April 18, 2007

Chapter 12 Reflections

Singer’s goal should be to portray the style of the song, rather than overshadow the song with his or her personal style

“how? it is communicated—The ability to portray a song’s poetic and dramatic content

1. Preparation: health, positive thinking, relaxation
2. Performance: In place offstage, stage entrance ( I really like the idea of unrolling the carpet), presentation, stage exit
3. Post performance: I think this area is really important, but I have never really thought about it before, I think keeping a confident positive attitude is essential because otherwise we would get really down on ourselves, and feel terrible…I like thinking about the performance and what needs improvement but I also think it is important to notice what you did well so you can continue to this…

I really like to perform, although in class I appear very nervous I really do enjoy to entertain and be in front of people. My biggest challenge about performing in class is the fact we are only singing, I’m so used to musical theater where I am dancing, one of my strengths I am very comfortable with, and singing at the same time. I guess, I don’t really know how far to take a performance in class, I could’ve done something more for my first performance, the song being a musical theater piece, however, I didn’t really know how far to go.

I think that performing is one of my strengths, but for our class I need to get over my fear of singing alone and what people will think….


Jornal Week 12

Once again I have play practice all this week, so I am going to try to get as much practice as possible in…

Sunday: At home, 1hr
Warm ups: rag doll, lip buzz, numbers, breathing
I continued to prepare for my workshop tomorrow. I feel pretty good with the first part of the song, but the last half is a little iffy…the key change gets to me. I get nervous because its high and then forget to use my technique. The other part I have trouble with is the longer notes that are held out but change…the word “thee? and “lie.? I can’t read the music so I don’t really know what the notes are…I try listening to the CD and watch whether the notes are moving up or down, and this kind of helps, but its still frustrating. I don’t hear any of the characteristics of efficient tone either so this is upsetting. I want to sound good but I feel like things aren’t improving…

Monday: My Workshop Day
My voice was really tired today. Play practice and practicing have wore me out. My throat is gunky and feels raw. I hoped to really get a lot out of my workshop but I didn’t do my best which was disappointing. I feel like everybody has gotten so much better except me…Paul said I need to think about my “uh? sound because this is my strong sound. When I am singing I should think about how it feels when I sing this and put this into everything else…We worked in singing the word “Bee? as “Buh? it felt really weird but it actually works for me to think about this. I think I still need to also think about focus and placement and using my breath to support the notes…

Tuesday: Play Practice, Practice at home, 30min
Warm ups: Rag Doll, breathing, numbers
After yesterday I was kind of disappointed with my voice. I need to work really hard if I am going to have a performance that shows improvement. I worked on singing while thinking of the “uh? sound. Its hard sometimes especially when the words have “e? or “i? in them so this is what I will have to focus on for my next practice. The long notes are still problem areas for me…What can I do to get these right nothing is working…The high notes are still hard, but I do feel like when I focus on the “uh? and placement of my voice, and the laser beam coming from my forehead things seem to fall into place…

Wednesday: Play Practice, Practice at home, 45min
Warm ups: Rag doll, breathing, numbers
I just sang through my song a lot today. I am trying to memorize and become confident with the words and notes. I feel like it is sounding better, but its not ready to perform. My biggest problem when I start to think about performing is I forget my technique…I will need to work on this….

Thursday: Performance
Friday: Performance

Saturday: Performance

The performances went really well. My solo and small group went good, my biggest challenge was singing with my microphone on, I need to remember it’s a little different when the mike is on.

My voice is feeling tired, What can I do to keep it healthy and ready for my voice class performance.

Chapter 11 Reflections

1. Rhythm
2. Pitch
3. Harmony
4. Form
5. Dynamics, phrasing, articulation

I have very little musical experience, hoe do I know if I even have these basic things? I have heard the term phrasing several times throughout the course, but I don’t really understand what it means…

Phrasing: refers to the separation of melody into its constituent parts-or phrases

Song study and preparation: I wish this section would’ve come earlier in the book, this is where I really struggle the most…I feel like when preparing for workshop and performance I am so lost, I never know where to start, and after I begin practicing I really don’t know if I am making improvements or not

Component study: this is really helpful advice, hopefully I can use this for my next performance

I’m really glad this chapter was included in the book. I wish it would’ve come earlier though. Throughout this class, reading music and the basic skills they talk about in this chapter have been my biggest problems. I have very little musical experience so even just picking a song has been really tough. I didn’t even really know where to begin…now I have somewhat of an idea of what I can do to prepare for things…I wish this would’ve been something we looked at, at the beginning of the class because I feel it could have helped me a lot

Chapter 11 Reflections

1. Rhythm
2. Pitch
3. Harmony
4. Form
5. Dynamics, phrasing, articulation

I have very little musical experience, hoe do I know if I even have these basic things? I have heard the term phrasing several times throughout the course, but I don’t really understand what it means…

Phrasing: refers to the separation of melody into its constituent parts-or phrases

Song study and preparation: I wish this section would’ve come earlier in the book, this is where I really struggle the most…I feel like when preparing for workshop and performance I am so lost, I never know where to start, and after I begin practicing I really don’t know if I am making improvements or not

Component study: this is really helpful advice, hopefully I can use this for my next performance

I’m really glad this chapter was included in the book. I wish it would’ve come earlier though. Throughout this class, reading music and the basic skills they talk about in this chapter have been my biggest problems. I have very little musical experience so even just picking a song has been really tough. I didn’t even really know where to begin…now I have somewhat of an idea of what I can do to prepare for things…I wish this would’ve been something we looked at, at the beginning of the class because I feel it could have helped me a lot

Journal Week 11

Sunday: I sang in church today for Palm Sunday. We sang Hosanna from Jesus Christ Superstar. I also performed at the churches pancake breakfast…we sang songs from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream coat. It was really fun, and I got a chance to use what I learned from class while I performed. I could really hear a difference, my tone was clearer, stronger, and at times I could hear a vibrato at times.

Play practice: The show opening is approaching very quickly so I have play practice everyday this week. We actually open on Thursday April 12, so its very soon. I am going to try my best to get practice for class done but I plan on also using play practice as a time to focus on my singing also.

After reading chapter 11, I realized it might be easier to pick a song, because I it helped me to understand how to read music a little better. My boy friend, Andy, offered to help as well…We went through the book again today, we looked closely at the classical pieces and what might fit my voice range…We picked out a couple of songs that would be could for my level but I could still learn and improve from…I just have to make the final decision…

Monday:
Tuesday: At Home, 1hr
I practiced the songs today so that I could begin choosing one…I am thinking I will probably sing This Little Rose for the lower voice, I am still having trouble with the piece because of the reading music thing, but chapter 11 has helped me a lot. I feel this song fits into my range but also challenges me when it gets a little higher. I think my biggest challenge will be these high notes…I need to remember to use my breath so that every note is strong and supported

Wednesday: Play Practice, 3hrs
Warm ups: Rag doll, lip buzz, 4 white horses, tongue twister song, you are my sunshine
I am having a really hard time with high notes. The more I think about them the worse I seem to get. I can’t hit anything, even the notes I used to be able to get in the show I can’t get…What is happening…What can I do to solve this problem…What can I think about to hit these notes…I’m frustrated

Thursday: Play Practice, 3hrs
Warm ups: rag doll, tongue twister, 4 white horses
I decided to not think about high notes today, I realized if I think too much I get stressed out and things don’t sound so good. I just focused on my tone quality and focus and placement again. My sound felt better today. I need to remember to think about not signing from my throat again. I noticed my throat feeling a little sore and I think its because I was trying to sing louder maybe…our director said we needed more volume and this is when it happened. What can I do to achieve volume but not sing from my throat…Also I am singing Alto in the show, there are about 5 or 6 of us and we never are together on stage, I have a really hard time holding my part and notes up…Is there anything I can do or techniques to use….

Friday: Play Practice

Saturday: Play Practice

My voice feels tired, when I have tried to practice my throat feels gunky and sore so I felt like it might be better to not sing. Instead I worked on breathing from my center and using my intercostals…I looked back at the beginning chapters and tried some of the exercises. I also worked on memorizing my song.

Chapter 10 Reflections

Volition: The brain and body interactively transmit instructions throughout the body, resulting in an instantaneous chain reaction of neuromuscular responses
Respiration: Air is inhaled and momentarily suspended in the lungs
Phonation: Airflow, released by passive forces of exhalation in combination with action of the abdominal wall muscles, meets resistance by the vocal folds
Resonation: The vibrating vocal folds excite the air column in the vocal tract
Articulation: Finely tuned movements of the articulating organs produce vocal sounds that take shape as words
Communication: Ideas, moods, and actions are expressed

When these things “hook-up? or are coordinating together…
Intonation: in tune
Vibrato: the audible, regular pulsation, oscillation or fluctuation of a single pitch that varies no more than a semitone or a third of a whole tone
Agility: ability to negotiate musical challenges
Sostenuto: sustaining capabilities of the voice and depends on coordination of respiration, phonation, resonance, and articulation
Dynamic Flexibility: controlling softness and loudness
Range extension: high and lows-octaves

Can vibrato be a bad thing, does it change from person to person… Do all good voices exhibit vibrato or do some voices just not?

I heard somebody say once that they didn’t like the way a person’s vibrato sounded, if vibrato is a good thing why would this be…

I don’t really understand the idea of sostenuto

I think about my own signing and I feel like I have none of these characteristics, how do I develop this…does it just take time and practice…Can all voices achieve all of these things, do even really good voices not exhibit all of these characteristics…

Journal Week 10

Practice:

Sunday: Play practice, 6hr (singing half the time?)
Warm ups: Rag Doll, 4 white horses, be a bay-tongue twister song
My goal was to again work on focus and placement. It is challenging for me to think about my breathing and this at the same time so I really tried to be aware of what I was doing. As chapter 10 discussed I tried to really focus on coordinating everything I have learned. I found its really hard!!! I started to think about one thing and then forgot another thing, I felt like I could never do everything at once. Sometimes when I wasn’t thinking so much thing seemed better…Maybe I am almost too concerned about doing everything right I am tensing up. I was able to notice some characteristics of efficient tone/singing…for example when I sang my solo and small group I could hear vibrato at times. After thinking about this I realized my tone and sound might be efficient here because I am very confident with this part…I practiced so much and had to sing it in front of people that it has become second nature…This is where I struggle in class…

Monday:

Tuesday: In my car, 45 min
Warms ups: lip buzz, I love to sing, breathing/balloon exercise
I continued to try and coordinate everything again today. I like to sing along to the songs I know and try to use what I have learned. When there’s a song I really like I tend to forget everything, and proper technique tends to go out the window, but it doesn’t always sound bad…Why is this, should I not do this…
Wednesday:

Thursday: At home, 1 hr
Warm ups: Rag doll, lip buzz, breathing/balloon exercise, I love to sing, tongue twister, counting excersie
I am still trying to choose a song. My practice was mostly focused on this again today. I listened to the CD and try to follow along and sing along with songs. I felt like a lot of the songs were way too high. I couldn’t hit any high notes, it was frustrating. I noticed though that when I sing louder and maybe don’t think about technique so much sometimes the notes come…Why?

Friday and Saturday: I did not practice either of these days, however, I went to a show choir competition in Lacrosse Wisconsin. It was a lot of fun and a really good learning experience…I plan to write about this for one of my papers…

Chapter 9 Reflections

Chapter 9 Reflections:

Articulation: refers to mechanics of producing speech sounds

Enunciation: refers to the act or manner of pronouncing syllables, words, or sentences in a clear, distinct manner

Diction: is a general term that refers to using the prevailing standards of word usage and pronunciation

Each language uses these differently

The German umlaut vowels- These confuse me, I don’t know much about language so its hard for me to grasp and understand theses sounds

International Phonetic Alphabet: a worldwide standardized system for translating all speech sounds into phonetic symbols that can be read and translated back into uniform sounds of speech. – the IPA depends on understanding what the symbols mean, I get frustrated because I don’t know what they mean and the sounds they make…

Factors that determine subtle differences in vowel formation:
1. individual vowel characteristics
2. individual differences in articulating organs
3. gender differences
4. range of vocalization
5. peculiar dialects or accents
6. intended emotional effects
7. dynamic levels
I never really thought about vowel formation, I didn’t realize so much went into it, I especially never considered how gender and intended emotional effects changed vowel formation…

I have several friends in a high school show choir, and I watch them often…they sing a song with the word dance in it and they pronounce the “a? long…I was wondering why they do this…Does it have to do with diction, do they do this because of the way it sounds to the audience…

In elementary school I was in speech because, I pronounced my “s? wrong…I learned from speech how to correct this, but it is still a problem, I don’t always use what I learned but I can do it when I am aware of it… I am subconscious about this when I am in front of people I don’t really know, especially when I am singing. It makes me really nervous because I focus on what others will think…I try to hide it when I sing, but it is very hard to think about it when I have so much other stuff to think about

April 9, 2007

Journal Week 9

Monday: Play Practice-3hrs

We warmed up at play practice signing a tounge twister, it really helped get my jaw and lips loose and warm and ready to move on into signing the show. We then sang a group song...4 White Horses that helps to get us energized and articulating.

We moved into practicing signing with the orchestra...My goal recently has been to work on my focus and placement. When we did some of these excersises in classs I could tell my voice sounded very different and better so I am going to try to make this something I always do. I find that imagining a laser beam coming from my head going towards the wall works best for me. I can't seem to make it something consistent yet though...I'm not sure how to do this...another thing I'm really trying to work on is not singing from my throat, I need to place the sound in the space I create. I noticed when I think about this I tend to tilt my head forward slightly...Is this a bad thing?

Wednesday: 30 min

Warm up: Lip buzz: This really helps me to loosen up and warm up my jaw, I love to sing, Breathing excersises

I find that sometimes I can do the lip buzz and sometimes I can't, Why does this happen?

I began looking closer at song choices today...I am having trouble tryingto choose a song becuase I feel like everything is to high for me. I know I have a problem when getting up high becuase I can feel myself getting really tight. I don't know if I can actually hit these notes and I'm just doing something wrong or if the notes are out of my range. How can I deal with these higher notes? How can i stay relaxed? How do I choose a song that is right for me?

Friday: Play Practice-3 hrs

Warm-up: Stretching, Tounge Twister Song, 4 White Horses

For the show I sing as alto, but my parts are still high. They seem to have quite a range how can I deal with moving through the low notes to the high notes and maintain proper technique. When I am signing lower I feel a lot stronger and supported but when I sing high everything gets tight and it doesn't sound good. When I really focus though things do sound better but I am still tight. I know that when I really put alot of air into it it also sounds better but it is still tight.

I have found that some days my voice works and some days it just doesn't, why is this? Does it have to do with my technique or does this happen to everybody?

Sunday:
Warm-ups: Rag-doll,sirens, lip buzz, counting excersie scale-(1, 1-2-1, 1-2-3-2-1... )

I practiced a couple different songs from the book. I want to choose a classical song becuase last time I chose a musical theater piece. The classical songs are alot different, I feel more tense when I'm practicng these, maybe it is because I'm not use to them so I get nervous. What are some usefull things to think about when signing a classical song? Do you have to change anything about your technique?


Quiz Chapter 8

1.) Pharynx: throat

Nasopharynx: lies behind the nasal cavity…cavity immediately above the velum and extending to the base of the skull, the opening and closing of this area is controlled by the sphincter action of the soft palate and muscles connected to it. This action determines to a large extend the production of certain consonants as well as configuration of vowels.

Laryngophraynx: lies behind the larynx…it extends from the base of the cricoid cartilage to the top of the epligottis, it also includes the laryngeal collar.

Orophrarynx: portion of pharynx behind the oral cavity…it extends from the top of the epiglottis to the soft palate. When thinking about “open throat? it refers to this space/cavity


2.) Placement: refers to the area where you are feeling the resonating sensations, this is usually the nasal area or mask

Focus: is efficiently produced vocal tone that maximizes vibration sensations, this is achieved by coordinating efficient vocal fold vibration and breath flow

Space: this is the open area that the sound is moving through, for example the space when the jaw is relaxed- or the watching TV face which opens this area


3.)Acoustics: the science of the production, propagation, and perception of sound waves

Understanding acoustics can help to understand resonators which will in turn is essential for optimizing tone quality…

Sound moves in waves, it is the disturbance of air particles

There are three essential elements in producing sound:
Actuator
Vibrator
Resonator
For the voice the Actuator=the source of power=air
The Vibrator=energy activator of sound waves=vocal folds
The Resonator=secondary vibrator that increases the intensity of the vibrators product, thereby improving its quality= nasal, mouth, and throat cavities

Internally these things are which create the acoustics, the way you use them determines what resonant sound will come out

Externally these things are which create the environment/space- such as the walls- acoustics- For example when we went into the stairwell…


March 28, 2007

Journal Week 8

I have my performance this week. I plan on practicing quiet a bit to get ready for it....

On Monday I worked on the piece with my friend Karen. Karen is in voice lesson and she plays the piano so she was able to help me a lot. I don't like to sing by myself in front of others either so this also helped me to work on my nerves. Karen played the piano for me so we could stop when I really needed to work on something. The first thing we worked on was getting the rhythm right for the section in the middle of the piece..."....and there was music, and there was wonderful roses..." I was having a lot of trouble with this section but we worked it out. I can read music so Karen taught me a little about what the notes and rests were and thinking about this made it easier to get the section. After my workshop I knew that I needed to work on using my head voice and not singing from my throat so Karen helped me with this. She told me to really think about a sensation in my nose area and forehead and this helped, the practice helped me greatly.

On Tuesday I worked on the song with my boyfriend, Andy. Andy is in choir and also plays piano. I am most scared to sing in front of him because I have no experience and he has quiet a bit and I'm not confident in my voice yet. I thought that taking a risk and singing in front of him would really prepare my nerves for the performance. Andy gave me some good advice and direction as well. I noticed because I was so nervous my breathing got all messed up so I really had to work on this. The thing that ended up working for me was not thinking about who was listening and focusing on my self. Then I took deep breaths and thought about feeling my center of gravity and intercostals working. Once I got my breath worked out Andy said my sound was very immature and to fix this I might try working on pulling the sound out of my throat. So, even though I had worked on Monday with singing from my throat I still continued to slip back into a bad habit again. He suggested relaxing my face and jaw...like when Paul talks about the watching T.V face. I also worked on my performance and thought about what to do with my body and hands to make myself look comfortable.

I felt like performance went pretty well. At least it was better then I thought it would be. I realize I have trouble staring and getting into a piece because of my nerves but as I continue I relax and things get better. I really want to focus on this for my next performance.

March 5, 2007

Journal Week 7

I had my workshop day this week. I learned alot from the practice. The biggest thing I learned is that my nerves really affect my vocal performance. I get so nervous that my tone really suffers, even though I know the song and the notes my nerves and lack of confidence show. Before I perfrom I will have to consiously tell my self to relax and calm down. I need to remember my breathing. I need to take a large breath and use my intercostals to support the breath. When I did this in practice my sound really improved so when I perform I have to remember this. Not only do I need to breath at the begining I have to continue to breath and support as I move through the piece. One thing I noticed in my own practicing is that when I try to have this deep breath and use my intercostals my stomach doesn't feel like it expands-filling with air-so I get kind of confused, I'm not sure if this is okay or if there is something else I'm changing without knowing. When I did my workshop, Paul siad that I was using my chest voice and belting. I need to work on using my head voice and concentrate on being consitent with this resonator...I don't really even think about this when I'm singing I am thinking so much about breathing and supporting I just forget. Another problem I have is knowing how to make myself use my head voice vs. my chest voice. For example, there is a part in the song I need to go from really low to really high and Paul said to use my head voice for the entire section...I was able to do it in workshop but I have no clue how I did this. Is there a trick to do this or soemthing I can think about to do this consistently.
I am getting really nervous for the performance. I feel like I have so much work to do on my voice. I wish I had more time to work one on one.

February 25, 2007

Journal Week 6

I really enjoyed the workshops this week. I could really see improvement from the begining to the end of the peices. I really enjoyed listening to the girl who sang Till There Was You, I can't remember her name, She reminds me alot of myself...She has a beautiful voice, but she gets really nervous, just like me. When we get nervous our tone is effected and we tend to not use enough air to pull through notes. I thought it was really interesteing when Paul suggested thinking if an emotion or feeling to connect to the peice and let it come freely. Th e suggestion really helped her and I think using this idea will also help me.
I went to the solo/ensemble contest this week for high school to watch someof my friends. Solos or ensembels perform and then they are critiqued by the judges in front of the audience. It is kind of like a five minute workshop. It was really neat to hear so many different voices. I found myself thinking about everything I am learning in class and how different singers applied these things. One comment a judge made that I found really interesting was about hitting low notes...which I have trouble with sometime...He suggested thinking of closing the sound or thinking of an inverted megaphone on your face. The large part that emmits sound is at your face and it reduces to a smaller hole at your mouth...He said this is odd to think about becuase so often we are taught to open, open open, but sometime to reach a low note this seems to work...I plan to try this when practicing and when I have to hit a low not in my music or in the show...

Journal Week 5

After watching some of the workshops I am a little nervous to get up in front of the class and be critiqued. I think it is a really good experience though, so hopefully if I keeo this in mind I will get less nervous. I really like watching everybody becuase I am learning alot. It is really helpful to hear the different tones and styles people use to sing. It really shows that singing is not an exact science and different things work for everybody. I think a really common problem is being tentative on certain notes and so in turn people don't use enough air. This then causes an airy tone. But if you approach a note with a good breath and use more air to sing through it the tone will be balanced better with the right amount of airyness/roundness and nasal/brightness. I have to be aware of this becuase I think I tend to have a similar problem at times.
I am leaning towards singing Till There Was You for my first song. I have been working on the high notes and using the right kind of breath, catch breath, in between phrases. I think its sounding pretty good, but it still needs work. My singing for teh show is continuing to improve. I think voice class has given me alot moe confidence to sing out and I am becoming more of a leader. I noticed when I have to sing high, it takes a lot more breath and iteh sound is alot louder. Our voice coach for the show asked my section on a particular song to sing a little softer, however the notes are really high so it tends to be loud no matter what...Is there a technique to sing high notes softly and still have agood tone quality?

Journal Week 4

I have begun looking at the songs, I am deciding between three: Put on a Happy Face, Time After Time, and Till There Was You. I think all three are good choices becuase they are challenging but also something I think I can handle with my voice and still learn alot from. I have noticed that when working on the songs, I begin to come to the end of a breath and I have little to no air left, my abs feel like they get tight before I take a new breath. Its like I'm trying really hard to get the very last of my breath to squeeze out the last one or two notes. When I reach the end of a phrase my body is really tight. I'm not sure what to do specifically to fix this but I plan to be aware of it and really try to relax and shift the use of my abs to where it should be. I think by developing my intercostals I will be able to lighten the tension.
I have noticed my voice improving. When we sing at play prctice I really try to be aware and use everything I am learning in class and this is helping alot. Using breath and teh proper muscles has done alot for me. I find when I stand to sing my voice is a lot stronger and it is easier to focus on proper breath support. I have also noticed that when I use the correct techniques and muscles, I can reach higher notes than I thought I could. My voice has also become more powerful without strain.