Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Yeah, I know

Ahaha I have to laugh at the title of this post because a few years ago I wrote one called, "um... I don't know." My post today may have an opposite title, however it is not opposite, or even related to, the "I don't know" post.

That said... What is it I DO know?

Well, I've said several times that I love the internet, for how it connects people who otherwise would never have the opportunity to interact. And a few days ago, I received a really nice message on YouTube from some singer/teacher in France... I'll paste the email in here:

Just a suggestion... from another singer

Hello, Luindriel. You are musical. Your voice has real potential, but you're missing the level of relaxation & breath control that permits the tone to float. It's clear you want to sing, and you can teach yourself to sing in a way that will bring you great beauty, by going out to www.archive.org, and doing a search, texts only, on 'voice culture' and you can also get things from 'singing', but texts only. You will find a host of books written more than 100 years ago that will show you how to sing the way you obviously want to. At the moment, your vowels are poorly formed, but that's normal if no one has shown you how to do them so that they ring without pushing. Take your future into your own hands. I teach in France or I would offer to help in person. What you want is a beautiful free easy sound, and you can get it more quickly by relaxing your jaw, your tongue, your face even. That's just a smidgen of the kinds of great solutions you can find. I used these books to reset my own technique recently, and they work, as now I am singing better than ever. A good book to begin with is How to Breathe, Speak and Sing, which gets into the old Italian school, the secret of great singing. There's also a new book out by Denes Striny called 'Head First, the Language of the Head Voice' that talks about the same things but in simpler terms. Just skip through the secions on anatomy if you don't like them - they're not crucial. I guarantee you results, and it's free (Striny's book isn't, of course), and all the old books on singing can be downloaded. Great summer reading for a singer. Good luck, and I hope you keep singing.
Robin Hendrix, Perpignan, France

I replied, thanking her for taking the time to write and recommend things, and gave her a brief account of my singing history and background.

Her email really pointed out to me things I already knew but needed to hear - especially the very 2nd line - that I’m missing the level of relaxation and breath control that permits the tone to float. That’s exactly what I’ve been working on! A few weeks ago my teacher pointed out that I seem to always have fun... except when I’m on stage... So I’ll probably peek at some of the books she recommends. But the reason I’m sharing this is, how nice is it that some random person came across my videos and took the time to compose such a nice message? A change from some of the comments I’ve gotten on the videos, my favorite being, “stop sing!!!!!!!!!!!! you destroyed this beautiful peace!” on If Music Be the Food of Love. That may be, but please, if you're going to criticize, at least offer some suggestions for improvement?

What also stood out to me in the message, "Take your future into your own hands." Yes! I agree!! I have always believed that. It's good to hear it from someone else.

So I have a voice lesson today. I’ll have to remember to tell my teacher that I’m going to see Blondie in September!! Debbie Harry was her student back in the early 80s, back when I was singing along to Blondie into my hairbrush microphone in front of my bedroom mirror at the time. Yeah, that makes me giggle.