Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Journaling example

Folks, part of your lesson grade each week is assessment of your work in the studio. Some of you have been asked to summarize your lesson; others have been asked to journal on what's happening in the practice room.

Kristin has given me permission to share her journal, since I thought it was very thorough and included many astute observations. It was also long enough to be worthwhile. Here it is:

- during the tongue exercises I am nodding my head as the notes go as well as releasing much more air than I need to so that by the end i seem to be running out of air and almost pushing too hard by the end of the phrase
- i need to watch myself in the mirror more because I can see the neck tensing when doing most warm-ups
- the hand on my neck during the lip trill took away some of the tensing and also kept my posture up a bit more so the whole exercise looked easier for me
- lifting my eyebrows in the zu-i exercise makes it look a bit more strained and like I’m trying and stretching much more than I should be for the high notes
- the breathing seems to stay pretty supported as long as i keep my hand there so that i stay aware of retaining the breath
- after using the sighs the sound focused a bit more and I seemed to not look so strained as i try for the high notes. my face also starts to relax a bit more and now look so tensed
- I’m still struggling with letting go and letting the pitches ring and be looser
-palpating by tapping on my neck seems to help me let and the entire phrase changed and become much more evenly vibrant
- the higher i went i still had a tendency to add  some h’s in between the pitch’s during the “i love to sing” exercise
(Not on video, but notes from my music for “Il mio bel foco”)
- I need to work on singing through the l’s and m’s more on the quella fiamma parts
- watch the double consonants on mac-cende and other words
- work on the pronunciation of “piace tanto all’alma mia” and make sure all the l’s are present and the tan is correct
- watch for the 16th notes where I hadn’t been 100% on some of the pitches
- 14x through “no vo-le-er giam-mai po-tra” making sure to get the rhythm right
- 14x through the “se-stin-gue-ra” with all the 16th notes

For those of you who are not journaling, you are only hurting yourself. For those who are doing a lot less than Kristin, it's time to step it up! She has set the bar.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Twelve Tiny Changes #4: HYDRATE

Most of us don't drink enough water. For singers, this can be debilitating, since the vocal folds are mucus membranes and must be hydrated to function optimally. If you're like me, you get annoyed running to the restroom all day, so it's easy to "overlook" drinking enough water.

Luckily, there's an app for that. Here's what I use:

Water Minder (free app for iPhone) calculates the amount of water you should drink based on your weight. It beeps at you periodically to remind you to tank up. Give it a try this week!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tiny Change #3 addendum: NAPS

OK, so you're having trouble getting your 8 hours of sleep. While I still encourage you to do it however you can, here's a way to supplement your sleep if needed:


I know, that seems so...kindergarten. I assure you, it's not. Here are a few articles to give you some guidance on the best way to make naps work for you:

The Boston Globe (short intro)
Seven  Rules for Napping (who knew there were rules?)
This site is really cool, with lots of information. Some of it has been debunked, but if it works for you, use it!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Can't sleep?

Sleep is our Twelve Tiny Changes topic for the week. If you're having trouble falling or staying asleep, here are some tips to break that cycle.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why sleep is so important

This article may blow your mind. If being short ONE HOUR of sleep affects a sixth grader like this, imagine what being sleep deprived on a regular basis does to you?

Eight hours a night, people. That's a tiny change that's worth making!