Thursday, May 29, 2008

Feel Your Feet! Good courage!

Got the feedback from the Voice Eval. There was a check-off part that I won't bore you with and a comment section for each song that I will bore you with. Each person hand wrote their comments - the two "official" evaluators and my teacher.

So I'll transcribe the comments here, by song.

Goodnight, My Someone

**all three commented on my breaking character before the piano ended. It seems so obvious to me now but at the time I had no idea. My teacher blamed herself for that, for not going over all the music and explaining about that. I still feel like I should have just known... but anyway...**

Evaluator #1:
  • Lovely, sweet sound
  • Nice connection to the text and you're comfortable presenting the song.
  • You're not afraid to connect to the character - that's great.

Evaluator #2:
  • Keep the breath energy smooth from note to note. [comment from me: nerves?]
  • The energy is in the vowel.
  • Your mouth shape is horizontal and there seems to be a lot of tension in your lips.
  • Some good released sounds in there - notice how that feels.

Evaluator #3, aka my teacher:
  • More lower breathing needed
  • Good vertical space
  • More legato and vowel connection needed [yeah, no kidding]

Lasciatemi Morire

Evaluator #1:
  • Good.
  • Work on getting deep low breath.
  • Stay connected into the body for a fuller, more complete sound.
  • Your desire to sing and act needs to be grounded in a really firm technique.
  • Feel your feet, think tall and deep (in vowels and tone)
  • Think a "queenly" attitude - strong, dynamic, forceful physique! Regal!
  • Good [This "good" was off to the side and underlined.]

Evaluator #2:
  • Get lower in your body.
  • It takes time to build the necessary strength in the body.
  • Find the core of the tone and maintain it.
  • Good start.
  • Good courage!
Evaluator #3, aka my teacher:
  • Good emotion in the voice
  • Don't fold into yourself and ruin your posture
  • Improvement on vertical space
  • Nerves impeded the embellishments

Today when we went over the suggestions she said the emotion was great. We went over the embellishments again and the truth is... I just didn't know them. Ok that's not entirely accurate. I knew the notes and how they fit together but was having trouble with the rhythm and making sure I fit them in all the two measures, so I didn't get them in the right parts of the measures.
Sometimes I wonder if this would have been easier had I learned how to read music as a child. We had gone over it before but I had some sort of mental block. Today she described it another way, using math terms, and it was like something clicked in my brain and suddenly it all made sense. So nerves sort of impeded the embellishments, but not in the way she thought - it was nerves about not being sure, not general nerves about the event. At least that's what it seemed like, to me, at the time.

My teacher said that the evaluators liked the fact that I'm into opera because it helps me get emotion into my singing. That's not exactly how she put it but you get the idea. They also suggested a song for me - Ouvre ton coeur, by Bizet. Hey it's in French!

Next week is a studio class where each person will sing one song once or twice, people will offer suggestions and the teacher will give advice. I decided to practice Lasciatemi and do that for the class.

So how do I feel? I'm not shocked or surprised by any of the breath advice, about finding strength and getting lower and being connected to my body and breath. I definitely need to work on that.

I am surprised by all the good feedback. Yeah I know... I can't help it. But now I know there is something in there, in me, some sort of potential, and if I keep working I'll get closer and closer to that sound, to that potential to produce music. That's pretty cool, dontcha think?


Mandolin Vision said...

Congratulations! I think this is a really nice review!Great first evaluation! Good luck!

poltergeist said...

Well, congratulations!!!! Despite those breath advices they liked the emotion, the that means you DO MUSIC and I think that's what matters. Those other problems will be solved with time, sure.

BTW, I listened to those Il Barbiere videos you posted in Youtube with John Osborn and Nathan Gunn...really liked them.


Susan said...

Thank you both!

Poltergeist, that's a good point. I definitely can learn the techniques and I intend to practice! My problem is that I want instant results - I'm impatient! But I plan to take it one step at a time and work on the breathing and posture stuff.

Glad you liked the vids. Feel free to rate and comment! John tells me that he occasionally checks out the comments.