Friday, June 21, 2013
Singing Lessons Increase Communication Skills (Part 8 of 12 of the Things Singing Lessons Can Do for You!)
Singing lessons can help improve communication skills. In today's world, so many of us rely on the computer to communicate all of our needs. Why not just send an email or text a message? These are wonderful advancements that allow us to communicate at a time that is convenient for us and the person you are interacting with can get back to you right away or at a time that works for them. BUT, what does that do for real face to face interaction and communication? If we always have our noses in our technology, we start to lose the ability to communicate by simply TALKING to someone. Take a minute and look at the flip side. How comfortable is the younger generation LOOKING at an adult when talking to them? Do they speak to them with confidence? Singing lessons can help facilitate this and many other aspects of communicating by bolstering confidence and giving them to tools to express themselves face to face.
Look them in the eye and tell them is something I frequently say in voice lessons with my students. When you are expressing the emotions of a character sometimes it is easier to express yourself than when you are trying to communicate your own emotions. Study of the lyrics enables the singer to see a new and different way to say something and how to show it in song.
Not only do you learn to communicate with more confidence in singing lessons, you also spend time exploring the vocabulary of the English language (among other languages). What does the poetry really mean? What are the lyrics really saying? Is it symbolism? Or it may be a different way of saying the same thing. Exploration of the written word helps to expand someone's vocabulary. Knowing how to analyze lyrics helps you to also express yourself better. How can YOU say something differently to express yourself?
When looking at lyrics to a song, we often see repetition of words. How do we express those words differently when we sing them to give them extra meaning or truly express what the character is trying to say?
There are so many elements of singing that impact our overall ability to communicate- not only can you learn how to express songs with agility and ease, but can improve your ability to really connect with others and share your thoughts at a new and profound level.
What do you think about how singing lessons facilitates communication in other aspects of life? Stay tuned for the extra benefit of singing lessons- An Emotional Outlet!
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Do you love to sing, but are you afraid to sing in front of others? Scared to share your voice? Do you have a shy child who likes to sing and can carry a tune, but afraid to sing out in chorus or audition for that solo? Yes, you want to make your singing (or a child's) better by taking singing lessons, but how will that help you to be more comfortable in front of others or more confident in yourself?
By taking singing lessons, you are spending time with yourself and working on a part of you. It's similar to when you spend that time at the gym. You are working on the overall person that you are and fine tuning a part of YOU! The endorphins created when you workout make you feel better about yourself, control stress, and affect how you interact with others.
When you take singing lessons, you are also focusing on your body and what it can do for you as a musician. You not only improve your singing voice, but your confidence level in singing and yourself. The concentrated time spent with yourself and improving your instrument creates those same endorphins. This makes you feel good about you and enhances the music that you make.
As addressed in part 2 of this series, singing lessons involve time spent on posture and poise. This increases your confidence level. Read more about it: http://www.healthyandconfidentsingingvoice.blogspot.com/2013/05/posture-and-poise.html
When you have more confidence in your skills, you perform a song differently. Look them in the eye and communicate what you (or your character) have to say! Being someone else for a little while in a play or opera often makes it easier. Being comfortable enough with yourself to let the inhibitions go and try to sing the song and be the character from Guys and Dolls or convey the meaning of Danny Boy in a performance can unleash a different part of a person. Once you can do that, it affects YOU in everyday life.
(Remember that quiet girl who had a hard time talking at the party because she was too shy? Once a student has sung a song in a performance, the quiet, reserved person may start to come out of her shell, be confident enough to look a person in the eye in a conversation, or speak up in class!).
Have you ever had this experience or know of someone who has? I would love to hear about it!
Does a more confident singer and person communicate more effectively? Let me know your thoughts and tune in next week for how singing can help communication skills.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Singing Lessons Help to Increase Concentration and Focus (Part 6 of 12 of What Singing Lessons Can Do For You!)
Musical study requires the ability to focus on details for periods of time. How do you sing that phrase with a long, smooth line? What is that rhythm? From reading music on the page to creating the music with our bodies, music making involves concentration and focus.
Those notes are small on the page. To interpret and read them, a student must be able to block out other influences and concentrate on the task at hand. No one else can do it for them as they cannot hide in a big class. The singing teacher helps each student to process the information on the page. Then their brains must interpret the notes and tell their bodies what to do. Repetition of the process to play or sing the phrase as it is written is necessary. Repeat, repeat, and the body and brain remember it. Repeat and add another command such as 'make these 4 measures one phrase and sing it in one breath' and one must really focus. Concentration is a must to do these things. It carries over to other parts of your life!
Just like when reading aloud as a young child, someone learning to read notes must learn to interpret what they are singing as they go. Remember the days that we spent following the words on the page with our fingers to help us to keep our place when we read? Were you ever asked if you understood what you just read? Learning to read can be a challenging task. Learning to read music facilitates reading words as it uses symbols that need to be interpreted just like words do. Eventually reading and reading music gets easier and you DO understand it the first time. The process of the eyes following notes (words) left to right gets easier with repetition and processing.
When singing, another form of focus comes in to play- what is my body really doing? Not only does your brain need to interpret the notes and words it sees, but it needs to multi-task and tell your body what to do. It sends a message to your vocal cords to vibrate at a certain speed to create that specific note. It also sends a note to inhale, fill our lungs with air, and control the exhale. We are not consciously aware of all of the messages, but learn to help our body control the messages more clearly. We can think, 'breathe slowly and deeply on the inhale and control the exhale so I can sing the whole phrase' or 'I want to sing this phrase in one breath, let me see how I can stretch my breath to accomplish that.'
These are complex thoughts when put together in a long strand in a sequence. This helps us increase our focus, concentration, and multi-functioning brain capacity! What great qualities to learn to help us to create beautiful music and accomplish so many other things in our lives!!
What are your thoughts about how musical study increases concentration and focus?