One of the greatest moments in film of late is from the Florence Foster Jenkins film. Jenkins is having a lesson from Maestro Carlo from the Metropolitan opera and he tells her to "raise the soft palate"! She immediately sings with what sounds like a much more hilarious 'quack' in the back of her throat. … Continue reading The soft palate and open throat – how open is too open?
Today I had the wonderful pleasure of listening to dramatic mezzo soprano Michelle DeYoung singing in a live performance of Edward Elgar's Sea Pictures, Op.37. She is a testament to the absolute lack of effort required for a dramatic voice to cut across a large orchestra. The pieces, save for III. Sabbath Morning at Sea … Continue reading Dramatic voices all in a row
One of the most common questions I've been getting lately is whether practicing in the passaggio is damaging to the voice. The answer is both yes and no. Firstly, let's briefly explain what the passaggii are. You can get more detailed explanations here and here. The former is a 3 part blog. In short however, the passaggio is NOT the … Continue reading Will singing in the passaggio damage my voice?
I liken this lesson to that of an old, blind sage, who, while he cannot see, his other senses are heightened. Have you ever found it particularly difficult to discover the sensation of 'ringing' in your mask? One particularly useful hint that a colleague of mine told me was to "block your ears while singing." … Continue reading Finding the ring in your mask: Block your ears while singing!
One of the most common questions asked of me is "how do I deal with singing when I have laryngitis?" More often than not, the laryngitis is being experienced at "the worst possible time." Normally there is an audition coming up, or a show. Maybe the laryngitis has passed, but the notes still are not … Continue reading Laryngitis: Dealing with a lost voice as a singer, actor or speaker.
Part 1, an overview, and part 2, male voices. It took me a while to put together this article as the female voice types span across a much larger range than the male types. There are also far more types that can be easily put into the wrong voice category. Like with the article on … Continue reading The trouble with fach these days Part 3: Female voice types and passaggio locations.
Part 1, an overview, part 3, female voices. I was going to put out an article for all voice types at once, but this turned out to be much heavier reading, so I have split this into two articles. This week, I have released the following article on male voice type and next week I will … Continue reading The trouble with vocal fach these days Part 2: Determining male voice type and range based on passaggio location
Part 2: male voices. Part 3: female voices. People are so determined to find their vocal fach in the same way that everyone is trying to find their sense of ‘belonging’ in the world. As if finding their vocal fach will instantly make them happier and a far better singer. There is some truth to … Continue reading The trouble with fach these days: Part 1
The aim is ultimately for chest, 'middle' and head register to all become ONE COMPLETE VOICE which blends from bottom to top. I recently had a fantastic comment on one of my posts on a singing forum. It was in response to my most recent blog post about damaging voice teacher archetypes. The commenter stated that … Continue reading Chest voice too high, head voice too low: Where ‘mix’ is needed.
Before I get started, I'd love to invite you to our facebook page for more regular updates! The voice is an organic instrument that changes with age and developing technique. The voice teacher must nurture your instrument as a botanist would cultivate a plant. They must provide the best conditions for growth rather than letting … Continue reading Twelve singing teacher archetypes to avoid or be weary of: