Showing category "Learning to Sing" (Show all posts)

The Choral Director and The Singing Teacher Can Be Friends

Posted by Patricia Callaway on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, In : Learning to Sing 
(Sung to the tune of "The Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends")

Well, I've been to Heaven.  I sat through a session this morning by Dr. Alan Zabriskie of The University of Central Missouri and then went straight to the Pepper booth in the exhibit hall to buy his book.  It's called Foundations of Choral Tone:  A Proactive and Healthy Approach to Vocal Technique and Choral Blend".  Dr. Z's bright idea is that rather than basing his choir's sound on the least skilled members' abilities, perha...
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When to Start Singing Lessons

Posted by Patricia Callaway on Sunday, August 7, 2011, In : Learning to Sing 
Recently I was asked a question that comes up every few months about when a child should start taking voice lessons.  In this case the child is six-years-old, loves to sing, and stays pretty much in tune.  Her mom wondered if her child should have voice lessons.  I did not have the opportunity to hear the child, but I would hesitate to suggest lessons for a child that young.  Even though today children start voice lessons much earlier than the 16 years that used to be the standard, I really t...
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My Other Voice Teacher

Posted by Patricia Callaway on Thursday, July 14, 2011, In : Learning to Sing 
When I entered the DMA program at the University of Georgia, I was in my mid-40's.  We middle aged students are just terrible in grad school; we are not afraid of anyone, not even the professors!  I went to UGA determined that the voice teacher with whom I would study would be my friend Dr. Gregory Broughton.  I had sung with Dr. Broughton and heard him sing, and I was certain that he was the teacher for me.  I was so right!  Incidentally, for anyone choosing a voice teacher, do everything yo...
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Concerning "The Dome"

Posted by Patricia Callaway on Wednesday, June 22, 2011, In : Learning to Sing 

Back in the 1980’s when I first heard Richard Miller speak, he was talking about the misconceptions so many people had about vocal function that were caused by the figurative language that many teachers used when talking about the voice.  Mr. Miller compared the common terminology to the anatomical reality with a great deal of humor, and those of us listening to him laughed until we cried.  Those lectures became a series of articles in the 1994 volume of the Journal of Singing.


At that tim...


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How I Learned to Sing

Posted by Patricia Callaway on Saturday, June 4, 2011, In : Learning to Sing 

I was such an eager beaver.  When I began voice lessons, I was the type that would be assigned a song and who then would find the book that the song came in, learn that song, go through the rest of the book, and come back the next week with four more songs I wanted to learn.  I had come to college to major in history, go the Library School, and become a librarian.  In high school I had been a very good student, and my activities were the chorus and the library club; you’ve got it:  total ne...


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Endings: Audition Season and School Year

Posted by Patricia Callaway on Sunday, April 24, 2011, In : Learning to Sing 
I'm only two lectures away from the end of music history this year.  The students have turned in their research papers, which I forgot to bring home with me for grading during Easter weekend.  Darn.  After just two more lectures by me, they will present their research in class, and I will get to sit and listen.  It's my favorite part of each semester.  My voice students did pretty well in the student recital last week; some did quite well, which gladdened my heart.

It's odd to have autumnal th...
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Vibrato

Posted by Patricia Callaway on Saturday, March 12, 2011, In : Learning to Sing 

Recently a dear friend who had listened to me sing some early Italian songs asked me why I had "used" vibrato in baroque music.  Restraining the urge to pick up a blunt object to apply to his head, and the urge to scream that the vibrato controversy has been over since 1984 with Friedrich Neuman's article on "The Vibrato Controversy" in the American Musicological Society's journal, I said to him gently, "That's just because I'm old."

Now granted that I do have a wobble nowadays, and I must say...


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The Wonderful Tongue

Posted by Patricia Callaway on Saturday, January 15, 2011, In : Learning to Sing 
The wonderful tongue!  A muscle articulated in so many ways that voice teachers can't even tell their students what they should do with it.  We have to speak in pre-sets, that is to say we have to talk about vowels.  "Sing a brighter ah."  "Add some oo to your ee."  Or the eternally popular, "Sing pure Italian vowels", whatever that might mean to a particular voice teacher.  All of these instructions are intended to help students find a resonant sound and hang on to it though entire songs.

Not...
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Efficient Practicing

Posted by Patricia Callaway on Friday, November 19, 2010, In : Learning to Sing 
It's time to practice.  If you're lucky, you have headed into a private room with a piano, a mirror, recording and playback equipment, and maybe even video, and you have no responsibilities other than artistic ones.  If you're not lucky, you've just come home from eight hours at the office, and you need to practice before you eat, or maybe you've got somebody watching your kids so that you can focus on your music not the noise in the next room while you steal enough time to get ready for the ...
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