Outsmarting the Smart Student

The way to get to free, un-self-conscious, non-manufactured singing is to elicit spontaneous responses that move toward easier ability. In functional teaching, it is my goal to get a spontaneous vocal response through exercises, in teamwork with the singer. [Sidebar: “teamwork” is crucial. I’m not imposing “good singing” on a singer.] When something “works better” […]

Read More

Potential in Every Note

The messa di voce is the act of beginning a single pitch softly, making a crescendo, then a diminuendo. It was considered important both as an expressive device and as a training tool in many Old School singing methods. It is found in the method books of Garcia (Hints on Singing #29), Marchesi (exercise #174), […]

Read More

Spontaneous Vocalism

In training we often get the spontaneity trained out of us. We end up with an over-cultured, manufactured, formed, packaged, and delivered vocal product. It might be an attractive sound, although usually it is not so good, but it isn’t free. Why not cultivate singing that is free, easy, joyous, and spontaneous? Spontaneous? How can […]

Read More

How to Learn a Song

In his book “Music and the Flute” Thomas Nyfenger quoted another master flutist, Julius Baker, who said this about slow, deliberate practice: “If you never make a mistake, you’ll never make a mistake.” This is a really difficult thing for beginners to truly understand. Below is a section from a typical classical flute piece, “Trois […]

Read More