Vocal Performance Class
I am so happy to be a part of the Moveable Music School. Learning in a “hands-on-group-environment” is the ultimate way of combining learning with fun and camaraderie. Check your local listings and if you do not find a Moveable Music School, then get in touch with Rosemary Campbell and who knows?-maybe YOU could start your own MMS in your city!
I am so glad to be a part of this semester’s “Vocal Performance” class with Jennifer Scott.
Jennifer is such a Pro, and within a minute I felt like I was a passenger on a ship with a captain who had navigated these waters many, many times and who will never get tired of the journey.
This course is about vocal performance, which deals more with the issues of content, microphone technique, confidence and projection, and a chance for singers to chart their own course with some very experienced guidance at the ready.
Having taken a few “singing” lessons before, I was fully expecting to start with some instruction about breathing and the breath. Here’s where we started our warmups and here’s where I was first delightfully surprised.
Opening up “the mask”, engaging the eyes in openness and expression, rounding through the mouth – animated, openness of the throat, engaging the “performance face”, lightness in the forehead, brightness through the cheekbones and depth through dropping the jaw, watching out for nasality but being able to use it, feeling the buzz of the vibration – these were all highly contagious exercises! ( note to self-Want More! )
I learned about an app called “iReel Pro”. The app provides chord charts, with accompanying MIDI files that you can easily change keys to suit your vocal. For example, Jennifer explained how to search playlists in Forums and if you want Jazz 1300 – voila -1300 jazz standards easily downloaded. Note- these are chord charts only – no lyrics or melody, but a great way to share tunes with band mates or try new tunes out. These charts can be sent by email too, which makes it handy.
In a band I play in, we use “For Score” which is another great app for sharing charts and lead sheets with cool editing features, page turning etc. and it’s great for creating playlists and being able to easily edit or rearrange them. You can write your own songs or your own arrangements and if you can turn it into a PDF, then you can share it in For Score via Dropbox, for example.
“NotateMe Now” was mentioned as a cool app for music notation. Though single staff, it’s a great way to get your ideas down in a hurry…and it’s free!“musicnotes.com” is a good way to buy sheet music, and you can feel good knowing that the publisher and writer are getting paid.
“Your local Library” is always a good source of written music and being that the Moveable Music School is an accredited school, it’s all legal.
SONG OF THE WEEK:
This week we learned a great standard called “The Very Thought Of You” where we learned it as a group. We were then encouraged to research different versions to get some different aspects of how the song can be approached.
MY FELLOW STUDENTS:
This is what I love about the Moveable Music School- the class environment makes it such a fun place to be, and I am always so inspired and impressed by the talent of regular people. It’s so cool to meet people and when they open up and sing it’s like – WOW – where did that come from? Awesome.
THE FOLLOW UP:
Jenn’s such a Pro. She records the lesson on what looked to be a Zoom H4N or equivalent, and then separates the sections of the lessons and sends them to your inbox via Hightail the following morning. Ged’er done!!…or something like that.
Stand and Deliver a song of your choice. You then get an encouraging assessment of where you could go from there. Count me in!