Monday, 26 October 2015

A Vocal Break almost mended !

I was quite tired beginning my week - perhaps it was the thought of the mammoth 5 days ahead ! Perhaps it is the clocks going back, or just because officially it was the week I was going to have as my 'week off' - who knows. Anyhow, I felt under par and exhausted before my fingers touched the keyboard ! Two of my end of the day students were kind enough to go without a lesson and another was happy to discuss repertoire and look at new music, so my day was shorter than it otherwise would have been ! Many many thanks for being so amenable and considerate !

Having said that I did teach for almost five hours, and in that time 'A' came wreathed in smiles and on cloud nine. She played a wonderful Casilda in our Gondoliers in July, and a smashing job she did too. There is a sizeable break in her voice however and this term we decided to tackle it and conquer the problem. Often the 'break' between registers in a girl's voice can become very difficult to handle and thus be a confidence sapping problem.

A has a big voice, like an untrained Labrador puppy, with a break that was beginning to drive her ( and me) to drink ! Well not really, but you know what I mean ! Almost always a break is connected with a tight jaw, and this is definitely the problem with A. As she approaches the break notes, D or E flat she scrunched up the jaw and allowed the the vowel to spread much too wide ! Well, miracle of miracles, last week we proved beyond doubt that with a long and relaxed jaw, a loose tongue and nothing heading towards her ears, the notes would soar out in freedom. This week she came back having had a week of dedicated and excellent practise and it is already 50% more free, and by the end of her lesson another 25% loosening success was added to the total !

It was tremendous. A whole scale consistent and open ! It sounds so simple, but any singer will tell you that a straight scale through the break area is a very subtle and difficult thing to perfect.

Well done that girl, you've worked hard and it has paid off many times over - I'm very proud of you !

So something very good came out of what seemed like a less than sparkling start to the week !


Casilda in full spoilt splendour !


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