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.
~ Leaving Las Vegas Edition ~
I had SO. MUCH. FUN. hanging with voice teachery peeps at the NATS National Conference in Las Vegas last weekend (at which I may or may not have lead the singing of the Canadian National Anthem at the opening ceremonies. while conducting like a boss. no: literally like a boss. a mafia boss. who has never studied conducting in their life. #THATKINDOFBOSS). So here are some wicked-cool singing teachery things that you can look into and it will feel like you were RIGHT THERE WITH US IN VEGAS (except for the heat. there is nothing that can make you feel like you were right there in that heat. unless you are actually a fire fighter. because I think maybe a fire fighter might understand what it feels like to be right there in that heat. maybe.).
Okay, so … this started out as a talk about my online course, The Vocal Instrument 101 and all the reasons I created it and who it’s for, and all that stuff … and then it turned into SO MUCH FUNNESS that you should just listen even if you couldn’t care less about The Vocal Instrument 101 (although if you couldn’t care less about The Vocal Instrument 101? THEN WHY ARE YOU READING THIS RIGHT NOW? GO AWAY YOU UNCARER, YOU.). Because: JOY! (We recorded it IN LAS VEGAS. Yes. Yes we did.)
JOY? tell me more. or don’t. because i’m actually yawning in this picture and you shouldn’t anthropomorphize it for your own purposes, you sneaky human.
Seriously. IF YOU TEACH YOUNG SINGERS, YOU NEED TO GET THIS BOOK RIGHT THE HECK NOW. GO GO GO. GET IT NOW. It is fun. It is exciting. It is WAAAAY EASY ON THE EYES. And? It is FULL OF ALL OF THE THINGS YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU STARTED TEACHING YOUNG SINGERS. (I held this book in my very hands when I was hanging with Nikki in the Exhibition Hall in Vegas all weekend telling all the singing teachers to get it in person.)
go. go now. even i, disdainful cat of the year, think you should go now and get this thing.
For reals: the kinda-super-secret, definitely-NOT-for-asshats subscription membership for independent voice teachers. It’s real. And it’s fabulous. (And we were pretty-danged well-represented in Vegas this weekend. yes: YES WE WERE.)
check it out, human. what are you waiting for? hmmmm …?
4. favourite singing teachery app: Pano Tuner
I never would have thought of using a tuning app in this way but … this is the app that Mandy Harvey (yeah. THAT Mandy Harvey … she just happened to be a Featured Guest Artist at the NATS Conference) used to build pitch memory. According to her former voice teacher, Cynthia Vaughn (yeah, THAT Cynthia Vaughn … who, just to bring things FULL CIRCLE, just happens to be a member of The SpeakEasy Cooperative), Mandy demonstrated how it works by singing “ooo” and said “this is Db.” The tuner verified that it was Db. “I always start the national anthem on Db so I just practiced repeatedly singing Db, noticing how Db *felt* and testing it with the tuner. Now I can sing Db any time and it’s always right. Then try another note and another. Also find notes by using solfege and intervals. It’s amazing!”
i mean … that’s a lot of awesome to process. i think my brain is exploding. or imploding. it’s hard to tell … what with the brain being so unstable.
You guys, there are SO MANY AMAZING BOOKS OUT THERE THAT I WANT TO READ (#TAKEALLMYMONEY) but I had to choose just one. Because those are the rules. I mean, those are my personal rules. But still: THE RULES.*
yeah. because you’re so good at following the rules. ahem.
So there you have it: Just like being in Vegas, #amiright?
You can teach your face off … I can help.
*Oh, alright. BECAUSE YOU BEGGED. Here are a few other titles on my list:
Sooo … I’m not fully rocking the non-fri-fav-five blogs. Because? THE VOCAL INSTRUMENT 101 IS COMING SOON … SO SO SOON. And it is taking all of my time. And so much of my sleep. Soooo … muuuuch … of myyyy … sleeeeep.*
But not SO much of my sleep that I wasn’t able to narrow down five awesome singing teachery things for your singing teachery pleasure:
You guys. There is SO MUCH information PACKED into this EIGHT-MINUTE video that your brain might explode from the SHEER AWESOMENESS of it. (Also? I am TOTALLY JEALOUS of his diagrams. Seriously: SHEER AWESOMENESS.)
i am the cutest thing you will ever see (SHUT UP. I AM TOO. LOOK AT MY WHISKERS. AND MY CUTE WIDDOW PAWS THAT LOOK LIKE I’M WEARING SOCKS.). and i am here to act as a palate cleanser for your brain to help it return to normal after it EXPLODES FROM THE SHEER AWESOMENESS. #yourewelcome
Friends. This is a FAST read that deserves a SLOW thought.
i’m just going to be here staring lovingly into your eyes while you figure your stuff out. and by “lovingly” i mean “judgingly”. (what? did you forget that i’m a cat?)
About a million people tagged me on this video this week. ABOUT A MILLION. And I’m grateful. (Because: LOOK AT THE MOTION OF THE DIAPHRAGM, YO! LOOK AT IT!)
i don’t care about the motion of the diaphragm. i care about eensy little daisies. and the fact that they might attack me at ANY MOMENT.
I mean, this will take up a little bit of your day. But if you’re in need of some inspiration? Grab a hot beverage and enjoy. It will be totally worth it. #pinkyswear (Ken is introduced at ca. 31 and his talk begins at ca. 40 and is about 45 minutes long.)
is this your tea, human? were you planning to drink it ANY TIME SOON? because it is IN MY SPACE. AND I HATE IT.
I may or may not have a few thousand RubberMaid Buckets full of Lego in my basement. I feel like this is a way I can get some use out of those Legos before I sell them on eBay and make my fortune.*** Or something.
Yes. This is a cat made out of Lego. The Internets is a beautiful thing.
Alright. I am off to lose more sleep and work on The Vocal Instrument 101. Or, more specifically, THE WEBSITE FOR THE VOCAL INSTRUMENT 101. (Because: have you seen that thing? It’s a disgrace.)
As always: You can teach your face off … I can help.
* Which I am totally willing to give up because: SO EXCITED FOR THIS THING TO COME OUT AND FOR YOU TO GET YOUR HANDS ON IT AND FOR ME TO FULFILL MY PROMISES ABOUT HELPING YOU TEACH YOUR FACE OFF AND ALL THAT STUFF.
** Note the spelling of CORDS, my friends. NOTE THAT AND NEVER SPELL IT “CHORDS” AGAIN.
*** That’s a lot of brand names. #justsayin