Wednesday, June 16, 2010

C major scale

We will work more with chord progressions next week and how that relates to singing harmony.  It is important to have the major scale firmly implanted in your brain.  Here is a singing exercise to practice the C major scale. 

We talked a bit about head voice and chest voice.  Chest voice singing often comes easier because it is more in the range of our speaking voice.  Singing in your head voice is not more difficult; it is just not as familiar if you have not done much singing.  As you go up the C scale you may be able to feel the switch from your chest voice to your head voice.  Practice will help you negotiate this switch smoothly.   Imagine the sound coming out of your forehead.  Also, sighing, siren sounds and a munchkin voice will help you feel your head voice.   Two singing exercises which will help you move gently through this switch are the one using do re mi and also the descending so fa mi re do.  

Keep practicing Circle Round for Freedom and Poor Wayfaring Stranger.   We'll sing some rounds next week if you'd like to review them:  Ah, Poor Bird, The Peace Round, Sing, Sing Together, I Love the Flowers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

welcome back

Here is the new song we learned tonight.  I recorded all three parts.  See you next week!

Circle Round for Freedom
melody (middle line)
Soprano (top line)
Baritone (bottom line)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Class resumes June 7th

Our class will resume on Monday June 7th at 5:30.  New students are welcome

We will meet on June 14, 21, July 5,12 and one more date that suits all of the class members.
The cost is $48.00.  I look forward to seeing you then. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Poor Wayfaring Stranger

This song uses the same tone set (notes) as the singing exercise in the previous post.

Poor Wayfaring Stranger

Thursday, April 15, 2010

exercise in minor

Here is a singing exercise in minor.  It will make it easier to sing Poor Wayfaring Stranger and other songs in minor keys like Out of Eternity  and The Peace Round.  See you on Monday.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Long Black Veil

As promised, here is Long Black Veil. I am not in my best voice with all this pollen in the air, but at least you can sing along. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

great progress!

Wow! The practice is really paying off.  I am delighted with the progress you've made.  We were talking about the song "Long Black Veil" and will sing it together next week.  I have listed several other songs that use the same tone set (notes).   I have done them all in the key of D as that is the key we'll use for "Long Black Veil".  I have also recorded two singing exercises using the same notes.  See you next week.

singing exercise (m   s l)
singing exercise (s, l,  d r m   s l) 
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot in D
Tom Dooley in D

Saturday, March 6, 2010

practice exercises

Here is a very basis singing exercise to practice the first three notes in a major scale (do, re, mi).  It will help to look at the tone ladder as you listen and sing the echos.  This is especially helpful if you are not sure yet which tones are higher and which are lower.  As you go up the ladder, the notes get higher.  As you go down the ladder, the notes get lower.  Sing the notes in your mind as I sing them, then sing the first note of the echo in your mind before you sing it.  This will help you sing it in tune.  Practice, practice, practice.  It will get easier.  If the do, re, mi exercise is easy then move on to the second exercise, so, fa, mi, re, do.

do, re, mi exercise

so, fa, mi, re, do exercise

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Feb. 22 class

I changed the recording of Stewball from last week's post to just be a straight sing-a-long.  When I went back and listened to it I realized that it was difficult to sing along with the ostinato because I just held out the notes rather than singing them to a beat.  This week you can practice any of the songs from previous lessons and the singing exercises (see previous posts).  Here is a singing exercise that I meant to do at class this week.  You may want to print the tone ladder sheet as an added visual aid in singing the patterns.  The hand signs are totally optional.  We haven't been using them. 

I also asked everyone this week to practice singing familiar songs.  Pick a song or part of a song to sing for the class next week.  This coming week will be our last class in this session.  The next session will be March 15-April 26 and will focus on singing and also practical music theory and sight singing skills (reading from music).  Happy singing!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

songs from Feb. 15th class

Here are the songs from class this week.  I gave you some work to do with Clementine.  Stewball and Irene, Goodnight are sing-a-longs.

Clementine with ostinato
Irene, Goodnight

Monday, February 15, 2010

Feb. 15th class

What a difference one week can make!  The practice at home is paying off and the class is singing on pitch most of the time and folks are blending their voices well.  To sing successfully with others you need to listen to yourself and to the other singers.  This is not always an easy thing to do and everyone is getting better each week.  Usually when the pitch goes flat it is in the lower range of our voices.  I think it is because the lower range is more comfortable and so we get lazy.  Just so you know, tonight you were singing an E above the C above middle C on the piano (for the women, an octave down for the men).  And you thought you couldn't sing high!  Remember to think sighs and sirens and to take a deep breath especially on those high notes.  And, of course, relax.  Can't say that too much.  Try singing while leaning over and letting your arms hang loose in front of you.  Now try to keep that same relaxed feeling in your arms when you stand up.  Think of lengthening you spine as you relax your shoulders and arms.  I will add the new songs to this post later in the week.  Happy singing!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Feb. 8th class

Someone asked me tonight how I can automatically sing an octave down or up from a note I hear.  The short answer is that I can just hear it, but I realize that the reason I can hear it is because of many years of singing and playing music.  The sounds have to be in our ears before they can come out our mouths.  It will take many times of hearing a song before you know it.  When you can sing along in your mind then you are ready to sing.  When you are practicing, make sure you are singing in your "singing" voice. We have a tendency to want to sing in the range of our speaking voice.  Some of our singing voice will be in our speaking range, but you will be limited if you stay there.  If you haven't sung very much it can feel awkward to sing in your head voice. Give it a try.  Sing a familiar song higher than you think you can.  Think about sending the sound out through your face and forehead rather than your mouth...and relax.  Lying on your back can help you relax while you sing.  Have fun singing this week. 

singing warm up with vowels

Monday, February 1, 2010

Everybody Sing

There is an African proverb that goes like this: If you can walk, you can dance; If you can talk, you can sing. I wholeheartedly agree. There is nothing magical about singing...if you have the mechanism to talk, then you have the mechanism to sing. All you need to do is relax, take a deep breath and sing. This class is for folks who want to discover or reclaim their singing voice and have fun making music with others. Singing does take practice. The more you sing, the better you'll sing. Just remember to breath, relax, listen and have fun. That's all for now. Here are a few songs and exercises that we've been doing in class the past few weeks.

Songsheet:s:  1, 2, 3, 4

C scale
Make New Friends
Sing, Sing Together
Hot Cross Buns
Little Things
Out of Eternity
I Love the Flowers
Shalom Chaverim
White Sand and Gray Sand
Charis to Mend
Ah, Poor Bird
Peace Round