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
You guys. April is trying to kill me.*
So, in celebration of APRIL BEING ALMOST OVER, here is the final Friday Fav Five of April: the #freebieftw edition. Because? There are VOICE TEACHER SMARTIE PANTSES offering FREEBIES ALL OVER THE INTERNETS. And if you want to increase the smartness of your own pants? YOU CAN DO THIS THING FOR FREE.
1. favourite *freebie* facebook lives: Meribeth Dayme
I mean, OF COURSE FaceBook Lives are free. But these FaceBook Lives from Meribeth Dayme? Are like mini-sessions in teaching AWESOMENESS. And did I mention? FREE.
meribeth dayme for free? say what now?
2. favourite *freebie* bloggish-thinggie: David Jones
Look, David Jones posts these bloggish-thinggies to FaceBook on the semi-regular. And all you have to do to read them? Is join his FaceBook page. It is just THAT EASY to get SEMI-REGULAR input from DAVID JONES. Also? FREE.
david jones? now you’re just gratuitously name dropping, human.
Again, yes, OF COURSE YouTube is free. Just click ‘Subscribe’ and tonnes of singing-teachery goodness will be delivered to your inbox in video form. Yes. You read that correctly: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO READ. Aaaand? FREE.
we are all looking the same way because there is a screen with karyn’s youtube channel playing on repeat play over there and we are enthralled. we do not understand anything she is saying. but we don’t care because we are cats. and moving pictures enthrall us.
YES. Newsletters are also usually free. But this particular free one? HAS SO MUCH GOOD INFORMATION IN IT YOU’RE GOING TO BE BLOWN AWAY BY ITS AWESOMENESS. So go on over and click ‘Join the Newsletter’.
the level of name droppery in this one post is extreme. even for YOU, human.
Yep. MORE FREE SINGING TEACHERY GOODNESS. #yourewelcome.
i don’t actually know what a podcast is but i DO know that i love that woman’s voice. BRING ON THE PODCAST-THINGGIE, HUMAN. I NEED TO HEAR MORE NANCY BOS IN MY LIFE.
Go on … join, subscribe, sign up, get in on the FREEBIES. It’s the least you can do to help me make it through April alive.*
And until then,
You can teach your face off … I can help.**
* Click here for live (FREE) footage of me trying to get through April.
** I’m aware that this sentence may not make sense. But I am so close to dead (BECAUSE: APRIL) that I am not able to correct it.
*** In May. I can help in May. Or maybe June (because May is going to try to pick up where April left off). But I can DEFINITELY HELP BEFORE SUMMER. And by “definitely”, I mean “probably”. MOST PROBABLY.
ps ALL of my favourite FREEBIES come from folks who are throwing free content out there because they want you to get to know them and trust them so that you will invest in their paid content. And you know what? If you love their free content? You’re probably gonna’ wanna’ go on and invest in their product. Because you can bet that their product is even more awesome than their free content and TOTALLY WORTH THE INVESTMENT. #justsayin
friday the 13 edition …
WILL THIS BE SPOOKY?! PLEASE TELL ME IT WILL BE SPOOKY.
You know what’s spooky? How clear John Henny’s breakdown of the concept of power (and resonance) in the singing voice is.* SO SPOOKY.
your definition of spooky is pretty different from mine, human.
Yes. I am aware that this sucker is from last month. It says it RIGHT IN THE TITLE. But my March was a little hectic and I’m JUST NOW getting around to listening to the podcast about Movement in the Voice Lesson (free thing the first), reading the blog post by Christin Coffee Rondeau (free thing the second), and cutting out those CUTE LITTLE MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM GAME THINGGIES to add to my Songbird Warm Up Jar (free thing the third). SO SUE ME.
not even close to spooky. also: i am extremely handsome.
This is a handy dandy list of 100 adjectives you can use in your performance classes (or, you know, when you are helping students prepare for performances however you do it. Because, as we’ve covered previously dear voice teacher? YOU DO YOU.). Just print out a few of these handy dandy sheets for the performance class attendees and invite them to use it as a prompt to write down every adjective that seems relevant to each performance they see. Then discuss. (GENIUS, RIGHT? Well, it wasn’t my idea; it was my mentor, Lorna MacDonald’s idea. AND I STOLE IT FROM HER. BECAUSE I KNOW A GOOD IDEA WHEN I SEE IT, FOLKS.)
#Protip: this tool can be particularly useful in performance classes with singers who are singing in languages that the performance class attendees (or, you know, the singers themselves. ahem) do not understand.
OH! And here’s a simplified version you can use with littles from Sunflower Storytime. #yourewelcome
you. are. bad. at. spooky.
Pretty much every singer in my studio who is over the age of sixteen has seen this video. Because: LOOK AT THE TONGUE & PHARYNX INTERACTION. #mindblown
SPOOKY. GIVE ME SPOOOOOKY.
i hate you so much right now.
Happy Friday the 13th everyone!
You can teach your face off … I can help.
*Yes. I know this is a pretty simplified version of how all the things work when we produce sound. And John is aware of it too. Tell you what: YOU GO ON AND EXPLAIN THE ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF VOCAL POWER IN A WAY THAT EVEN PEOPLE WHO WOULDN’T KNOW THEIR THYROARYTENOIDS FROM THEIR CRICOTHYROIDS CAN GRASP … AND YOU DO IT IN LESS THAN SEVENTEEN MINUTES, INCLUDING EXERCISES. AND IF YOU DO THIS THING? *THEN* YOU CAN BE PISSY ABOUT HOW SIMPLIFIED JOHN’S EXPLANATION IS. #ItWasNiceToMeetYouNowGoAway
the saturday edition. because: good friday.
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
[GOOD HEAVENS. The adorableness of the ginger kitten. IT RIVALS THAT OF THIS SHANNON COATES PERSON WHO SEEMS TO LIKE TALKING ABOUT HOW TO WORK WITH VERY YOUNG CHILDREN.]
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.)]
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.
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.
* IF BY “FAVOURITE” YOU MEAN “MOST ANNOYING”
There were a LOT of amazing voice teachery things on The Internets this week; it was haaaarrrrd to pick just five (waaaaahhhh). BUT IT DID THAT JUST FOR YOU. BECAUSE I AM KIND AND FULL OF LOVE FOR YOU. yes. that.
If you are an independent voice teacher, chances are HIGH that you have worked with a singer (or two, or four hundred thousand) who does not easily match pitch.** Well, in this blog post, Brian sums up some KEY POINTS to working with uncoordinated singers and you know what? They. Are. The. Boss (the key points. not the uncoordinated singers. although uncoordinated singers are also awesome. just in a different way than key points are.).
i may look like i am staring into your soul and willing you to read brian’s blog post. but what i am really doing is reminding you that it is time for wet food and you are a lazy-butt who needs to get out of bed to feed me that wet food. and, yes, an animal who sleeps twenty out of every twenty-four hours is totally judging you for missing the six AM wet food feeding.
I mean, FAR BE IT FROM ME to be all up in your face about how awesome the RCM is (oh wait: I may have done this already in the past. A little bit.) buuuuuut: these apps are pretty danged awesome. My young students especially really like them and their parents have fun doing the games with their kids so that’s doubly awesome, #amiright? And? Seeing as learning music terms is pretty-much straight memorization (ugh) my students are LOVING the “Terms” apps because they (#clichealert) MAKE LEARNING (aka straight memorization) FUN!
MAKE MEMORIZING TERMS FUN AGAIN. [If I was any kind of fancy blogger, I would photoshop (or whatever the modern equivalent is (canva?)) the picture on that screen to a list of obscure Italian music terms like, “comodo” (which: commode! BAHAHAHA #IAmTwelve). But I am not that blogger.]
Next time you think a student is lazy, or just a terrible, terrible student (I mean, you’ve GIVEN THEM ALL THE THINGS TO SUCCEED AT PRACTICING HOW COULD THEY NOT DO IT?!), consider this.
i am not lazy. i am a cat.
Yeah yeah yeah … Upbeat PIANO Teachers … I know, I KNOW. But guess what? EVERYTHING SARA TALKS ABOUT IN THIS FB LIVE IS TOTALLY, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT APPLICABLE TO UPBEAT SINGING TEACHERS TOO (see what I did there?). #pinkyswear (Also, Sara may or may not be a singing teacher too. #truestory)
[Guess what, friendternets? THERE ARE NO PICTURES OF UPBEAT CATS ON THE INTERNETS. Go ahead and google that. I’ll be right here waiting. Whole lot of humans looking very happy while holding cats, #amiright? Good golly, do I love me some sardonic, better-than-you, resting-beyotch-faced cats.]
You know, if by “favourite” I actually mean “WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?!?”. (Also: #yourewelcome)***
no. seriously. WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?
And on that note, I wish you happy-weekending.
You can teach your face off … I can help.
*This blog post was written nearly EIGHT YEARS AGO. Brian is an early adapter. AND? HE’S WRITTEN A BOOK THAT YOU SHOULD BUY AS SOON AS IT COMES OUT. And in the meantime, you should sign up to get updates from him so you totally know when it comes out. So you can buy it. (Not that I’m telling you what you should do or anything. Except that I really am.)
**If you are an academic teacher, chances are HIGH that you have not worked with a singer who does not easily match pitch. Because: it’s pretty danged tricky / bordering on the MIRACULOUS to get into a university voice programme if you can’t match pitch. #justsayin
*** All y’all can thank my student, Lindsay M for forwarding that little bit of WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW to me.