the “cats are jerks” edition
Y’all: this is a THREE-DEE LARYNX. It is accurate. It is ADORABLE. And IT IS CHEAP. #buyallthethings
i mean, cheap larynx: borrring. you know what’s interesting? watching humans trying to figure out how to say the plural of larynx. #goodluckwiththat
Look. There are about a million and one HOW TO BE PRODUCTIVE tools and tricks out there. But you know what? I like hearing about those tools and tricks from someone who I know is slugging through a lot of the same stuff I am. Someone who does what I do. Who, you know. GETS MY LIFE. (Also? #Protip: there’s NO FANCY TOOL OR TRICK AND ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU THAT THERE IS? Is working with alternative facts. Ahem.)
productivity? boorrrrriiing. honestly, human. it’s like you WANT people to swipe right.
3. favourite promise of a better life app: waterlogged
I know. I KNOW. THE APPS ALWAYS PROMISE MORE THAN THEY DELIVER (well, except for that ChatBooks App. HAVE YOU TRIED THAT THING? #ItsMyFav #MyGrandmotherThinksIMakePhotoBooksForHerWithMyOwnTwoHandsByPrintingPicturesANDBINDINGTHEMAndThenISendThemToHerEveryMonth #WINNINGATGRANDCHILDING). And the best advice I’ve ever heard about staying hydrated comes from some of the learned laryngologists in my life: sing wet, pee pale. (Which, let’s admit: would make a hilarious tattoo. #justsayin) BUT, if you’re one of those folks who does really well when you’re checking in with an app AND you want to up your hydration game? THIS COULD BE YOUR NEW FAVOURITE APP! #yourewelcome (#shoutout to Emily for the reco)
i literally cannot with how boring you are today, human.
This is a quick (and not so dirty) break-down of Carol Dweck’s research into growth vs fixed mindset that, if you haven’t come across it before, may help you to understand why I made a conscious effort to change my language choices in the studio (and when interacting with my own children) from anything that resembles “you’re so talented” / “you’re such a good singer” TO “you’ve worked so hard to achieve this” / “I can see how far you’ve already come”. (#shoutout to Stephanie for the reco!)
less boring. but only marginally so.
Yeah. I’m not a huge fan of shows in which all of the singers are virtually indistinguishable from each other (because: BORING FOR REALS and also: VOICES SHOULD SAY SOMETHING OTHER THAN “THIS WAS PRODUCED TO WITHIN AN INCH OF ITS LIFE SO THAT WE COULD ALL SOUND EXACTLY THE SAME BUT DON’T YOU THINK WE LOOK GOOD?”)* and in which “opera singers” are portrayed as, well, INCREDIBLY BORING SINGERS WHO CANNOT MOVE ON STAGE EXCEPT TO RAISE THEIR ARMS BUT WHO ARE PRETTY TO LOOK AT**, but … this video? THIS VIDEO shows the POWER of music. And, even more importantly, the POWER of raising our voices together. #takemetochurchindeed
you have my attention. or at least as much of it as i am willing to give you.
I have a feeling I’m going to need to end this here … while my all caps button is still functioning.
Go on and teach your face off …
*Clearly, I HAVE FEELINGS about this movie. And about this kind of singing. And about the kind of production that values EVERYONE SOUNDING LIKE PREPUBESCENT CHILDREN. But I will not bore you with them right now. Maybe I’ll do a FB Live or something … although I’m not sure The Internets is ready for the LEVEL OF RAGE I feel when PEOPLE’S ACTUAL VOICES ALL SOUND THE SAME. THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH ALLCAPS IN THE WORLD is all I’m saying.
** SO MANY FEELINGS. I THINK MY ALL CAPS BUTTON IS STARTING TO SMOKE.
The “Does Not Include a Podcast Episode Featuring Shannon Coates” Edition … #yourewelcome
I first saw this unbelievably VOICENERDTASTIC warm up list on Matt Edwards’s blog nearly three years ago (DEAR GREAT GOUDA IN THE SKY: THREE YEARS AGO?!?) and I was all: YAAAASSS. Because: SO FUN to hand it out to my particularly VOICENERDTASTIC clients and just have that succinct yet SUPER-SCIENCEY explanation for WHY we do the things we do in our sessions. (And (not uncoincidentally**), look like a VOICENERDGENIUS to my clients as I explain all the sciencey things. #winning) Well guess what? Someone at Fort Worth ENT took Titze’s original document and GUSSIED IT UP. So now it’s a handy pdf that you can just download and hand out at your leisure. #iknowright? #GIVETHEMARAISE
someone gussied me up. and when i get out of this stupid, pale-pink bucket? i will end them. do not doubt my resolve in this matter, human.
Remember that one time when I commented about how I had “out-hydrated coffee” and a lot of people were all: SILLY SHANNON – DON’T YOU KNOW THAT COFFEE IS NOT DEHYDRATING? BECAUSE: SCIENCE!? Yeah, well. Elizabeth is an actual nutritiony-person so LISTEN TO HER. ahem.
coffee may not be dehydrating, human, but if there’s no cream in it, what’s the point?
3. favourite giftastic site for learning the who/what/where of vocal anatomy: dubdubdub getbodysmart dot com***
I mean, there are about a million and one ANNOYING AS ALL GET OUT ads on this site. And the great gouda above only knows how many cookies the site will embed into your computer’s innards. HowEVER: so. much. #voicenerdtastic goodness.
Sometimes you look for, like, ten minutes for a CAT AND COOKIE picture (that is royalty free, #thankyouverymuch) and then you give up and go with the Hello Kitty cookie picture because: IT’S JUST NOT THAT IMPORTANT SHANNON SO GET OVER IT ALREADY.
WARNING: only read this article if you want to learn things about yourself and about music (eeew: feelings).
are you trying to make me FEEL, human? stop now. before i end you.
Look. We are ALL oversubscribed. (And if you are not, keep it to yourself; I don’t need that kind of freedom and joy in my life 😉 ) But if you can handle having ONE MORE NEWSLETTER dropping in your inbox on a semi-regular basis? THIS IS THE ONE. It’s full of newsy, sciencey, voicey stuff that is super-interesting and will help keep you totes informed about voicenerdtastic things. #pinkyswear
are you SERIOUSLY telling me to VOLUNTARILY sign up to receive MORE emails? #IWILLENDYOU
Get out there and teach your face off,
* Let it be known: I am using the INCORRECT SPELLING of this word UNDER DURESS.
** Let it be known: probably not a word … and YET … I am using it. #breakingALLTHERULEStoday
*** I did not discover this site but I can’t remember who introduced it to me. And now I feel like a DIRTY, STEALING PIRATE for not acknowledging the lovely person who brought this site to my attention. So if that was you? PLEASE LET ME KNOW AND I WILL UPDATE THIS POST ASAP. #pleasedontleavemetofeellikeadirtystealingpirateforever
**** THANK YOU KEN BOZEMAN for the heads up on this article. I lurrve it.
the free-airport-wifi edition*
Singers with issues around performance anxiety? (I mean, I don’t know any … do you? ahem.) Take a look. (Plus? Canadian content.)
humans and their performance anxiety issues. it’s like they don’t realize they have opposable thumbs or something. if i had opposable thumbs (and if I cared … which I don’t), I WOULD RULE THE WORLD.
So, this is a video showing how a diseased lung (from smoking, I think) inflates versus how a healthy lung inflates. So, you know, GROSS. However, if you can handle the PSAness, it’s also a fantastic teaching tool. Especially if you keep in mind that the lungs do not inflate on their own (because they’re not a muscle, they’re an organ, #AMIRIGHT?); they inflate because they are attached to the ribs … which open when the intercostal muscles (as in: ‘between the ribs” muscles. #sosciency) engage … which causes the ribs to swing out … and the lungs to open right along with those swinging ribs … because they’re attached to the ribs. (And then the air rushes into the body because there’s this whole pressure vs volume thinggie going on … which has ramifications for inhalations and breathing for singing … which is a WHOLE OTHER POST. DO NOT ENCOURAGE ME TO TALK ABOUT BREATHING FOR SINGING AND HOW TO TEACH IT BECAUSE WE WILL BE HERE FOR HOURS AND NO ONE WANTS THAT. (Also, I’m distilling those hours into a convenient twenty-minute segment in The Vocal Instrument 101 Online Course so there’s that.))
for the LOVE, woman. stay on target.
If you’ve been teaching for any length of time, you’ve definitely encountered singers whose vocal production issues seem to stem from something more than physiology. If you’ve never thought about it before, this is a good starter article (with link to a full-on documentary) about the role that the psyche can play in vocal production. (With thanks to the ever-fabulous Liz Jackson-Hearns for the heads up.)
you? are not a psychologist, woman. so you’d darn-well better refer out when necessary. #justsayin
If you teach operatic tenors? You need to just stop what you’re doing and watch this video. Go on. Do it now. You can thank me later. With (dairy- and nut-free) chocolate.
that’s a lot of bossy right there. #justsayin
It’s nine minutes long. It’s absolutely fascinating. You’re not going to regret it. #pinkyswear
Until next time,
You can teach your face off … I can help.
* You guys, I have been through three time zones (and had two puke/terror-inducing landings to boot) since Friday. This post was started at the Deer Lake Airport (which? might be*** located in one of the most beautiful areas on the planet, which is where I spent a day adjudicating some really lovely young singers (and a guitarist and violinist) with my colleague, Martha) and was finished while visiting family in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. And it is going to have to tie you the heck over for a few weeks, given that I am on my way to LA next week and in a conference all day Friday (wanna’ come? there’s still room!) so maybe I get a FFF post done and maybe I don’t. It’s MY BLOG so I get to decide these things.
** SHOUT OUT to Stephanie, who brought this blog to my attention … and who may know a thing or two about dealing with performance anxiety. #OneOfTheBravestPerformersIKnow
*** And by “might be”? I mean “TOTALLY, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT IS”. It’s not super-easy to get there but, WOW, is it worth it. GO THERE. (And tell them I sent you. If there’s a critical mass arriving on their doorstep all saying that Shannon sent them, maybe I get a free skiing vacation out of it. (ARE YOU LISTENING NEWFOUNDLAND TOURISM?!?))