Friday, September 07, 2007

Ma Me Mi Mo Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Last night I had my first singing lesson with Jean Marc. He started me off with some deep breathing exercises which were easy for me because of the yoga. But somehow breathing for yoga and breathing while singing are two completely different things for me.

We did a series of vocal exercises using vowel sounds: aaaa-eeeee-iiii-oooo-uuuu (running up and down like a scale). Then maaaa-meeee-miiiiii-moooo-muuuuu ... and so on. Then Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall (going up); Humpty dumpty had a great fall (going down); all the king's horses and all the king's men (up); couldn't put Humpty together again (down).

He described things to me in a visual way. This works best for me in terms of understanding - if I can see and imagine something visually taking place, rather than trying to understnd with my mind how it works. When I visualised the things he was saying, I really heard my voice change.

Imagine the note rising from my stomach and out through the top of my head like smoke.
Imagine the voice projecting from my third eye.
Imagine a fountain holding up a ball and the water that falls does not let the ball fall (i.e. the note).
Imagine walking up steps (i.e. with the rising scale of the ma-me-mo part)

And so on ...

I sang "In This Garden" for him and asked him if I could work on that as part of the singing classes. Rather than just 'learning to sing', it makes more sense to me to experience a two-fold process: learning to sing while singing my songs. By the time the Greenlight Concert rolls around on 29 September I won't be sounding like a nightingale, but at least I would have picked up a few tips to improve upon how I sound now.

There are so many things to get into with proper singing: how to warm up, how to hold a note, how to breathe properly, how to make a smooth switch from low to high register (natural to falsetto), how to sing with emotion/expression, how/where to place my tongue, how to open my mouth and form each vowel and syllable, how to relax and not think abut the singing, how to sing softly and keep the voice controlled, and loudly without sounding harsh and forceful ... etc.


With all this learning happening all at once (French, drumming and singing) ... in order to get my homework and practice in, I'll have to do them all together: sing my French homework while drumming.

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Anonymous Kikipotamus the Hobo said...

Sing your French homework while drumming. I LOVE IT. That is just delightfully funny.

10:37 PM  

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