Can you believe it's time to make summer plans again? We're SO ready for summer here at Finely Tuned Voice Lessons. We love swimming and hiking at Mercer County Park, picnics at the Princeton Battlefield, eating ice cream at The Bent Spoon in Princeton, taking day trips to the shore and basically anything else summer-related. This summer we are stepping up our lessons for our extremely talented group of high schoolers who are interested in pursuing music/musical theatre in college and beyond. Our summer intensive will equip you with the tools you need to have successful auditions next year. Don't waste your summer...spend your time "off" doing something that will help you reach your goals for next year!
Over the span of 10 weeks, we'll be offering:
We know you may have some questions, so we've fielded some answers below:
If you have any questions, please contact Maria at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up HERE (and receive a discounted rate before April 15th)
I LOVE teaching folks in their golden years. Not only do they come in with a tremendous amount of music in their wheelhouse, but they practice, and are so engaged during lessons! I work with several singers who wanted to pick up singing in their retirement and I'm so glad they did because THEY are teaching me so much about the aging voice. "It's a very ancient saying, but a true and honest thought: That if you become a teacher, by your pupils you'll be taught." :)
During lessons, I notice a few distinctions between more mature voices and younger voices. As we age, our singing muscles (laryngeal muscles, respiratory muscles, etc.) tend to become less flexible. One of the biggest complaints from my "seasoned" singers is that they can't sing as high as they used to. So, how do we combat this?
1. Lip trills, v buzz, raspberries! Allowing airflow to inform our singing is important.
2. Strengthening head voice in female singers using descending exercises
Think: "ha ha ha ha" on 8-5-3-1 or straw techniques
3. Monitoring closely the notes above the upper passaggio in male singers
4. Checking to see that they are aware of breath energy *singing uses much more energy than we think*
5. Changing up the exercises now and then to keep people on their toes!
6. The aging voice will fatigue faster, so I encourage short warm-up sessions of about 15 minutes/day for at-home practice
It's my goal to help you sing through all of life's stages. Think you'll be the oldest singer I teach...not a chance!!!
Could you or someone you know benefit from voice lessons? We'd love to hear from you: email@example.com
Ever had the feeling that your voice was compromised during a performance because you were so nervous?
I've definitely been there. You know the feeling...the butterflies, sweaty palms, racing heart...nerves! Over the years, I have developed a little pre-performance routine that helps me cope with my nerves.
I always begin a performance day by warming up first thing. If I have to then (re)warm-up later closer to the performance, I will. I stand in a stance that makes me feel powerful: hands on my hips with feet at shoulder distance apart OR with my arms extended over my head (think star pose). I take a few deep breaths there and envision myself having a successful performance. What would it feel like, how would I feel when finished, etc.
Breathing while my body feels expanded is very liberating. I feel like I can take huge breaths and really release air! The first thing to go when I'm nervous is my breathing technique, so if I can encourage my body to set up space to breathe, I feel better.
Then, I'll go through any part of the song I'm nervous about. Maybe it's a tricky rhythm, entrance, or pattern of notes. I'll check to make sure I'm accurate by playing the notes on the piano or listening to a recording. I never want the performance to be the first time I've sung the tricky part of the song that day!
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that playing with Vinny (my sweet dog) or talking to my husband or family member calms my nerves. Hearing how excited they are for me/hearing their encouraging words always helps!
Also, here's a tip: Always have a little pre-performance snack handy to boost your energy right before. I despise the feeling of singing while hungry, but I also don't like singing if I'm too full. How embarrassing would it be to burp during your song?!?!? Oh dear...
I eat a Nutrigrain or a piece of fruit before concerts to give me an extra sugar kick :)
Then, right before I go on to perform, I tell myself that I'm going to have a great show or another positive affirmation: I can do this, I'm excited to sing, Singing makes me happy, etc.
Be kind to yourself out there, singers!
Maria Palombo is a Voice Instructor and Singer living in Central NJ. She is the founder of Finely Tuned Voice Lessons, a private voice studio in Mercer County, NJ.