friday fav five – 18|06|29

friday fav five – 18|06|29

~ 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.).

1. favourite podcast episode: Interview with Shannon Coates (what?!) on MC VocalFri with Nicholas Perna

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.

2. favourite new resource: Teacher Guide – Private and Small Group Voice Lessons for Singers Ages 5 to 12 Years Old from The Full Voice

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.

 

3. favourite compilation video: Whattheheck is The SpeakEasy Cooperative

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.

5. favourite new singing teachery text: Complete Vocal Fitness: A Singer’s Guide to Physical Training, Anatomy, and Biomechanics by Claudia Friedlander 

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.

 

BONUS: favourite flash sale: Alignment and the Voice Online from Sarah Whitton

 

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:

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.

* 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

 

 

friday fav five – 18|05|04

friday fav five – 18|05|04

the free-airport-wifi edition*

1. favourite blog post series: Master Performing by Lisa Chisholm**

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.

2. favourite Instagram video: lungs opening from fisioterapia.hospitalar

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.

3. favourite article: How Trauma Can Affect Your Voice with Elisa Monti from Voice Council Magazine

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

 

4. favourite YouTube video: NATS Chat “The Hole in the Sky” with John Nix

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

 

5. favourite podcast episode: The “Godfather of Gospel Music” from BBC World Service Witness Podcast

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?!?))

friday fav five – 18|04|20

friday fav five – 18|04|20

I’ve spent a LOT of time listening to and evaluating singers this week. Because: FESTIVAL TIME. And this post is cutting it pretty darned close to the wire (I mean, it’s still Friday in Vancouver so, you know, SUE ME). I have heard A Path to the Moon* about a million times in the last four days so I feel I AM ENTITLED TO A LITTLE BIT OF LEEWAY FROM YOU.

you are a very whiny human. and that’s coming from a cat so …

1. favourite independent voice studio tool: postermywall.com

If you’re an independent voice teacher? You’ve made a poster or two in your life. Or four hundred thousand. You know, give or take. Postermywall.com is kind of like canva.com (which, incidentally, I just discovered a few months ago (thank you SECO friends) and virtually LOST MY MIND when I did. Because: SO EASY AND NOW I REGRET THE LIFE DECISIONS THAT LEAD ME TO FIDDLING AROUND WITH GOOGLE THINGS AND WASTING HALF OF MY LIFE MAKING CUTE POSTERS TO ADVERTISE ALL THE THINGS WHEN I COULD HAVE BEEN USING CANVA AND GOING TO BED A LOT SOONER), but better. So, #yourewelcome.  (And thank you Patti for the heads up!)

you’ve missed a lot of sleep, human. you are not smart. you would be smarter if you got more sleep. and you would know to use handy programmes that save you time so that you can sleep more. and presumably get smarter. too bad about that.

 

2. favourite educational FaceBook video: scoping 101 from A TEMPO Voice Center

Singing Voice Specialist, Kristie Knickerbocker demonstrates how a scope works, ON HER VERY OWN SELF. #happyworldvoiceday

humans are so weird. why are humans so weird?

 

3. favourite unintentionally educational YouTube video: Okurrr – Kris Jenner

The student of one of my friends? Taught herself how to tongue trill by watching this video. Yes. YOU HEARD ME.

did i hear you though? because i could swear you just said that a KRIS JENNER video was useful.

 

4. favourite voice initiative: The Phoenix Project for the Ageless Singer

New initiative from Total Vocal Freedom with the purpose of supporting and empowering female singers over the age of 50 that are concerned about the longevity and quality of their singing voice in the second half of their life.

Yes. I stole that copy directly from their website. And yes. That’s the copy I included when I sent the information about the Phoenix Project to all of the women in my studio who might benefit from joining it. Which was about thirty seconds before I realized that I AM VERY CLOSE TO BEING THEIR TARGET MARKET. SAY WHAAAAAAT NOW?!?

you thought, perhaps, you weren’t aging with the rest of us, human? that you somehow escaped the inevitable? you clearly need more sleep. you are growing not smarter by the second.

5. favourite YouTube Live Hangout: Dr. Dan hangs out live with Michelle Markwart Deveaux

If you have an hour or so to watch some cool voice teachery discussion unfold (and you weren’t able to watch it live because it happened at, like, MIDNIGHT YOUR TIME**)? This is well worth your time.

do not do this thing, human. we have been over this: YOU NEED YOUR SLEEP.

Here’s to sleeping and slowing down the inevitable decline into not-smartness. And as always:

You can teach your face off … I can help.

* Don’t get me wrong: I love me some A Path to the Moon. I just, you know, heard it a LOT this week. And you know what? You need to create ever-more energized K-sounds as you follow the composer’s crescendo marking on the chorus and allow that energy to build to create the crescendo. That’s right: those K-sounds? ARE A GIFT and will help you to avoid pushing or over-pressurizing to sing the crescendo. Also? You need to develop some subtext for those long chunks when you aren’t singing and make me believe that you have a reason to sing the next bit of text. AND? ASSIGN AN EMOTION TO EACH DYNAMIC MARKING ALREADY. THIS WILL HELP YOU TO EXECUTE THE DYNAMICS IN AN ENGAGED WAY AND ENHANCE YOUR PERFORMANCE. I HAVE HEARD THIS SONG A LOT AND I PROMISE YOU IT WILL HELP. #IPINKYSWEARIT

** Guess how I know what time Dr. Dan’s Lives are in my time? Because I am hanging out live with Dr. Dan in a few weeks and before I agreed to do so? I checked to make sure I wasn’t committing to trying to be interesting and witty at, like, three in the morning. That’s not good for anyone. Least of all someone who clearly isn’t getting enough sleep in the first place.

friday fav five – 18 | 04 | 13

friday fav five – 18 | 04 | 13

friday the 13 edition …

WILL THIS BE SPOOKY?! PLEASE TELL ME IT WILL BE SPOOKY.

 

1. favourite podcast episode: Singing with More Power by John Henny

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.

2. favourite freebie threefer: March Freebie Friday from Full Voice Music

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.

3. favourite tool: adjective list of personality descriptors (thank you google search / internets)

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.

 

4. favourite YouTube video: MRT-Aufnahmen von Michael Volle bei „Lied an den Abendstern“

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.

5. favourite SPOOKY video: Moscow Nights Tongue Singing Choir

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

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