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Choosing A Singing Teacher

choosing a singing teacherChoosing A Singing Teacher.

Good singing teachers are able to teach you the right technique and habits from the start and is a very good way of making progress, especially if you are a beginner.

Learn To Sing books, CD’s or Videos are great for introducing you to singing  and if followed correctly can help improve your knowledge and your singing. However, only the personal interaction with a singing teacher can truly help, as they are able to see and hear you sing, and can tailor your lesson to suit you as an individual.

 Below is some advice to help you choose a singing teacher.

Places to look for singing teachers
Internet websites
AoToS  Musician’s Union  ISM
Local college/school departments
Recommendation from friends, choir member etc.

Personality
Choose someone who is personable and easy to talk to and who can explain what to expect in your lesson.   You want to find a teacher who will make the lessons interesting and fun, and give you the right mix of vocal exercises and working on pieces that you would like to work on.  Singing lessons should not be a chore.

What qualifications and experience does your teacher have?
Membership of a professional music teacher’s organisation is always a positive sign, as is evidence of previously successful students.

Distance
Consider the distant you have to travel to your teacher.  There’s nothing worse than having to travel a great distance for your lesson, after a long and busy day.  You will soon start to resent the travelling, and this could filter down to you resenting the lesson, and eventually your singing.

Style
Choose someone who can teach you the style you’re interested in singing, be it jazz, classical, rock… it is no good going to a classical teacher if you want to improve your rock voice. Be clear about what tuition you are after.   Some teachers feel that you’re best getting tuition from a teacher who shares your vocal range (eg a soprano teacher can teach soprano better) This is a matter of personal choice, and a good teacher should be able to handle all ranges

How much will it cost?
Shop around and see who does the best deals.  Will you get a  ‘trial’ lesson or  discount for booking a series of lessons.  The most expensive lesson’s, are not necessarily the best.  Also check what their cancellation policy is.  Some teachers want 24 – 48 hours notice of cancellation or you may still need to pay for your lesson.

Practice
What are the expectations of the tutor for practice. If they are expecting you to practice several hours a day, when you already know that you don’t have that amount of spare time, then the relationship is not going to work. Be realistic about how much time you have and how quickly or steadily you wish to progress.

Where
Will you go to the teacher or will the teacher come to you.  Is there any flexibility in this, eg if your car has broken down.

Material
Will your teacher be buying your music books, or will you?

What should you expect from your teacher
Your teacher shouldn’t take phone calls or sit at the computer checking their emails during your lesson.  It’s your time which you are paying for, so unless it is an emergency, settle for nothing less!
Your lesson should not be full of unwanted distractions, including the teacher’s children constantly wandering in and out of the room.  A good teacher will have a separate room to teach in.
Another point, your lesson is about you and for you.  It’s essential that you have two-way relationship with your teacher, but be wary of the teachers with the over-inflated ego’s.  They should be interested in improving  you and your singing.

 



 

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Singing With Emotion

Singing With Emotion

Singing With Emotion Vocal Exercise to the song What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor.

What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor is such a well-known Children’s Song, and it is incredibly wordy, which is great for warming up lips and facial muscles. Also it is a fun song to sing when you need to work on emotive singing  Try singing each verse with a different emotional emphasis as described in the video below..

We have used each verse of What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor to try singing it while expressing a different emotion. We prompt you on each verse to sing either Happy, Drunk, Scared (panic), Angry, Flirty, Sad, Secretive, Funny. We have included the sheet music and the lyrics.

Observe what each emotion does to your voice whilst singing.

Do the dynamics change?

Does your vocal quality change?

Do some verses feel easier than others to sing?

How does it come across?

Do you feel different when singing that emotion?

What could you do to improve the feeling you are trying to replicate?

Ask yourself these questions and maybe get someone in to listen to you and let them guess what emotion you are trying to put across. You can use this exercise as a singing warm-up, a diction or emotive exercise, or you may just want it for the nursery rhyme backing track.

Singing exercises when done on a regular basis, will help strengthen, increase the flexibility and the range of your voice too. They will also help with your tone and resonance and placement of the sound.  This particular exercise is for all voice ranges, but please see our other videos for Low, Middle and Higher Voice Ranges if you think these are more suitable to your needs.

 

 

 

 

Lyrics

Verse 1

What shall we do with the drunken sailor,
What shall we do with the drunken sailor,
What shall we do with the drunken sailor,
Early in the morning?

Hooray and up she rises,
Hooray and up she rises,
Hooray and up she rises,
Early in the morning!

Verses
2. Put him in the longboat until he’s sober, (x 3)
Early in the morning!

3.Put him in the scuppers with the hose pipe on him, (x 3)
Early in the morning!

4. Pull out the plug and wet him all over, (x 3)
Early in the morning!

5. Give ‘im a dose of salt and water, (x 3),
Early in the morning!

6. Scrape off his chest hair with an old razor, (x 3)
Early in the morning!

7. Stick ‘im on his back with a mustard plaster, (x 3)
Early in the morning!

8. Put him in a leaky boat and make him bale it, (x 3)
Early in the morning!

 




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Voice Registers

Voice Registers

Voice register is a term used to describe the difference in tones produced by the human voice in varied ranges. People who sing may have noticed that they experience sensations in different parts of the body, depending on what range they sing in. This can be attributed to the presence of different vocal registers.  

We have 3 main voice registers:

  • Head voice
  • Chest voice
  • Middle Voice

Head Voice

The higher register of the voice is known as head voice.  Singing in this register you feel the resonance more in the bones and cavities of your face and head.   Head voice is more associated with light, bright singing tones and is higher in pitch.

Chest Voice

The lower register of the voice, or chest voice, is where our speaking voice occurs  Singing in this register is usually accompanied by a resonance in your chest, hence the term.   Chest Voice is often associated with deep, warm, rich sounds and is lower in pitch.

Middle Voice

Our middle register is where we mix the elements of head and chest voice.  Think of it as altering the balance of treble and bass on your sound system to make it sound better. Each singer must learn how adjust their own levels of bright and dark tones, through resonance and blending of the vocal registers. As we sing from low to high (or vice versa high to low), an untrained voice will experience notes which don’t resonate quite right.  Your voice may become weaker and thin sounding, or you may struggle to secure the frequency of your note (you may be slightly off key).  This is known as the bridge or break point. Also known as Passagio in classical singing.  

How to master the break

Singing lessons will help you develop your middle voice.   Through vocal exercises, you will improve the tone and flexibility of your vocal cords/fold.  You will understand your chest and head voice registers and be able to connect the two as you increase your voice range. You will learn to adjust (mix) your voice to add the desired tone for what it is you are singing.  You may want to sing a high note, with a darker, more powerful resonance, or sing a low note with a brighter tone to it.

Vowel sounds will have an effect on your middle register.  Some vowels are narrow sounding and are easier to control in a head voice, whereas wider vowel sounds are easier to control in a chest voice.  By adjusting the tone and weight you put on these vowels will help you with mixing the middle voice. The more in-tune you are with you register breaks, the better able the singer is at anticipating the need for vowel modification and attention to resonance. Much of this knowledge is gained simply by trial and error, and with the help of a teacher who understands different techniques to help ease these transitions.

Some more on Vocal Registers:

  Whistle Register (also known as the flute register) is the highest vocal register, and is so called because the timbre of the notes that are produced from this register is similar to that of a whistle.  Whistle tones are created by covering the opening to the larynx/trachea with the epiglottis, allowing for air to escape through a very small hole.  In whistle register, only the front part of the vocal cords are vibrating together.  Whistle register, although very high, should be able to connect with your other registers.  

Falsetto is a musical term for a male voice that’s artificially high. Falsetto means “artificial voice” and comes from the Italian word falso for “false.” Falsetto is where the vocal cords are not fully connected and adducting along their length, but have blown apart creating a Mickey Mouse sound.  You may be able to produce the same high notes of head voice or whistle register, but true falsetto will not connect with your other registers The differences between whistle voice and falsetto can be difficult to hear, due to differences in tone between singers, that said in an exaggerated form it’s the difference between Mariah Carey hitting the highest note you can think of (whistle) and Neil Young’s highest notes (falsetto).  Though they are both in the higher register, whistle voice and falsetto are physically different actions of the vocal cords.

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Choosing the perfect audition song

Choosing the perfect audition song

Choosing your perfect audition song can be pretty overwhelming especially when you have only one chance to perform it.   You need to choose a song which will showcase your vocals and make you stand out from the crowd.  Choose your song wisely as the wrong audition song can really affect your confidence and your goal.

Some ideas on choosing the perfect audition song:

  • Go through the list of songs you sing or listen on Spotify or Youtube for song ideas
  • Find a song that suits your vocal style and range.
  • Ask yourself is it a song that showcases your voice.
  • Is the song suitable for the genre or the role you are auditioning for.
  • Check the audition guidelines. They may already provide a list of pre-approved songs, only want ballads or ask you to prepare multiple song choices.
  • Avoid choosing a song you think the people holding the audition want to hear if you struggle to sound good singing it.
  • Your song shouldn’t be too easy, but also don’t pick something so difficult, that you struggle to sing it.

Try to avoid really well-known songs and completely unknown songs unless the audition asks for it.  If you pick a really well-known song eg Angels by Robbie Williams.  The people running the audition would have heard that song so many times before or they may compare how you sing against Robbie Williams, unless you know you can really ace it or put your own twist on the song.

Equally, choosing an unknown song may leave the people running the audition with nothing to compare it to, or spend time wondering who the song is by, or asking colleagues, when then should be listening to you.  Choose something in between these two extremes.  Something known, but not too obsure.

Think about a song with a big climax or big ending.  Go out with a bang rather than fade away.

Beware of current audition song trends.  There are so many times at auditions where people tend to sing the same song.  Avoid the latest big ballad or popular musical number. You want to stand out and make the people holding the audition to take notice of you, not groan and switch off at having to hear the same song again – no matter how well you sing it.

Once you have found a few possible songs. Try them out.  Sing along to them. Get your friends to listen to you, or record yourself singing them and listen to the recordings.  Ask for feedback on your sing and your performance.  What is good? What can be improved on?  Is it good enough to make you stand out in your audition?

Practice, Practice, Practice. Then practice some more.

Check how long you have for your audition slot.  Some auditions only want 16 bars or a verse, chorus and close.   If the song you have selected only shows your voice off towards the end of the song, consider coming in from the second verse.   Are you using dots (sheet music)?  Then clearly mark where you want to come in from. If you are using tracks, then it’s more difficult, but maybe get a friend to edit it for you, or there are many companies out there who will edit tracks to suit professionally.   Keep your song as short as possible.  The last thing you want is to be cut off before the climax of your song because you’ve run out of time.

It’s also a good idea to make multiple versions of your song—one very short, one medium length, and one longer in length—in case your preferred length is too long for a particular audition’s request and you need to use the shortened version. That way you’ll already be prepared if the people holding the audition asks you to sing more for them.

It’s always better to be over prepared. Have a back-up song prepared just in case you are asked to sing something else.  Have a different styled song if possible.  This may be because the people running the audition like what they hear, or they want to see what else you can do, or they may think your voice may lend itself to a different style.

It’s completely normal to feel nervous when performing your audition piece for real.  Make sure you are well rehearsed and that you know your song and lyrics inside out. Be well prepared on the day, that you have your music, routines, drinks and snacks all ready and that you arrive in plenty of time for your slot.  Warm up and practice at the venue before your slot, so that you walk into your audition with confidence and deliver a knock-out performance.

 

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Learn To Sing

Learn To Sing

Learn To Sing with Successful Singing. We have lots of online advice and articles to help you learn to sing. Use our vocal exercises, scales and voice lessons, to help strengthen and develop your singing voice. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned singer our videos and exercises will help you get the most out of your voice. All our exercises are free to use online..

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Vaccai Vocal Exercises

Vaccai Vocal Exercises – Vocalises

Vaccai Practical Method of Italian Singing.

The Vaccai Practical Method of Italian Singing has long been an indispensable introduction to classical singing and singing in Italian.  Rather than using scales and exercises, Vaccai uses a series of short songs each highlighting a particular skill and aspect of classical singing.

This compilation of 15 singing lessons date back to the early 19th Century when it was popular to vocalise along with piano accompaniment.  These video exercises have been re-created with both English and Italian lyrics and available in keys suitable for High, Middle and Low voice ranges.  These singing exercises are still used today in training the singing voice.  We have made the audio tracks available in the different keys to listen to or if you need to purchase them.

 

Lesson No 1 – The Diatonic Scale


Lesson 1 (part ii) Intervals Of The Third


 

Lesson 2 II – Intervals Of The Fourth



 

 

Lesson 2 II (part ii) – Intervals Of The fifth



 

 

 

Lesson 3 III – Intervals Of The Sixth


 

 

Lesson 4 IV – Intervals Of The Seventh



 

Lesson 4 IV (part ii) – Intervals Of The Octave


 

 

 

Lesson 5 V  – Half tones or Semitones



 

 

Lesson 6 VI – Syncopation



 

 

 

Lesson 7 VII – Runs and Scale Passages



 

 

 

Lesson 8 VIII – The Appoggiatura taken from above or below



 

 

Lesson 8 VIII (Part ii) – The Acciaccatura



 

Lesson 9 IX –  The Mordent



 

Lesson 9 IX (Part ii) Different Ways Of Executing The Mordent



 

Lesson 10 X – Introductory To The Gruppetto Or Turn



Lesson 10 X (Part ii) The Gruppetto



 

Lesson 11 XI – Introduction Of The Trill Or Shake



 

Lesson 12 XII – Runs And Scale Passages


 

 

Lesson 13 XIII – The Portamento



 

Lesson 13 XIII part (ii) – Allegretto

 

 

 

 

Lesson XV (Lesson 15 – track 21)


 

About Nicola Vaccai

VACCAI was born on March the 15th, 1790, at Tolentino, near Ancona, Italy, but the family soon moved to Pesaro, where they remained about twelve years. This is where Niccolò received his first instruction in music.  He was then brought to Rome for the purpose of studying law for around five years; then, renouncing this profession as distasteful.  He then devoted himself entirely to music, taking lessons in counterpoint under Jannaconi, and later { 1812) studying the art of opera composition under the guidance of Paisiello, at Naples. While in Naples he wrote two cantatas and other church-music; in 1814 his first opera, I solitari di Scozia, was brought out at the Teatro nuovoin that city.  Shortly after, he returned to Venice, where he stayed seven years, writing an opera , and also several ballets; yet none of these ventures succeeded in winning for their author even the evanescent vogue of an Italian opera-composer; he consequently gave over dramatic composition in 1820 and turned his attention to instruction in singing, a vocation in which he was eminently successful in Venice, Trieste and Vienna.

Again devoting his energies to composition, he wrote operas for several leading Italian theatres,  still without success; but few of his dramatic works became known abroad, among them being La Pastorella, Timur Chan, Pietro il Gran, and Giulietta e Romeo.  The last-named opera is considered his best, and its third act, especially, was so much liked that it has frequently been substituted for the same act of Bellini’s opera of like name, not only in Italian theatres, but even in Paris and London.  To the former city Vaccai journeyed in 1829, visiting London a few years later, and in both attained to great and deserved popularity as a singing-teacher.  Again returning to Italy, he recommenced writing operas, one of this period beingGiovanna Grey, written for Malibran, in honor of whom he composed, after her decease, in co-operation with Donizetti. Mercadante and others, a funeral cantata.  Most of these operas also met with hardly more than a bare succés d’estime.  In 1838, however, he was appointed to succeed Basili as head-master and instructor of composition at the Milan Conservatory, which position he held until 1841 when he retired to Pesaro.  Here his last opera, Virginia, was written for the Teatro Argentino at Rome.  He died at Pesaro August 5, 1848.

Besides sixteen operas, he composed a number of cantatas, church-music of various descriptions, arias, duets and romances.  Although unable to secure a niche among Italy’s favorite dramatic composers, Vaccai’s lasting renown as a singing-master shows that he was possessed of solid, if not brilliant, artistic attainments.  His famous “Metodo pratico di canto italiano per camera” [London, 1832] is still a standard work in great request, and his “Dodici ariette per camera per l’insegnamento del belcanto italiano” are scarcely less popular.

The general plan of the “Practical Method” is to render study easy and attractive, without omitting essentials.  No exercise exceeds the limit of an octave and a fourth (c’-f’’, transposable to suit any voice).  There are fifteen “Lessons,” which are not bare solfeggio on single vowels or syllables, but melodious exercises-for scale-practice, for skips of thirds. fourths, etc., up to octaves; on semitones, runs, syncopations, and all graces usually met with-written to smooth Italian verses.
The extraordinary and undiminished popularity of this method is attested by the numerous editions through which it has run; yet it is not merely the method for dilettanti, but can be used profitably in conjunction with any other system of voice-cultivation, being admirably calculated for strengthening and equalizing the medium register, for giving confidence in taking difficult intervals, and for enforcing habits of precise and distinct articulation and phrasing.

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Lutgen Vocalises – Vocal Exercises

Lutgen Vocalises – Vocal Exercises

The aim of these vocalises is to render the voice sufficiently flexible and mellow to execute easily and elegantly the colorature and embellishments found in the works of our great composers. They are intended to be, for the singer, what Czerny’s School of Velocity is for the pianist.

Proceeding from the principle, that it is unpractical to practice a variety of difficult passages at the same time, I begin with exercises on two, three and four tones, then advancing progressively to more difficult exercises; leaving it to the teacher to transpose them a semitone higher or lower.

However, in order to avoid the monotony and lassitude which are almost inseparable from a strictly methodic course of study, I have endeavored to clothe my exercises in a musical and agreeable form; and have made them very short, to prevent overexertion of the voice.

Following its avowed purpose, this work contains no exercises for sustained tones; and it will suffice to sing daily a few long-sustained tones, before taking up these exercises.

The results obtained with this method, and its approbation by several of the highest musical authorities, justify my hope, that it will find a favorable reception.

B. Lütgen

Lütgen added a note on the second page of his edition: These vocal exercises may be gradually transposed a semitone higher or lower, without overpassing the natural limits of the voice.

This series of scores is intended to present these vocalises in many different keys. So, the students and pianists have not to transpose the lessons on the fly and may avoid by this way unnesserary errors. It is important for singers to know exactly what tone they are actually singing and these transposed versions give them the chance to do so. By that way, they also can train their reading capabilities in different tonalities.

In this set, every vocalise is presented:
1. by number
2. Key

 

Vocal Exercise Learning Tracks to help make the voice more flexible and mellow. Although originally intended for singers of the works of composers, they can be used by anyone who wishes to exercise the voice.

You can use the play buttons to practice online in the different keys, and there is the option to purchase the track and sheet music if you wish.

 

 

 

 

Exercise 2

 

Exercise 3

 

Exercise 4

 

Exercise 5

 

Exercise 6

 

Exercise 7

 

Exercise 8

 

 

 

Exercise 9

 

Exercise 10

 

Exercise 11

 

Exercise 12

 

Exercise 13

 

Exercise 14

 

Exercise 15

 

Exercise 16

 

Exercise 17

 

Exercise 18

 

Exercise 19

 

Exercise 20

 

 

 

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CONCONE OP 9 VOCAL EXERCISES

Concone 50 Lessons Op.9

for High, Middle and Low Voice

Giuseppe Concone (1801 – 1861 Turin) was an Italian vocal teacher. He is widely known for his vocal exercises — solfeggi and vocalises—which are unusually attractive for works of their kind, and at the same time excellent for their special purpose.

50 Leçons De Chant, Op.9

The purpose of these lessons-in their Author’s own words-is:-

1. “To place and fix the voice accurately;”
II. “To develop taste while singing broad, elegant, and rhyth­mical melodies.”

All these exercises are recomended to be sung on the ‘Ah’ vowel sound (as in father), However more advanced singers may wish to sing the first 25 exercises with the corresponding Solfaggi (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La ,Si) emitting each tone with equality, purity, intensity of voice, and preciseness of intonation.

 

Each video has the lead vocal guide at the beginning followed by the accompaniment from halfway through.

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

Lesson is 10

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13

Lesson 14

Lesson 15

Lesson 16

Lesson 17

Lesson 18

Lesson 19

Lesson 20

Lesson 21

Lesson 22

Lesson 23

Lesson 24

Lesson 25

Lesson 26

Lesson 27

Lesson 28

Lesson 29

Lesson 30

Lesson 31

Lesson 32

Lesson 33

Lesson 34

Lesson 35

Lesson 36

Lesson 37

Lesson 38

Lesson 39

Lesson 40

Lesson 41

Lesson 42

Lesson 43

Lesson 44

Lesson 45

Lesson 46

Lesson 47

Lesson 48

Lesson 49

Lesson 50