Sunday, August 31, 2008

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER?

Let’s look at some sayings which we may have accepted as true. Things can sound plausible and we may agree with them or an aspect of them, but they may or may not be absolute truths.

Here is one: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Is this true? Is it true all the time? Is it true in some cases?

What is power and what is knowledge? The close examination of the meanings of these words can raise as many questions as answers. What is regarded as power to one person may mean nothing to another. If we define power as energy, then we may get into a quantifiable scientific proving ground and then we can discover how to apply knowledge and get good results and evaluate those results. If knowledge is that which is known, we should definitely take a look at the validity of the knowledge.

Knowledge that the earth is flat was at one time considered as an absolute truth. As we investigate, explore, analyze and test, we discover evidence and actualities and tendencies and trends of outcomes.

Could it be more true, or at least more workable, to say that KNOWLEDGE IS POTENTIAL POWER? Knowledge which has evidentiary proof through scientific testing could have the potentiality of creating power, if it is precisely applied to an exact situation in a controlled environment. KNOWLEDGE may be more of a kinetic energy, when gained by a person who is capable of understanding and using the information which has been studied and learned.

If you knew how a lawn mower engine worked and all the parts and functions and fuel and lubricants, and your mower would not start, could you get it to start, by simply understanding it? In some cases, yes, such as if it were out of gas but what if the spark plug needed to be replaced or something deeper in the engine were wrong? Here we get into the necessity of knowing, skillfully and intelligent applying and to go one step further, having enough experience and intelligence to rectify an undesirable situation.

The same could be said for an atomic bomb. You could know everything there is to making one, but if you do not have the material, the tools, and the experience, you only have the potential of the power of that bomb. Even after you would theoretically make it, it would still be potential until such time it were detonated. An extreme example, you could say, but it nevertheless proves the point.

What is the point?

1) Knowing how to do something is a step in the right direction but is not the entire solution.
2) Applying what you know (and doing it precisely) is a step in the right direction.
3) Consistently practicing at least six days out of seven may be much more effective that two or three or four. Over a long enough period of time, a level of competency may be reached. If this is an activity in athletics or the arts or both, history tells us that the best in the world have studied and practiced and have gained even more by working with the best that they could find.

Knowledge has the potential of the potential of power. If you practice the wrong thing or even the right thing in the wrong way you cannot count on a good or an optimum result. You may get worse. You may stay at the same level. I personally knew a trumpet player who practiced the same thing every day and he did so in a disciplined manner. He was on a plateau and as long as I knew him, he did not improve. He maintained a level of amateur mediocrity and as a result he did not tour with my band. I liked the guy and we all got along, but he could not handle his part at the level we needed and wanted for the band.

I am on a continual quest for truth and for statistical evidence of the effectiveness of the application of what appears to be true or what has worked well for the most people. This why I teach what I teach and is why I teach how I teach. I look at a student as an individual, without preconceived notions as to how the person should sound and help guide the student toward a professional level result that can be counted on day in and day out. If the student applies the knowledge, the results can be professional, if not phenomenal.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MUSICAL LITERACY

Literacy has been defined as the ability to read and write and to understand what has been read and/or written. The CIA has a publication you can access online called The World Factbook. It states that 99% of the United States is now literate, being those over the age of 15, who can read and write. The worldwide number is not so good with an average of only 82%. There are more facts and figures as to location and the sex of the indiviuals but the average is 82% worldwide.

I don't believe that the CIA has studied the musical literacy of singers but I have made a few non-scientific observations. I have noticed that some of the great singers I know are also great musicians. One of those singers is a man who sings extremely well in tune and has also written, produced, and performed his music AND is also a great jazz pianist. It turns out that the late Nat King Cole also was a great jazz pianist. I never recall hearing him sing off-pitch, out of tune, "pitchy" or anything less than singing at a consummate professional level and consistently so. I believe that his level of musicianship transferred over from the instrument to the voice.

On television competition shows I hear singers all over the place with pitch and with other intonation problems. You can have all the vocal technique in the world and have a voice which never cracks and never tires and STILL be an average or even a terrible singer. If you can not sing in tune with yourself and with accompaniment, you need help. The help comes in the forms of melodic and harmonic ear training and in learning modern harmonic technique. Most singers are not musically literate enough to even start this kind of training and many singers have no inkling of their own problem, and if they are, they don't know where to even start to straighten it out.

I am compiling the solution to these issues in such a way that singers can handle their lack of musicianship once and for all. Help is on the way...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

DEATH OF A SINGING CAREER

What are the things which will potentially kill a singing career? These shouldn't be a secret but you would think so when you listen to all the competition TV shows.

The first is no musicianship (or poor musicianship). What CAUSES singers to sing out of tune, off pitch, or even worse: change keys? You may not know what to call it but it sure does sound amateurish or bad and it is sooooooooo irritating to hear. What is that singer NOT hearing and NOT identifying and why don't they know it?

The second is not being able to use the voice without it cracking or breaking. "Air" is not the answer to this but if you think it is, well...you're going to keep cracking.

There are more factors, but a third one is that a singer has no concept of how his or her own voice truly sounds. This can be emotional, mental, physical, or simply a lack of experience and/or training. Get recorded and try to be objective when you hear the playback

The solutions are not so complicated but they do go beneath the superficial and that is also where a true artist goes to improve and learn and thrive and succeed.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

WELCOME TO EARTH!

This is a test! But, it's not only a test. It is a trial. It is an adventure. It is a proving ground. It is life as we currently know it. People will admire you, hate you, love you, judge you, help you, hurt you, so, it is up to you to very wisely choose your friends and associates. Most people will never see your "big picture" as you will also never fully see another's "big picture". So, from time to time, you will be judged and it won't be based on your entirety. It could be that you will be judged on one word or one sentence or one project or on several. You can be judged on how you look, talk, walk, act, think, and on your product in life and even on your production methods, procedures and the expeditiousness of those, or the lack thereof.

All of the above is why friends and family can be so valuable. We need a support group much more than we need harsh criticism. Being a teacher, I have to see as much of the picture as a student will allow me to see or hear. When a student holds back, the student is also not revealing the best. Why the best is also held back never makes any sense. The more criticism a person has been hit with, the more the person tends to hold back or be careful or withdraw or even eventually relinquish the dreams and goals which are so much a part of the person.

How could we handle criticism so that it doesn't squash the very life out of ourselves? We could always prepare and always seek to improve every facet of our life's products. We could always speak as if we are going to see ourselves on YouTube, as will the entire world. We could work on the nearly lost art of good manners and start to have more consideration, tolerance, compassion, understanding, and love for others. If karma is real or if simply the "law of attraction" is real, we may well get back what we give. If your integrity is intact and you have done enough to feel good about how your product measures up to the industry standard, then criticism has little effect BUT be sure that the product IS at the industry standard.

If you run into a person who is mostly or even nothing but a critic, realize that the person most likely could not stand up or measure up to his or her criticism imposed upon others. The most critical seem to also be the least competent. Remember this: It takes a few seconds to criticize but it takes days, weeks, months, and years to be a great artist. When you hear that four minute song, you do not see or hear the time, all of the time, that made it what it is.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

E G O

As a teacher, there are many times you learn some valuable lessons. Sometimes these lessons come from the oddest circumstances. There is a saying in Karate that you should enter the dojo (karate studio) with your cup empty. Why is this? Because, when your cup is full, there is no room to add even a drop more, without overflowing. Therefor, you will leave with the same as when you arrived and there will be nothing new for you to take with yourself.

So, how would this relate to a singer? Before I answer my own question, I'll say this: I had a friend when I was a teenager who broke his leg in a motorcycle accident. He told me that "once you feel you have mastered the bike, it is time to stop riding." I had a student recently whose ego was so far beyond the skill level that it had become more than just an impediment to improvement and learning. The student's cup was beyond full and it wasn't water that was in that cup.

What is a teacher to do? Be patient and either the student will enter with an empty cup or will never return and reality will hit hard and painfully, when it is least expected. Sad but true.

What is the student to do? Figure out how to be honest and objective.

You have to have confidence and skill and artistry and even ego BUT when the ego is beyond everything else, you are living in your own "Truman Show" and you can't see the world around you but the "world" is watching and listening to you. It is a hard reality and there is no sugar coating it, no excusing it, therefor, it may be time to reassess

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sense and Sensibility

What is sense and what is sensibility and why should we care? A sensible answer might be the one based on thought, being sense, and on wisdom, being sensibility.

In terms of singing and of taking good care of one’s voice, it might be prudent to first determine where to find reliable and accurate sources of information so that we can make educated decisions on the best course of action. You would not want to do things which would harm your voice. You also wouldn’t want to do things which would make you sing worse than you do and you would want whatever you do to be safe and effective. You wouldn’t want to take forever to reach your singing goal. Forever can mean different things to different people but if we are being sensible, we wouldn’t want to spend the next 10 years preparing to perform if we were already in our twenties or older. Most people don’t want to wait that long and understandably so. That wouldn’t be sensible, would it? So, as singers, we want to be the best we can be and always have use of our voices on which we can rely.

This should be obvious but it isn’t and there are reasons that it isn’t. Here is why: there are people who believe that there are singing methods. There definitely are and some are effective while others are less effective, slightly harmful, and even dangerous. How would a singer make an informed decision? One way would be to examine the statistics of vocal pedagogues. A singer should find out the level and rates of success of the students of a pedagogue, find out the numbers of professionals in the music business (including opera, Broadway, Pop, R&B, Country, etc.) who have studied directly or indirectly with the instructor. Additionally, the advice and writings should be evaluated in relationship to the organizations of singing instructors and even of the medical profession, specifically E.N.Ts (ear, nose and throat specialists).

Why would such an approach not be so obvious as the one to take? Simply because there are several colleges, universities, high schools and lower level schools which are teaching some so-called "traditional methods" of singing, which are out-dated, useless, and some are even dangerous as far as the "catch phrases" they are using. These are over one hundred years behind the times, yet their methods and fabrications are so deeply fixed in their pedagogies that they are never questioned by the innocent, inexperienced, and naive.

If ever a student should find herself or himself in the presence of a teacher who tells them to “place their tone” somewhere, to “sing from the diaphragm”, or to visualize silly things while they sing, they would do well to hold tight to their money and run away very quickly. Many of us have wasted our time with teachers who never had the personal integrity or ethics to study such things as anatomy, acoustics, or physics. Just because they were taught at the university level the things with which they now infect others does not mean that they are correct or that it is a moral justification for so doing. This may sound intense or even harsh but the realities of vocal fold injuries from unknowing abuse can be even more harsh.

Monday, May 05, 2008

WHAT IS EXTRAORDINARY?

From the American Heritage dictionary extraordinary is "beyond what is ordinary or usual." If you look at the first definition of the word extraordinary, that is an interesting concept. As an experiment, I tried doing something that is just a little more than usual and it was quite interesting as far as the possibilities which popped up as a result.

What if every day a person would do just one thing that is above and beyond the usual? It doesn't have to be a big thing or a remarkable thing but just one thing "beyond what is ordinary". What could happen?

Look around where you are sitting as you read this and notice what is there that you had something to do with. I remember years ago being told that if "you keep doing what you are doing, then you will keep getting what you are getting." This is obviously and even painfully common sense when viewed superficially but when observed more profoundly, there lie greater truths to be discovered.

How many times have we all decided that we could set the world on fire with our talents and abilities, only to have the matches taken away for fear we may be pyromaniacs? The solution is to hold on to the dream and the goal and let the purpose be the fuel. Write out the reasons, maybe 100, for why you do what you do that you care about, your goal. When you do that, your grip on your matches will be far stronger than before and when you start the flame going, it will be too big to put out.

BUT where does it start? One match or one thing that is beyond the norm and beyond the ordinary and what do you gain from this? You immediately gain hope. The same thing carried out on a daily basis for a long enough period of time can lead to the second definition of extraordinary "highly exceptional; remarkable." It is almost like STEP ONE and STEP TWO in the order in which the definitions appear in the dictionary.

This is a good place to start because hope can lead to excitement, which leads to more action, which leads to enthusiasm and a new muscle is being developed and disciplne becomes easier and life goes beyond the ordinary. Who wants an ordinary life? True artists, ever seeking to improve, understand this very well.

What little extra thing are you going to do today?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Answers TO A STUDENT PROJECT

Below are the answers to questions for which I participated to help out a student doing a project for school:

1. In your own words, define what singing means to you.


Singing means being able to artistically and musically communicate with an audience while expressing creativity and doing it in such away that there is an exchange between myself and the audience. I give them a song and my attention and they give me attention and a response, when I am finished, and sometimes even before that. It is a very personal "gift", if you will, in both directions.

2. What are the education requirements? (courses you need to take, degree, etc.)

Many great singers have had little or no education. Many great singers have studied voice, either at the university level or in private study. Most singers, who we perceive as amateurish or are "not great" have problems of which they may or may not be aware. The deficiencies can be either a single problem or multifactorial but will lie in one of the following: vocal technique, musicianship, artistry, appropriateness of style, talent, or the level of ability of interfacing and working with others.

Many great singers have studied music in high school and college. All universities are not the same, by any stretch of imagination, and each has its own stylistic bent. Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA is quite different from Juliard or Eastman School of Music. Many universities are geared toward making educators instead of performers.

3. What tasks or jobs are performed?


Singing, sight singing, live performance, recording the voice. Some singers are also required to move and/or dance, such as in most stage performance. Some singers are also songwriters. Some are also arrangers.

4. What is a typical day of work like?

A singer at a theme park has a work day much different from a singer in a Las Vegas show or a singer on Broadway. A typical day would include individual practicing, rehearsals are a possibility, performance may include makeup and costumes. Prior to the performance there is usually some nervousness but afterwards is usually a great sense of accomplishment beyond many other "jobs". A "job" in a theme park can mean having to be present for an eight hour shift but not singing for those eight hours. Shows, once set, usually require no rehearsal after the show is running but there are exceptions to that, A person in a show may have the entire day free and only have to arrive early for the show and is free to do whatever afterwards.

Some singers are recording artists or work in local groups, which changes all the aforementioned variables.

5. What will the future be like for people in this career?

The future for a singer is potentially limited (or enhanced) by the singer's level of performance, the ability to sell, market, do public relations, keep current, find out what is desired by directors, venues, record companies, etc. A career can run for a short time or for decades, depending on the above and the attitude and mental physical health of the singer.

6. What types of advancement or promotions are there?


A singer can go from a local artist to a national or even international artist. Background singers for name acts can advance to solo artists. Most careers are self-directed until signed by a label. Chorus singers in plays may potentially advance to being soloists.

7. What titles could a worker possibly hold?

Singer, singer/songwriter, diva, recording artist, stage performer, chorus singer, singer/director, American Idol.

8. Where does a person who has this job work?

There is work for singers in nearly every city in the U.S. but many singers will not make a living singing unless they learn the business side of music very well.

9. What is the environment like?

The environment is like all work environment but the intensity of emotion may be higher. Every workplace problem can be present and many can be added having to do with sound support or recording equipment technical difficulties or failure, in worse case scenario. When singing is at semi-celebrity level, or celebrity level, the "job" could be one of the most enjoyable in the world.

10. What are the hours?

These can vary around the clock. Most shows are at night but at theme parks can be all day and at night. Some people do weddings (usually receptions) and the time and date are typically either afternoon or evening. Those type performances are between two and four hours.

11. Do you think singers make a good salary for this job?

Singers may or may not be salaried. They can perform in many ways and at many levels, they can (some) teach. Most singing positions are for the duration of a show or for a recording contract. Some singers make many millions and at the bottom of the industry, there are singers who cannot make enough money to support themselves financially and must take other work, possibly outside of music, to be able to make a living.




www.vocaleasy.com

www.singinglessonslive.com

Saturday, April 26, 2008

THE BIGGEST LIE

The Biggest Lie
Category: Life


The biggest lie I ever told is, "I am doing the best I can."

How would anyone know their best? The main thing is, is it good enough? Is it better than is required or needed? Is it based upon the effort of one? Is it based upon the effort of many but is organized by and directed by one? Is it a goup activity but I have not put together the group? What is the reality of it, or more accurately, the actuality of it? Things to ponder.

Maybe the best is not what is important as much as: is it enough or is it better than enough? If you look at this as a professional, the 'enough' part is the part that is the standard of the industry or the state of the art. So, how does it compare and what is needed in knowledge or in skill to bring it to the level and beyond? Things to learn and/or things to practice. Are you doing the best you can do?

Friday, April 25, 2008

EFFORT AND BEING CREATIVE

Sometimes we are so caught up in our own worlds or our own lives that we can't back away far enough to get some perspective and be objective. Sometimes seeing something through another's eyes, or in this case another activity of an art, can be oblique enough to cut through the clutter and enlighten oneself. I wrote the following but it is from a different perspective than music but it applies because it deals with the creative process and may well be applied to the writing of a song or a play or even of doing a performance.


How much effort does it take to start something?

When the ideas are fresh and the goal is new, it seems to be the most exciting and things roll right along. Seeing the goal and none of the obstacles is something that should be perhaps captured in some way. Writing about it, describing it, sketching it out, clipping pictures from magazines, or getting pictures from online (non-copyrighted ones) can all go together to make what John Assaraf might call a "vision board". Not a bad idea to go from mental images to the ones that can be seen daily as a reminder.

In architecture, in the design of a house, there may be many sketches, pictures, clippings, product brochures, a plot plan with the survey (maybe a soils test report?) and many written notes in the interview with the client. This is when the excitement and enthusiasm seem to be the highest in this design development phase.

How much effort does it take to keep something going?


The law of inertia, having to do with remaining in motion comes into play. All sorts of friction and resistance may come into play: The worst for me has been lacking information or lacking certainty that the information is correct. Other little things, which are part of the creation, can feel like friction or resistance but may, in fact, merely be part of the process. Sometimes unrelated problems, demanding to be solved, may blind side the project and stop it completely until the "fire is put out". Looking at the game from a broader perspective of it all being part of life can help to not react to the situation as if it were devastating, even though it is just a little bump in the road. Look back at the "vision board" and those wonderful creative feelings will start up again.

How much effort does it take to finish something?

The excitement and the enthusiasm may have waned. The goal may have faded and may have lost some of its clarity. Near the attainment of the goal is the imminent let down like the kind you feel when you are a kid and you are playing outside and the baseball game in the alley is all that there is in the entire world and it is so real in your mind that you can actually see the fans, the umpire, the stands with the crowd screaming for you and you smell the popcorn in the air and the hot dogs and the grass and the dirt on the field itself and you have just run out of the dugout because it is your turn to bat and the crowd is roaring and you are pumped and your mom yells for you to come in for dinner as the reality of the alley smacks away the imaginary one which was so much better but but but... You are hungry and dinner is going to be great! What just happened? You were a major league ball player and your imagination is beyond excellent and yet you are ok. You have a new goal and that goal is dinner.

In a design project, for example, is the goal the finished flawless beautiful set of plans and specifications that the builder will follow to bring the idea from the mind to the paper to the reality of it finished and completed? The final push is the new goal to see the creation of the house as it turns into a home for the people, who are ecstatic to live and enjoy their new environment, which is a work of art both inside and out. When it is up, that house is seeing all the puzzle pieces fitting together and working perfectly for many many years to come.

But wait. There's more. What? A new goal? Right. The new clients are scheduled and they are such nice people and not only do you get to design their new home, but they are also such appreciative people that they become your friends for life. You are their Michelangelo and you are scuplting their home around their ideas and their lifestyle (at least thy think of you that way) and you are very fortunate that your lives interfaced and left a lasting friendship in the wake of the project.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

YOUR CHOICE

"If you think you can, you will.

If you think you can't, you won't." - Chuck Stewart

So, it's a choice, it's a decision, it is followed with a plan and the plan is carried out. OR it never starts and another dream dies.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

WINNING

What if you try to do something and you fail? Does it hurt? Does it make you want to quit or does it make you want to try harder? What if you fail twice or five times or ten or twenty times? Do you say things to yourself like: I am not cut out for this. I am not good at this. This always happens to me. Who am I kidding? I need to try something else. I need to stop being stupid. Or worse.

Having a passion for something includes perseverance. It includes learning more. It includes being the best you can be and continuing to study, practice, and improve.

There are only two things that stand between us and our goals: Correct knowledge and correct practice. Deficiencies in these will result in failure. Failure is temporary. It doesn't last. It happens and it is over. It is in the past and it isn't permanent. It doesn't have to be a setback. It can be a blessing or a wakeup call. It is a signal to change something. If you are not at the top of your game, forget about blaming yourself or others and get to work learning and doing more.

If you are a singer and you aren't great, you can blame a lack of talent when it is actually what you don't know and that you don't practice correctly or you don't practice enough. When you hear a great singer, you never see the work that the person put into it. If you think it is natural or just happens, then you have bought a HUGE lie.

You can approach life like a winner or a loser and your life will reflect your decision. What would YOU do if you tried and failed 50 times? Fifty is ridiculous, isn't it? Think about that. You try fifty times and you lose each time? What if on number 51 you win? Does this happen? Most people would quit. A race fan I am not but you have to admire Danica Patrick, who lost 50 times before winning once for not giving up. She cried in victory lane. No wonder.

She even didn't expect to win that day. But she did. She must have expected to win at some point in the past. People don't race to lose. They race to win. She evidently gave up on winning or she wouldn't have said she didn't expect to win. But she didn't give up on trying to win or on racing she persevered. 50 losses before a win. Most people would quit. Most people would give up. I do not want to be like most people in that regard. Do you?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Unique Singer Part 1

A singer writes:

I have a question for you. I have heard this comment made by several different people about several different people. The comment is "He/she has a nice voice but there is nothing unique or special about it, it doesn't captivate you." What are your thoughts about this comment? Can this be a valid comment? If it is a valid comment what are they looking for that seems to be missing? Is it something that can be taught or is it something that is just naturally there. If it is not a valid comment then why would someone make it?


This is not a short answer because the questions do not warrant a short answer.

Without hearing the voices the people are commenting about, it's impossible for me to say what the people meant by what they said and what is missing in the voices as is perceived by the commentors. I can make some guesses as to several things but I do know from being around many many working professional singers that nobody is born with it. People never see the huge amount of time singers practice who sound great. Because they don't see it, they assume that the hours and days of consistent hours are not happening.

I had nothing unique about my voice, in my estimation, but I did spend many many many hours singing and emulating and studying and recording on lots of bad to fair to good equipment and sometimes for 3 hours a day. So my voice was unique enough to get me singing in the 2nd biggest showroom at that time in Las Vegas. I did not get fired either. I sang in the show until it closed. BUT Is the comment valid? Again, without hearing the singer, I couldn't say. I have heard non-singers and non-musicians, such as Simon Cowell make statements like that and I usually have not agreed with him. Nothing with singing is natural. Nobody is born singing. Some people pay attention and duplicate the professional things they hear in other singers but they still have to work at it.

If a person sings without any feeling or without any attachment to a song and they sing the words on the correct notes at the correct time, then they might be ok in a chorus but I wouldn't want a chorus to be bland which is filled with that kind of uninvolved voice.

Every voice is as unique as fingerprints are from one individual to another. If a person thinks that they are not unique, then they need to work on style or on dynamics or on emotion or on interpretation. All those things can be and are taught and the results of it are obvious. Part of what is going on with American Idol is that the singers have vocal coaches and the ones with the bad ones don't make much change or or or the coaches are good and the singers are rebellious and don't take correction or they think they know best or they don't work hard enough or don't even know how to practice. The comment is no more or no less valid than a person saying that a person is beautiful--or ugly. It is an opinion. It is not a fact.

Great singers are great because they decided that they would not settle for less than greatness and then they worked at it to make it happen. It isn't innate and it isn't magic and it isn't that God is stopping people from being unique or giving them uniqueness. It takes a decision that leaves no other way out and the decision is followed up with the practice and perseverance to continue until it is achieved. Greatness comes from an unkillable desire and an impeccable work ethic. Then when preparation meets opportunity, great things can happen. But that's just my opinion BUT it's based on experience since 1962. Professional since 1972. Professionals know that professionals practice. We practice much more than the uninitiated could assume.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

CONSONANTS - ASPIRATED AND PHONATED

ASPIRATED

C when it sounds like an S
as in grace

F as in friend

H as in hello

K as in kitchen

P as in pony

Q as in quack

S as in silly

T as in took

X as in box

CH as in chuck

SH as in shuck



PHONATED

B as in boy

D as in dog

G as in girl

G as in the 2nd G in garage
(it is like a phonated sh)

J as in juggler

L as in luck

M as in man

N as in none

R as in roar

V as in victory

W as in world

X as in xylophone

Y as in yuck

Z as in zebra

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Policy

Is it finally time to change things? "Holding back" is a bad habit that brings about bad results. "Waiting" is another bad habit that brings about no results. All I have is now. I cannot do anything about the past but I can learn from it. This is what I shall do about it:


Today is the day that I put myself onto the road to being disciplined and shall progress toward achieving my goals and being successful abundantly.

How I will do this:

Resistance.


I shall resist doing the things that kept me from my goals. I shall resist wasting time. I shall resist the thoughts and the people who say I will not make it. I shall resist all distractions, yet will keep a balance in my life.

Persistence.


I shall persist toward my goals. I shall continue in spite of everything that appears to be in my way. I will continue no matter what. I shall keep myself motivated and inspired. I shall reiterate to myself my abilities and my resources and shall use them to their full advantage. I shall continuously expand my resources in great abundance. I shall achieve my goals. I shall plan my actions and shall act on my plans.

Consistence.


I shall schedule my time and take control over it. I shall keep track of my actions and keep statistics in order to evaluate successful actions and to hold myself accountable. I shall remove all obstacles to my goals. When I feel blocked, I shall find the route by consulting the road map. My road map is abundantly full of every possible route to my destination.

Existence.


I shall make it very real in my mind and keep it there until I “go out of my mind” by bringing it into existence in the physical universe. Everything is working. Everything is expanding. My goals are achieved and now exist right here.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Science Of Singing

The so-called scientific approach to singing has been put down or dismissed as irrelevant or unworkable and yet the greatest teachers of voice of all time spent years researching the very sciences of the voice. Anatomy, medical science, physics, acoustics and other sciences all play a role in the understanding of the production of the voice. Things are not necessarily “black or white”. There are shades of differences which span a near infinite scale of that which is optimum all the way down to that which is destructive. Knowing more about the anatomy and the safeguarding of the human voice has come about from research done by several fields of science and the arts.

What is universal and what is individual has much to do with the success of learning from a book or course versus learning from a teacher who is with you and guiding you to be your best and doing so by working with you as an individual, rather than as a statistic or a category.

Vocal ranges, for instance, overlap and depending upon the level of development of the voice, the useful range can vary from one tenor to another tenor. The same is true with other “vocal categories“: sopranos, mezzo sopranos, altos, baritones, and basses. Just as there is a best route for a specific mode of transportation, there is also a best way of navigating the passageway between “chest voice” and “low middle voice”. The same is true for low middle to high middle voices, high middle to head voice, etc.
Some singers do not even have a developed or usable middle voice and instead have a “break” or “crack” or a “glottal stroke”. There are reasons that inconsistencies in tone quality exist and there are solutions to the same.

It is a great benefit to have a person (who is experienced) listening to you as you sing to help guide you through the passageways and to also assign exercises which help with coordination and strength to be able to connect all the vocal registers into a seamless usable voice that sounds like one voice rather than two or three or more. Some people do have multiple “breaks” in their voices. With training and practice these breaks “go away”. Simply knowing how to achieve a great singing voice, unless the singer practices diligently any more than anyone else who has achieved greatness has done so without putting in the time and effort of mastering specific sets of skills.