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 “My Kid and His Friends Are Playing D&D VERY LOUDLY at My Kitchen Table So Things Might Get a Little Weird” Edition*
You guys. Nikki put a mic in our faces and asked a question and then we just talked voice ped stuff. And it was SO SO SO fun. Like, SO FUN. Because, if you put a mic in my face and ask me to talk voice ped? I WILL DO THAT THING. ALL NIGHT LONG.**
#forthelovewoman aNOTHer podcast?
This one was floating around the singing teachery sites all week. And for good reason. IT TELLS YOU HOW TO TALK TO CHILDREN. Which, you know, SUPER-USEFUL if you happen to be an independent teacher who works with children. Or a parent. Or ANY PERSON WHO MIGHT ENCOUNTER A CHILD AT ANY TIME IN THEIR LIFE.
i am a little kitty. the way you talk to me matters. (ha!! no it doesn’t. I AM A CAT.)
So, this one time, someone I am working with posted on FaceBook about this great book they’re reading and how FANTASTICALLY AMAZINGLY APPLICABLE it is to teaching voice lessons. And I was all: WOW. THAT BOOK LOOKS SO SO SO GOOD. I’M GOING TO INCLUDE IT IN MY NEXT #FFF. And then I realized that one of my students had loaned me THAT VERY BOOK LAST YEAR and that I HAD ACTUALLY PERUSED IT MY OWN SELF so I KNOW IN PERSON HOW GOOD IT IS****.
I’m awesome that way, y’all.
And? If you work with singers? YOU WILL FIND SOOOO MANY TOOLS and TIPS in this book. Because you know what? WE ALL HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS.
we are all calicoish cats. and yet we are all our own cat. #justsayin
You guys. #ICantEven
i mean. the level of talent it takes to do that? is kind of astounding. truly.
This is an “Oldie But A Goodie”. And by “oldie” I mean “it was written a WHOLE THREE YEARS AGO, so IT’S ANCIENT” and by “goodie” I mean “THIS MAY BE HARD TO BELIEVE BUT IT’S STILL RELEVANT”.
yes. YES IT IS A GOOD ONE. high five, human.
Go on and teach your face off #whydoncha?
*Also? I made an entire package of hot dogs (#ItsFridayNightSoNoJudgy) … and the three of them ate them all. In WAY LESS than ten minutes. TAKE THAT Joey Chestnut.
** NOTE: I use the term ‘diagnose’ / ‘diagnostic’ in this podcast. And I am fully aware that I am not a medical doctor so please note that I do not mean “diagnose” in the “use my medical degree to figure out what pathology that singer has”. I just mean it in the “use my voice ped degree to figure out something about how that singer is producing sound”. So if you are tempted to tell me that I should not use that word (because: NO MEDICAL DEGREE), please just keep in mind that I WAS TIRED and JET LAGGING and PROBABLY DRUNK*** so I used a word *somewhat* carelessly and I AM SORRY.
*** I was not drunk. Like, in NO SENSE of the word. IT’S A JOKE Y’ALL.
**** THANK YOU LINDSAY! I WILL READ IT FULLY ONE DAY! #pinkyswear
~ 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