needs.  All singers need to learn solid technique to achieve their goals and to truly enjoy the beautiful music their voice can create.  Not everyone has the same goals or the same instrument.  It is the job of both the student and teacher to explore and expand upon the music that exists within each individual voice.  Establish good technique with an educated professional and discover what your voice can do.  What new direction might you discover?
After you live with that for a while, explore the wonders of your singing voice and work together with a voice teacher to shape your voice lesson experience.

Read this article,  Why Should I Take Private Voice Lessons?, and reach out to find yourself a voice teacher!  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer Musical Theater!

I just had a fabulous summer program full of Musical Theater Repertoire!  It was a tough program for sure, but all rose to the occasion!  What proof that doing a summer program is so worthwhile!  I watched timid singers grow by leaps and bounds in confidence, hard repertoire was mastered such as Astonishing! from Little Women and Defying Gravity from Wicked, friendships bloomed between those who already knew each other and brand new friendships formed.



Why is the concentrated format of a summer program so beneficial?

-The concentration of longer lessons for just a few weeks makes everyone work harder.
- Much practice must happen in between lessons to master technique (breathing, phrases, and pitches) and to advance to the next phase of the song.
- Focus on the lyrics really enhanced the understanding that we are communicating when we sing.
- Masterclass work on acting also helps emphasize expression and know we must feel the emotion of the song.
-Dance workshop made everyone more comfortable moving in general.
-Masterclass work helps make all more comfortable with one another.
- Shorter span of time between first starting a song and performing it really creates a spark to practice and make it the best it can be.
- Keeps the singing voice working.
-More focused time can be spent working on singing without extra pressures of the regular school year.

No matter the exact format, a concentrated music program is so beneficial in the summer months!  Watch these clips on YouTube to see what can happen! Astonishing from Little Women and If I Were a Bell from Guys and Dolls

Keep on Singing!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Summer Music Programs- Why should you or your child participate?


Now that Spring Break is almost behind us, most of us are focused on the next exciting milestone, SUMMER..  What are you going to do?  What is your child going to do during the summer months? 

It is a great time to work on your singing or any of the trio of talents!  Sign up to take voice lessons or a Musical Theater Singing Series, audition for a summer production, pick up dance or acting lessons. 



Why?

- You or your child have a little more free time (school is out or you have summer hours).

- There is more time to schedule something that might not fit into your school year.

- There is more time to practice.

- It can give structure to an otherwise unstructured time.

-It will keep you motivated to work on your goals.

- It will increase your chances of attaining those goals during the school year (get into a select choir, get a lead in the play, get a music scholarship for college)

- Many summer opportunities combine singing, acting, and dancing with an emphasis on one of the three.

- You can pick up something new or something that you know you need to work on.  (ie you are a dancer who know she needs to sing better in order to get the lead in the next musical).

- Summer programs are often an intensive concentration on a subject.

- It builds your confidence as a performer and a person.

-It is fun!

Give it some serious thought and sign up for something now!  Click here to find out more about summer music programs. Happy Singing!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Benefits to Preparing For Competitions, NATS Auditions, Masterclasses

 There are so many things that you can do with your singing to help you develop into the most confident and best singer that you can be.  Competitions, NATS Auditions, auditions for solos, auditions for shows, Studio Masterclasses, Studio Voice Recitals.  Summer Programs.  The list is long. Why should you do these and what should you do?  Your singing teacher can best guide you as to which opportunities you should participate in.

If you are a beginner, maybe stick with performing in your studio's recital. Or audition for a solo in your school's choral concert or talent show. Sing for your family and friends.  Maybe you aspire to be in the school musical theater productions.  Practice auditioning by singing for fellow students.

If you have been taking lessons for a while, maybe you should consider auditioning for a competition or participate in a Masterclass with another singing teacher or professional singer.  Take part in the local NATS auditions. If you are preparing college auditions or to attend a summer program, perform in many places.

Preparation for singing in front of others has many benefits. You can learn so much from performing for others. Yes, PERFORM.  Make that audition a performance and it may take you far.  You learn about yourself and how you react to real performance pressures.  Do you crumple under the pressure of nerves?  You learn from other master teachers and singing teachers when you participate in Maser Teacher Audition Workshops such as Master Teacher Workshop for NATS.

Make sure you are well prepared and go the next step.  Most areas have a local NATS or AMTA conference or audition workshop annually which you can compete or participate in and get adjudicated by other singing teachers and professionals.  Sing for your local Classical Singer Magazine auditions.  Like NATS, it has both a classical singing and musical theater competition. At the higher levels, you are competing to win both in name and monetary compensation.

Your teacher can help you prepare and decide if you are ready to do these competitions or advise on local scholarship competitions.  The idea is to get out there and sing.

What better way to get feedback about your singing and performance?  In your voice studio you get the input from your teacher which is so valuable, but doesn't add the performance dimension.  You get adjudication notes from others and it is another way to get comfortable singing in front of others. It prepares you better for that next step.

Master Teacher classes are also often offered at these events. These give you another performance experience and a chance to put feedback into action with another teacher or coach.  It is with an audience, but another chance to improve your next audition!  Do you research to see what is out there and your teacher can guide you as to which opportunities are best for you!

More Reasons Why?

Discipline and focused study.
Perfecting a piece, attention to detail.
Stage Presence.
Practice performing.
Learn how you react to performance pressure.
Accept constructive criticism.
Use it to improve your singing and stage presence.
The more you do something, the better you become.

Keep on singing!  Next up, why do that Summer Program?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Master Teacher Class for Musical Theater and Classical Singing

I recently attended the Greater Philadelphia NATS Chapter’s first event, Spring Audition Workshop with Master Teachers Robert Edwin and Valery Ryvkin.  I was very inspired both as a teacher and a singer.  Every time I attend a workshop or masterclass, I look forward to gleaning new insights and motivation.  This inspiration comes from what the clinicians have to say and from the singers and music itself. 

When listening to the singers for the first time, I first enjoy the performance itself.  Listening to the work, the artistry, and the passion of singing is always fun.  It is wonderful to hear new music and/or be reminded of a good song for one’s current students.  As a singer, it is a great experience to perform songs many times.  This enables one to continue to make each song in your repertoire as good as it possibly can be for your next audition or performance!  I am then excited to hear how each master teacher will work with the singer and how the singing may change in that next 20 minutes. 
The new or slightly rephrased information we hear from the master teacher helps us to continue to educate both our students and ourselves as teachers.  When technique is addressed using slightly different terminology by another teacher, it brings a new twist that can be applied in the studio or practice room.  There may be many similar concepts that I have addressed in lessons or new and different ones.  By using different terminology or imagery, it may help a student truly grasp the concept that I have already addressed or a new twist to really drive it home.   

For example, Valery Ryvkin talked about  ‘savoring the words by bringing out the beginning of the words’ in a German piece.  When the student then applied the technique, we could truly hear the difference.  The singer really understood the meaning of the words and therefore delivered the phrase with much more passion.  I continually address understanding the meaning of the text (especially in a foreign language) and knowing what each word means to use word emphasis in the phrasing.  Saying the word emphasizing the initial consonants and then singing it had the desired effect when singing.
Robert Edwin addressed musical theater belt by thinking wider or east-west in feel in essence taking out the weight of the belt to make your belt get higher.  I use different terminology to achieve the same goal, but this made sense to me and something I will apply.  When the singer for the master class used the technique, wow you could see the difference. 

When attending educational workshops, it is wonderful to learn new things or new ways to apply things you know as a teacher or singer.  Think outside of your box.  Use it in practice, not just inside your own head.  Robert Edwin addressed the musical theater singer and how truly versatile a singer must be in order to sing musical theater.  They must be able to sing legit, belt, pop, a myriad of styles all within the style.  While we all know the variety exists, do we know that all are able to be achieved with continual work on different parts of the voice?   Do we say that all out loud?  As a teacher, yes.  But do my students know that?  I must remind them and continually work on widening their horizons and my own education and skills to be the best teacher I can be. 

Teachers, get involved in your local NATS chapter or continual education by attending workshops or participating in online discussions.  If you live in the Greater Philadelphia area, join us!  We can always improve our own teaching skills and thus our singers accomplishments.  Singers, do as your teachers say and ‘practice, practice, practice’ and be in touch with what your body is doing each day and how it responds to that practice. 

Stay tuned next week for why YOU as a singer should do the next Audition Competition, Masterclass, Voice Recital, Workshop or Summer Program!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sick and Singing- A big topic in these cold winter months!

Sick and singing seems to be a lot of what I am encountering with so many students that I wanted to bring up the discussion again!  Recently an article that I wrote on Sick and Singing was published in the NATS Internos, http://bit.ly/1LovK6P.  I am proud to have my article published and eager to help you all make the best decision you can about singing should you find yourself sick leading up to a performance!

A quick summary of tips:

Take care of yourself first in the hopes that you can ward off any illness.  At the first sign of illness or if you have been around others who are sick, start going to bed early, take extra Vitamin C, drink more water and of course keep washing those hands!

The weeks leading up to the big performance demand more of us mentally, physically, and time-wise. We are stressed if we are going to remember it all and do it right!  This causes our defenses to be down and more likely to catch that cold.

Take some extra time to take care of you physically (as seen above) and mentally.  Allow yourself a break from it all, but make it smart.  Do some yoga or read a good book and get extra sleep.  Make it something that relaxes you, but rests your voice.

Also, more tips can be found in other articles on this blog:  Sick but Singing....Fa la la la lah..... and Wintertime and Singing, A Double Edged Sword.

Happy singing!


Monday, February 2, 2015

An Informal Studio Recital- What it is and why should you do it? What are the benefits?

Informal Studio Recital- What is it and why?  What are the benefits?

For a few years I have been doing an “Informal Recital” for students in the winter in addition to my formal Voice Recital every spring.  I am frequently asked, “What is it? What is the benefit to having a recital without a parent audience?”  Here are the answers and why my students and I think it is a good idea!

“What is an Informal Recital?”

It is a performance opportunity for singers.  Students fine tune a song or two and bring it up to performance level.  Each singer gets to work with an accompanist and sing in a performance space different from the voice studio.  Students then sing for the other students on the recital.  No family or friends are present.  We record the performances so that the students and family and friends can view the performances later.  I put the recordings on my YouTube channel and use the recordings as a teaching tool in subsequent lessons. 

The concept is modeled on college “Studio Class” which often takes place once a week or once a month depending on the school.  Students perform for the others in the voice studio on a rotating basis.  A few times a year there is a “Studio Performance Class” in which you perform for all of the singing students once a year. 

“What is the benefit to having a recital without an audience?”

From a teachers standpoint there are many reasons this is beneficial:

-       -   It is a performance opportunity good for students for various reasons.
-       -  Good practice fine tuning and perfecting a vocal selection (or two).
-       -   A chance to work with a professional accompanist.
-       -   A good step to dealing with ‘stage fright’.
-       -   An opportunity to meet other students in the studio.
-       -   A chance to hear different music and learn from others.
-       -   Opportunity to view how you sound and appear as you perform a piece.

At the conclusion of my January Informal Recital, I polled my students to see what they liked and learned from their experience.  Here is a list of the top things:

What Students Like:

-       Listening to all the other voices
-       Less pressure without a full audience or performing in a less intimidating environment
-       Getting to know and meet the other singers
-       Listening to the other songs that people sang
-       Having another opportunity to perform in front of others
-       Getting to hear songs I may want to do later
-       The formality of the ‘informal’ recital- almost like it was for a full audience but not

What Students Learned:

-       Memorizing the lyrics well and early on is very important
-       I need to spend more time really understanding and knowing my lyrics to communicate the song
-       Practicing low breathing before singing and truly planning out where I am going to breathe is   important (Breathing technique)
-        Posture and how to stand is important to performing (stage presence)
-        Everyone gets nervous, but there is no need to get so stressed about performing
-        Stress or nerves in performing affect your breath
-        Use facial expressions and show the meaning of the song through your body language.  It can       make a huge difference.
-         You don’t have to move your hands tremendously or walk around to show expression
-         Watching others helped me observe singing technique in others (and SEE what is addressed in lessons) to help better apply it to myself
-          I learned about different styles of songs and singing
-          Sing louder (we sound louder to ourselves than to others in the room)
-          Go slower mentally when singing to stay in control

This is just a summary of the things that students can learn from the Informal Recital experience.  There were also many specific things students addressed about their own performances and what they would do differently or want to improve upon.

Time permitting, we would take the time to work through or restart a couple songs if the student is not happy with how they performed or forgot lyrics.  Feedback from the other performers afterwards might be useful too.  Although time constraints sometimes prevent us from doing this, watching the videos afterwards allow us to evaluate ourselves and see and hear what others see.  We do not see or hear ourselves as others do, so we learn a great deal from viewing ourselves singing in addition to watching and listening to others (both live and on video).  Overall, the Informal Recital platform is an active way to encourage students to perfect their craft of singing, performance, and stage presence.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Simply the Voice: How do you sing at a recital or just standing still? Use interpretation of the text....

The Simplicity of the Voice

Sometimes it is daunting to think about just standing there and singing.  Without costumes or staging, just singing, we have to get comfortable communicating what we are singing. “What am I supposed to do?”, I sometimes hear from my students.  “Communicate what you are saying in the song”, is often my reply.  “??????? “, is the response.  

Express YOUR interpretation of the text. The beauty is in the music and the delivery.

Imagine you don’t understand any of the words that someone was saying to you in a conversation.  You would be lost, right?  This is what happens when we as singers don’t understand what we are saying when we sing.  It could be a foreign language or our native tongue, but if we don’t understand the meaning of the text, how can we communicate through the music? 

Spend time analyzing exactly what the poet is saying and how the composer set the text.  If the text is in a foreign language, do a word by word translation (google translate will do if need be), and put it in terms you can understand and relate to.  16th century Italian arias can be re-termed in a way that a 16 year old can relate to.  An oversimplified version of a love aria: “I love someone and it hurts me so much because he is far away from me” can become “I have a crush on a guy and I just can’t stop thinking about him, but I know he doesn’t even notice that I am alive.”

Write poetry out on a piece of paper in paragraph form.  Analyze each phrase.  What does it really mean?  If you don’t know a work, look it up.  Is there symbolism or is it clear cut?  Put it in terms you can relate to (simplify it) so you can communicate it.

Once you have analyze it and know what poet is saying, look at how the composer sets the words to music.  Where are there dynamic changes?  Where are the goals of phrases?  Is there interplay between the voice and accompaniment? Look at the poets and composers intentions and the history of their lives.  Look at the history to enhance the meaning.  Then relate it to you and your life. 

The more details you absorb from life, the more context you give you performances- Deborah Domanski.  The more you feel the emotion of text, the more you communicate it and the more the audience feels and hears the authenticity of emotion. 

If it is a text you cannot relate to, research the history and try it from that angle or personal experience as best you can.  i.e. The sadness of losing a lover or anger of him leaving you for another is hard for a 15 year old to relate to.  Change the angle slightly.  The sadness and anger you feel because a guy you have a crush on is now dating your best friend is easier for a 15 year old to grasp.  It may not be 100% what the poet says, but it taps into the emotion of the person singing.  The feeling of loss or anger can then become authentic.


Convey your emotions through your facial expressions and occasional body movement when you are performing in a concert.  Remember you are communicating words and emotions so you will move a little bit, but there is no need to map out true acting and blocking.  After all, there is no space often.  This doesn't mean you don’t communicate the meaning of the words.  We were given music to communicate in a different form.  Authenticate the poet and composer’s intentions and add your individual interpretations to make YOUR best performance of a vocal selection.  

Hopefully this helps make you more comfortable with 'just singing'!  Read on next week about my students learning experience of singing in a studio voice recital.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 New Year's Singing Resolutions- Time to Revise?


2015 New Year’s Resolutions- Now that we are a couple of weeks in, how are yours going?  Did you slip a little?  Be patient with yourself and try to get back on track.  Were your goals realistic?  Not so much?  Revise them and get back on track or simplify them!  Take it easy on yourself, but make some adjustments now to help yourself to be successful!

Here are some ideas:

Resolutions for singing in 2015

Practice 3-4 times per week and workout 3-4 times per week.  That is something good for your singing voice everyday of the week!  Map it out.  Which days work for you to each and at what time of day?  Does it work to exercise on Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning and sing Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday?  Then pick which one you do on Sunday (or both!).

Map out what to practice.  Find a focus for each day.  The more structure, sometimes the better.

For Example:
Monday workout:  Yoga before school.
Tuesday practice: Text of “Song A”, Dynamics and Vowels of “Song B”, Pitches of new song.
Wednesday workout: Cardio and weights before work
Thursday practice:  Review vowel work of “Song B”, Solidify pitches of new song and add words, Sing through “Song A” to find meaning in text
Friday workout: Yoga before school and walk after school
Saturday practice:  Review all 3 songs and start to work on interpretation of “Song B”
Sunday: Rest OR sing or workout if feel like it

Add drink more water (a goal of 8 glasses of water a day or 4 large bottles is ideal).  Find a place to put it that is accessible.  Also, place healthy snacks in key places.  Think your drawer or closet at work or an extra bottle of water and a healthy snack in your backpack for school.

Plan out a sleep schedule.  I know, you think I am crazy with all of the work that has piled up and homework teachers are giving.  Vow to go to bed 15 minutes earlier than normal for 3 or 4 nights.  Try to then go to sleep another 15 minutes earlier.  By the end of the week, you are gaining 30 minutes per night.  If you keep that up for a week, it is 3 ½ extra hours of sleep.  Before you know it, you are getting 8-9 hours of sleep a night.  What a way to help your body fight off getting sick and your mind to work at it’s maximum potential.


If you take care of you, you take care of your voice to be the best singer YOU can be!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Years Resolutions: New Singer, New You!



As we enter the seasonal New Year Resolution window, I find myself making new resolutions for my singing, teaching, and personal life.  Make the resolutions realistic and attainable.  Maybe you just need to get more organized or take more time for you to be more effective in your practice. Make your own tree of resolutions that can grow throughout the year.  What can you resolve to do to make yourself a better singer, better, student, better teacher, better you?  A few things always pop to mind for me:

1. Make a committed schedule of practicing.

2. Establish a focus to each practice session.

3. Set goals for singing for myself (and my student).

4. Make a timeline to achieve those goals.

5. Sing just for the sake of singing a few times a week.

6. Workout (cardio and/or yoga) 3-5 times per week.  Do what suits you and your mind.

7. Drink lots of water and try to get 8 hours of sleep per night.

8. Take 10 minutes a day (or more if you can) to do something for yourself.

9. Tell people in your life how much they mean to you and take the time to say "Thank you" or "I love you."

10.  Breathe when it seems too much and regroup.  It will all work out.

This may seem like a long list.  They are little attainable goals.  I think I can make them work.  Take what you like, disregard what you do not.   Regardless, do your best to make 2015 a happy, prosperous, and wonderful year!

Share some of your resolutions too!