friday fav five – 18|09|16

friday fav five – 18|09|16

the end-of-the-weekend edition

Yeah yeah … I haven’t done a #frifavfive in, like, a month. I KNOW. And I feel terrible about that. Because: HOW YOU MUST BE SUFFERING RIGHT NOW.


Okay, then. Here we go:

1. favourite boring-yet-necessary document: NATS’s Code of Ethics

Look. This stuff is, yes, a little boring. And at the same time? SO necessary. Voice teachers do not have a universally recognized certifying body, so NATS is a pretty good thing for the industry. And this is a pretty danged helpful little document. Is it enforceable? Nope. (Well, at least not in a useful way.) Are people gonna’ have some things to say about it? Sure. Is this still a necessary document? HECK YEAH. Because when people in your completely unregulated industry care enough to take the time to consult lawyers and think through ramifications and brainstorm a document that can help to bring that industry forward and make it better? You get on board with that thing. YEP. YOU DO.

you lost me at “code” … so borrrring.

2. favourite podcast episode: “Leave a Message” from Invisibilia by NPR

This episode is SHORT (like, 11 minutes) and SWEET. And it doesn’t have anything to do with singing or teaching singing. BUT it does have some very interesting insights into the human voice. So go on and listen to it already. And call your mom.

i don’t own a phone, human. YOU CALL YOUR MOTHER.


3. favourite way to spend a TINY bit of money to make a HUGE impact: support VoiceScienceWorks

Okay. Yeah. We’re all a little up to here with the paying of the monthly things. I KNOW. But if you want to support two very awesome people making some VERY VERY awesome voice resources (I mean, LOOK at this summary of harmonics and formants already. IT’S AMAZE-BALLS.)? You can do that with just a leeetle bit of cashmoney. Like, THREE DOLLARS worth per month**. That’s not even ONE fancy coffee. … and now I’m starting to sound like a public television fundraiser. #WHATISHAPPENINGRIGHTNOW?

what is WRONG with you right now? just stop that.


4. favourite TED-Ed video: How to practice effectively … for just about anything***.

Are there scary stats in this TED-Ed video that will make you feel guilty for owning a phone? yes. Will you learn something you didn’t know before? probably.

“probably” isn’t good enough. i’m not clicking on that link.

5. favourite article: Find the Perfect Voice Teacher by Celesta Kirk for Washington Parent

I literally just emailed a parent some recommendations for teachers in her area and included this article in the email. Because? FULL OF WISDOM. And? NOW I DON’T HAVE TO WRITE IT. (THANK YOU CELESTA FOR DOING THIS THING AND MAKING ALL OF OUR JOBS EASIER.)

blue eyed cat with white whiskers

yes. thank you.


So there you have it folks. A whole bunch of random stuff that might make you think. And also spend a little bit of money. But only a little bit. (Or a lot. FEEL FREE TO SPEND A LOT.)

Until we speak again,

You go on and teach your face off,





*huh. that’s a six-syllable word right there. i had no idea.

** 3USD. so, like, 7,000CAD. but I my calculations may be slightly off.

***I’d love to give a shout-out to the person who first shared this with me but, honestly? that was about four hundred shares ago and now I can’t remember who the first person was. so … SHOUT-OUT to all the folks who did that.

ps The first module of my online course has dropped (only seven more to go!) and one lovely early-adopter writes:  “she is SO much more fun than my science professor in my “Structural Sound and Acoustical Analysis” was”. Which, probably not what I want on my tombstone but, you know, I’ll take it when it’s about my course! OH! And I extended the pre-sale price to 1st October. Yes. YES I DID.

pps If you haven’t already, feel free to check out my Tuesday-ish and Ten-ish Terrific Teaching Tips and Tricks over on FB. Because: good times.

friday fav five – 18|06|08

friday fav five – 18|06|08

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:

1. favourite voice sciencey YouTube video: The Vocal Cords | How the Human Voice Works from Dr. Dan’s Voice Essentials**

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

2. favourite blog post: The Stories We Tell Ourselves by Brian Lee

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?)


3. favourite voicegeekery application for CGI: “diaphragm” from Osteopatia e Medicina

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.


4. favourite RIDICULOUSLY BEAUTIFUL convocation speech: Voice, the Muscle of the Soul: Finding Yourself Through Finding Your Voice by Kenneth Bozeman 

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.


5. favourite super-cute teaching tool: Lego Beats from Let’s Play Kids Music

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.


** Note the spelling of CORDS, my friends. NOTE THAT AND NEVER SPELL IT “CHORDS” AGAIN.

*** That’s a lot of brand names. #justsayin



friday fav five – 18|06|08

friday fav five – 18 | 3 | 30

the saturday edition. because: good friday.

1. favourite YouTube video: NATS Chat: Teaching Very Young Singers with guest, Shannon Coates

I don’t know who this “Shannon Coates” person is but she seems VERY VERY NICE. And she also seems like someone you might want to listen to if you want a primer on how and why to teach very young children. #justsayin


2. favourite podcast episode: Marian Anderson from Stuff You Missed in History Class Classics

So, this is a FASCINATING episode about a fascinating singer. (And if you’re not already listening to this podcast, you may LOVE it if you’re into history, you can stand some pretty intense twang in your hosts’ speaking voices, and you can handle consistent brutalization of “foreign” proper names. I mean, the bruises on my forehead are almost healed from my self-inflicted facepalms during the episode on Giorgio Vasari. (THE “i” IS THERE TO SOFTEN THE “g”. IT DOES NOT PRODUCE A WHOLE OTHER SYLLABLE. STAAAAHP THAT!))

[Luciano will not come when you call him unless you pronounce his name with three syllables, instead of four. (BAHAHAHAH. Who are we kidding? Luciano won’t come no matter what you call him. HE’S A CAT.)]

3. favourite blog post: What Parents Should Say as Their Kids Perform by Tim Elmore

Look, I don’t know Tim Elmore from Adam (which, *I think?* is a way to say that I don’t know him at all. But now that I look at that statement, I’m not so sure … ANYWAY. He has a FREE EBOOK and over 150,000 subscribers (according to the old-timey counter on his website, which couldn’t possibly be manipulated so …), but I pull this blog post out nearly every year around festival and recital time and I email it over to the parents of my younger students to take a look at.  It seems to be pretty, danged anecdotal but -WOW- does it EVER ring true for me.

what about me, hooman? do you love to watch me perform? PERFORM MY MAGICAL SLEEPING TRICK FOR TWENTY HOURS OUT OF EVERY TWENTY-FOUR? BECAUSE I AM AWESOME AT THAT AND YOU DON’T TELL ME THAT I AM AWESOME NEARLY ENOUGH. not that i need you to. i am fully aware of how awesome i am. i am a cat.


4. favourite quirky but effective tool with a funny yet weirdly appropriate name: the Pink Trombone

I know this one is kind of old (I think I first saw it starting to bounce around my inbox and social media feeds about eighteen months ago?), but it came up in my feed this week again so I thought I’d share. I especially love how moving the ‘bump’ in the tongue up and down the vocal tract clearly shows vowel differentiation. YAY FOR WEIRD LITTLE TOOLS THAT HELP TO VISUALIZE THE VOCAL INSTRUMENT!

i’m a weird little cat who might help your students to visualize what singing really really high notes might look like on the outside. unlike most of my species, i am a giver and you’re welcome.


5. favourite* article: How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price

Stupid-dumb jerk of an article about how to not let your phone rule your life.

i am a big, dangerous cat. JUST LIKE YOUR PHONE. or something like that.


Here’s hoping you have a beautiful weekend. And?

You can teach your face off … I can help.


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