Thursday, March 17, 2022

What are 3 big principles we should think about in the the singing practice room?


In the Singing Practice Room and Lessons: 3 Main Principles of singing we should think about.

Now that you have identified a good place to practice and practice disciplines, let's tap into our brains!!   By setting our space we have gotten the brain ready to think about singing.   Here is where a few yoga or short meditation may help as well to set the brain and body in the right space.

The actions one performs while singing begin in the brain.  The brain sends certain instructions to the nerves and muscles used to produce singing and often needs extra time to learn new messages and retrain the old thoughts. You must be intentional is asking the brain to send new instructions with regular practice.  'Old habits die hard' and thinking differently is a true key to getting the muscles to respond differently and improve or change singing.  

There are 3 main principles we should all think about in the practice room AND lessons

1. Breath management

2. Getting rid of tensions

3. Vowel formation

Breath management: One of the best ways to tap into managing your breath for singing is through yoga, meditation, pilates.  A short practice leading into singing practice is great to tap into the low relaxed breathing we need to sing.  Learning to take a full breath in a relaxed way, learning which muscle groups to engage when expelling the breath, and doing so reliable takes time and practice. So too does learning tto release the tension in the muscles at the end of an exhale in order to prepare for a  full inhale involves much muscle coordination.  We can work on managing our breath with these extra body practices as well as breath exercises specifically for singing.  Self monitoring and teacher monitoring are crucial.

-Outside disciplines: Yoga, Pilates, Meditation

-Singing exercises: Full inhale and exhale on a hiss like a leaky tire for certain number of counts

                                Lip buzzes or motorboats both general and on particular pitches

                                Sustaining sung phrases while monitoring breath management

Eliminating Tension:   We identify tension in our bodies as we work on breath management and work towards releasing that tension as we produce singing.  We often first feel where the throat is tight, but not be are that the tightness begins in another area such as the back of t eh neck, the jaw, the tongue.  Taking time to identify the tension is the first step in relieving the tension. 

For example: Identify:  Is your tongue tight?  Ribs collapsing or tight?

                                        Then: Do you have enough breath for the phrase? 

                                                  Do you have enough space in your jaw or is your jaw tense and cutting                                                    down on the fluidity of breath?

*What are the areas of tension and can you release that tension to get better breath management.

Vowel Formation:  Warm up exercises should begin with a series of pure vowels in a comfortable middle range.  We most often use Italian vowels of  (/a/ //e/ /i/ /o/ /u/) in mid-range voice on warmup exercises, we work towards extending the range.  This helps our sound be carried by the breath in a flowing manner.  We then add consonants to eventually form words.  Time spent on vowels only is very beneficial to identifying breath management and eliminating tension before we introduce true words.  Consonants do aid in this process both in nonsense words and true words that are not a part of a song. 

These concepts are all interconnected but can be focused on individually in warmups or vocalise before moving on to repertoire.  As you work on your repertoire, reiterate the concepts both individually and combined.  Write down what you notice changes between warmups into repertoire and apply the next day.  Remember one thing at a time and due diligence with regular practice pays off.  Your brain and your body will thank you!


Thursday, March 10, 2022


Why is the concentrated format of a summer program such as the Summer Musical Theater Series so beneficial?

-More intense time focused on singing is a lot of fun!

-The concentration of longer lessons for just a few weeks makes everyone work harder and see progress faster!!

- 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 emphasizes expression &how we must feel the emotion of the song.

- Dance workshop made everyone more comfortable moving in general.  Get to know basic musical theater dance steps and sequences. 

- Masterclass work helps make all more comfortable with one another and get to know others who like to do what you like to do.  AND the more often you perform, the better you become!!

- 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 over the summer.  Remember what its like to stop a sport for 3 months and then start again?  Avoid the backslide and keep singing!!

- Focused time can be spent working on singing without extra pressures of the regular school year.

Give it some serious thought and sign up today! Full Program and NEW Partial Program with a la Carte workshops!  

Outside of the area?  Sign up to do programming ONLINE.  Find out more about summer music programs, especially those that focus on developing your individual talents. Happy Singing!

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Summer Music Programs and Working on Your Singing, Acting, and Dancing Skills: Why its a good idea!

Can you believe it is time to starting the think about SUMMER? What is your child going to do during the summer months? How about sing, dance and act!  Why is summer a good time to do a concentrated program?

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. There are so many benefits to more concentrated summer programs.

What in General?

- 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.  And More concentrated practice yields better results.

- It can give structure to an otherwise unstructured time and focus on a goal.

-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!

- A more concentrated time on a skill set has very beneficial results!

Contact me for more information on Summer Musical Theater Series programming and HOW to get involved.  Registration opens March 15.  If you are not local, research summer programs in YOUR area or consider taking lessons ONLINE.  Very beneficial to do AND works well for the working parent and driving kids to activities (or not) in the summer months. 

Tune in next week for what are the benefits of a concentrated format of summer program such as the Summer Musical Theater Series (Full program option and Partial program option)