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