IUVoice

INDIVIDUAL VOICE INSTRUCTION

Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Spring 2015

T. KING    thomasroyking@gmail.com CELL 931-220-2853  also see WWW.DRTHOMASKING.COM

Mission Statement:  To produce vibrant, noble singers with secure vocal technique, good communication through excellent diction and appropriate moods, even tone throughout the voice, legato singing and well-crafted phrasing, strong musical skills, and an elegant artistic approach to the art of singing and stage craft.

ALL STUDENTS WILL SING EXERCISES AND WARM UPS FROM THE LIST.

GET A NOTEBOOK!    GET A NOTEBOOK!    GET A NOTEBOOK!

UNDERGRADUATE  Instruction in proper breathing, pleasing tone quality, correct diction in all languages, strengthening musicianship, THREE songs memorized*, FIVE songs learned, songs in English or Italian, perhaps other languages, performing in voice lab (in public) TWICE, observe THREE lessons in the studio by April 1, PRACTICE, TAKE CHARGE, SIGHT SING 30 MELODIES, ATTEND SEVERAL VOICE CONCERTS.   [Students who have a varied background in music will follow another course of study in Music 1200. These students will work intensively on musicianship, music reading,  style, and will memorize fewer songs. This course of study should last only one or two semesters at the most.  If significant improvement is not achieved, another major should be considered.]

GRADUATE  Continued instruction as above.  FOUR songs memorized*, EIGHT songs learned, TWO opera or oratorio arias, perform THREE or FOUR times in public, take a very active role in voice lab in critique and encouragement, observe THREE lessons by April 1, PRACTICE, TAKE CHARGE, SIGHT SING 40 MELODIES, ATTEND SEVERAL VOICE CONCERTS, offer extra help to younger singers, give THREE voice lessons to a younger singer.

  *memorized means learned thoroughly, written translation & explanation, IPA of foreign languages, moods written in.

NO FOOD, DRINK, IN CLASS.  PLEASE TURN OFF CELL PHONES & DEVICES! Arrive on time, ready to work. Any student who has a condition that may affect his/her academic performance in this class is encouraged to make an appointment to discuss this matter. CAVEAT –Due to circumstances beyond our control, some of the dates and requirements may be subject to change.

One hour lessons = one hour practice per day

Keep a journal of each day’s practice and progress.  Suggested entries in the journal are:    sang exercises A-J, warmed up to Bb easily, still breathy, especially on [α] vowel, learned page 1-2 of Schubert, memorized all of Ives, still shaky on rhythms of Beethoven, practiced about 25 minutes, listened to a CD of Schubert songs, helped another singer in her practice and warm ups.

I will check the journal.  Bring it, your music, your warm ups, etc. to class EVERY LESSON.

I hope you will benefit by writing about your work & progress & even your failures!  We will work through them together.

GRADES   based on improvement, preparation, memorization, performance, eagerness to work, length of practice time, journal entries, attendance in lessons, labs, observations, and concerts .

PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU NEED TO MISS A LESSON. I WILL CONTACT YOU IF I NEED TO MISS.  ALL LESSONS WILL BE MADE UP. GET A NOTEBOOK!

CAVEAT  The above schedule and procedures are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.

RECITAL REQUIREMENTS will be explained as needed.

LANGUAGE DICTIONARIES, Buy them and/or  GERMAN  PF  3640    FRENCH   PC  2640   ITALIAN  PC 1640 all in Reference section

VOICE LABS    WEEKLY on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.   Check the schedule

PRACTICE IDEAS 1) physical warm ups, jog in place, roll head, wiggle fingers-hands-arms-shoulders, twist at waist, massage neck-mouth-jaw

2)  hum, later oo  54321  in mid-range

3)  yaw, yaw, yaw, yaw, yaw   54321  mid-range

4)  yoh—-   1-8-1 slides   or 8-1-8  or wider

5)  meeyaw    or meeyah  on each pitch  54321   to low range

…………………………………………..….8

6)  “The Lord is my Light”   5   531   to higher range

7)  13531  yoh to high range   (yah)

8) see the list of specific exercises

Songbooks? WWW.TISBOOK.COM  OR AMAZON.COM OR ABEBOOKS.COM OR HALINFO@HALLEONARD.COM

EFFECTIVE PRACTICE  AND EARNING AN “A”

Well, first you have to go to a room and begin. Set a schedule. Put practice into your routine of classes, lunch, and practice times. Set aside blocks of time for practice.  Try to find your first pitch without the piano. You will find a pitch more easily if you think about it each day.

Below I list what you personally need to do

_____Attend all lessons or if you miss, arrange for an extra lesson.

_____Choose all songs needed for the semester.

_____Plan exact work on them.

_____Memorize enough songs

_____Learn how to sing all exercises

_____If you make up your own exercises, turn in for extra credit!!!!!!!!

_____memorize   AND USE   the chart  of IPA symbols.

_____Observe other lessons, a great way to learn technique without singing at the same time.

_____Take charge in the lesson.  The lesson is for you. If you have no piece to offer, then work on technique and show your improvement.  Do something.  Don’t just wait for me to take charge.  I already know how to do that.   You begin to take charge!!!

Beginning to learn the song.    Always do these ideas in short sections of the song, not the entire song at first

A  pronounce words with big vowels   using inflection of tone–not in monotone speech

B  sight sing names of notes     no rhythm

C  clap or snap or tap rhythm — no pitches

D  sing melody in rhythm -no words use  loo, low, law, too, taw 

E  sing the song   full out  (in sections)

F  sing sections of song from the end to the front

G  sing the song full out

NO SINGING  (if sick, if hoarse, etc.)  a)   translate the words.   b(   write in the moods.  c)   assign IPA symbols to extreme notes and to foreign language .    d)  practice five moods.  e)   pantomime song with full out gestures and facial expressions.  f )   read about the composer in Baker’s Biographical Dictionary.   g)   read about the composer on line.  h)   list the composer’s dates, style and era, and list other representative works.

Show your personality in the lessons.  Take Charge.   Be a Diva (Divo)  [a polite one!!]

KING STUDIO EXERCISES:      STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO PERFORM THESE EXERCISES SUCCESSFULLY  At the beginning of lessons, you choose 5 exercises to present. I will not teach you these notes.

PHYSICAL EXERCISES          especially needed if you are singing early in the day!

Wind neck around. Move shoulders up & down. Twist at waist. Bend over & let blood flow to head. Let head roll forward to your chest, then gently push it forward with your hands until your chin rests on your chest. Stick tongue out very far to “make” & then immediately loosen tension (Yoga-Lion). Rotate shoulders, elbows, arms. Bend over like a rag doll.

BREATHING EXERCISES:  Inhale, then hiss out smoothly & evenly. Feel hookup with abdominal muscles. At end of breath, do a “HSK” sound to give vitality & an abrupt stop. Roll out (up) breath as if you were rolling up a tube of toothpaste – from bottom to top. Hands behind head, inhale “through a straw,” then hands down & repeat. Inhale, count to 5 during exhale, then quick inhale, count to 10, 15, 20, etc.

SINGING EXERCISES

START WITH ANY OF THESE        A,C,D’,G,H,I,M,Q,R,T,U,W,Z,BB,EE

A notice support of tone, vital inhalation           A’ messa di voce for breath control

B to give same onset for both pitches             B’ pulsated drill for support

C good 1st exercise in warming up, to get placement & focus & vital breathing

D tone too far back??, too swallowed??   try this          D’ loosens tension in jaw     

E  same as D               E’ breath control          F focus & forward tone 

G good 1st exercise, loosens tension & relaxes tongue (good when sick)              H same as G

I to mix the best of dark & bright vowels       J flexibility       J’ flexibility, breath, & theory

K keep palate up         K’ range & energy          L focus & placement & resonance space

M  good 1st exercise, don’t change anything between low & high notes. Really slide.

N   flexibility & range   N’ breath control & range  O & P men only range & ease of high notes

P’ head voice, feel dome effect

Q good 1st exercise, focus to mix best of dark & bright vowels, same as I

R loosen jaw, fluid, not heavy to start, lift on 1st note          same as R

T focus, don’t punch 2nd note, hear height in 2nd note      U  same as T       U’ flexibility & range

V focus, range  same as I & Q         W good 1st exercise          W’ even tone quality on all vowels

X focus & space, hear height in 2nd note

Y range, resonance space         [α] on high notes needs little dark point to crown of hard palate

Z focus, hear height in 2nd note

AA evenness of tone throughout range, pull back with hand on 1st do      BB scale, beauty, theory

CC tenor passaggio, height & space on top, prepare for 5th on 3rd note     DD same as CC

EE good 1st exercise, focus               FF evenness of tone, mix best of dark & bright  vowels

GG natural minor and harmonic minor, theory                HH range       II breath

 QUICK TIPS

  1. Always start in the middle range & work out to the ends of your range.
  2. To get the tone out of the nose, hold your nose and sing “behind” it.
  3. Whining gets one warmed up without singing too much.  Use if you are tired or sick.
  4. Hand or fist on stomach to be aware of support.
  5. Hum & “chew gum” on a single pitch to begin a warm up.
  6. Alternate [i] & [o] on a song melody to get the breath going on a phrase.
  7. Let jaw just hang when singing. The genius part is the upper half of your face!
  8. To find [α], line up fingers on cheeks & push them between teeth a little.  Sing [α].
  9. Keep rib “accordion” expanded while singing. Think of arms as wings.
  10. No wrinkled forehead (it hardens soft palate).
  11. Feel mask space, feel “cheeks” space, height & space on top.

F=TEETH  H= SPIDER  J=BICYCLE  K=CAR JACK  R=BABY TALK  S=SOUR PUSS  AA=ARPEGGIO ECHO

THE ONE MINUTE SELF TEACHER  Take one minute a few times a day to teach yourself what you want to learn.

Most of what you learn happens outside the studio. 1 Set one min. goals.  2 Give one min. praising.  3 Use one min. recoveries.

ONE MINUTE GOAL SETTING (6 THINGS)

I think about what I want to teach myself

I write goals in first person

I write goals briefly

I set definite time to reach goal

I imagine how good I feel as I achieve

I look at my behavior – Does it match my goal?

ONE MINUTE PRAISING (5 THINGS)

Praise myself immediately

Tell specifically what I have done right (or approximately right)

Tell how good I feel and pause to feel that success

Remind myself I am a good person

Encourage myself to continue this behavior

Every day we do things right, but we fail to recognize our small successes.

Apollo mission made it and landed precisely on target, BUT, it continually adjusted course. We succeed faster if we are adjusting immediately and constantly as we realize we are off course. Look closely at your behavior and to correct small errors as soon as possible.

ONE MINUTE RECOVERY (6 THINGS)

Notice quickly if behavior does not match goal

Tell specifically what I did wrong

Silent for a few seconds to feel the “fumble”

Remind myself that my behavior is not good, but I am still good

Do not defend my behavior

Change my behavior and recover.

PIP Perfect isn’t possible

The more often I have a good attitude, the more often I have a good day. “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier” – Colin Powell

Take direction and responsibility for your own life.   Don’t wait for something to be perfect before the “one minute” praising.

I know I am not my behavior. I can change whatever behavior I feel is bad for me because I always have my good self to draw upon.    Now what does this mean in singing?

 

VOICE TOPICS:  Breathing, Support. Vowels, focus, direction,  placement  Phrasing  Languages, diction  Musicianship Range        Other?

Identify what topic(s) you need as a goal and begin.  I will help you zero in on EXACTLY what to do.

BREATHING & SUPPORT

Increase air pressure in lungs to get phonation   this is sub glottal pressure  (below the glottis)

intercostal lift, abdominal tuck, feeling of support     under the tone with low muscular effort

balanced pressure of thoracic muscles of inspiration and abdominal muscles of expiration

Italian drill messa di voce (the putting of the voice)  I like to call it the measuring of the voice!

clavicular breathing=too high,       thoracic breathing=still high,      abdominal breathing=GOOD & low

areas of vocal technique

1 breath management (appoggio)

2 onset and breath renewal (attack and release)

3 velocity and legato (agility and sostenuto)

4 vowel tracking  (vowel differentiation)

5 vowel modification

6 voice classification

7 voice registration (passaggi, female, male)

8 resonance balancing (formants of the singing voice)

9 laryngeal stabilization

10 vibrancy (phenomenon of vibrato)

11 range extension and dynamic control

12 guidelines for healthy voice production

POSTURE:

Stand in an upright position with chest (rib “accordion”) high and feet under shoulders.  Imagine winged victory stance. Put extended open palm high on chest (to check).

INHALATION:

1) Inhale through nose** and mouth in a comfortable yawn motion with an open throat.   2) If throat is closed (UGH), you can “hear” intake of air.      3) Using yawning raises palate and allows jaw to hang.    4) Imagine you have on a “vest” of ribs.     5) As you inhale, the ribs should expand outward all around the body.      6) Keep in touch with your “breathing spot”   (bottom of the sternum).  7) The diaphragm is attached to the bottom of the sternum.    8) As the rib “accordion” expands, the diaphragm goes down causing the lungs to fill and creating compression in the thoracic cavity – the “suspended” feel, the “full” feel.  9) Intercostal muscles between ribs are assisted by the rectus abdominus and oblique abdominals plus corresponding muscles in the back.  10) Lean forward and put hands on lower back at the ribs to feel expansion.  11) The expansion should be felt all around.   12) The muscles of inhalation are used to keep the ribs expanded (resist the collapse!!) which keeps diaphragm down & gives the “feel” of SUPPORT.

EXHALATION:

Learn to use a flexing motion of these muscles to keep expansion going in a dynamic manner.  DO NOT “hold” or “fix” the breath in a static manner.  “Flexing” is an “elastic” motion.

Never push the air, but rather “call on” or “pull on” the air.

Flexing motion helps to avoid tension.

Finally, as needed, use “tucking” to help the air move to the tone.

An expanded rib “accordion” keeps diaphragm from going up and “pushing” air out.

Legs and lower torso give synergistic support.

FEEDBACK:

Place thumb on “breathing spot” and run fingers down towards navel.

Use elastic belt.

Lean against piano with a horizontal book between you and the piano.

Place hands on lower ribs, thumbs down, (side and back) to feel expansion.

Feel expansion during lip buzz.

Press thumb into the palm of the other hand.

DEVELOPMENT:

Use staccato exercises for energy.  Exercise back muscles.    Be aware of them.   Use long legato exercises to practice “resisting the collapse.”

**INHALING through the nose -excellent tool to feel expansion, but impractical in a fast piece or when quick inhalation is needed.

VOICE CONTRACT               _______________________________

NAME

I WILL LEARN  AND MEMORIZE  THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF SONGS.

I WILL OBSERVE 3 LESSONS. I WILL PERFORM 3 TIMES IN LAB, RECITAL, OR MASTER CLASS. I WILL KEEP A JOURNAL OF PRACTICE AND PROGRESS.

I WILL TAKE CHARGE IN THE LESSONS.  I WILL SIGHT SING THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF EXERCISES. I WILL BE ABLE TO SING ALL WARM UPS.

I WILL WORK ON (technical things) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________THIS    SEMESTER

_________________ ______________________

STUDENT                            PROFESSOR

OBSERVATIONS,  REPERTOIRE,  JOURNAL CHECK, ABSENCES, SIGHT SING #, TAUGHT LESSONS,  LAB SANG, VOICE CONCERTS ATTENDED

Dr. Thomas King, IU, <thomasroyking@gmail.com>  

Vocal Technique Tips  

Basic, Intermediate   [technique, posture, breath, tone, resonance]

KEEP THE STERNUM HIGH

EXPAND THE RIB ACCORDION

TOOTHPASTE TUBE

RESIST THE COLLAPSE

KEEP THE TONE SPINNING

RESONANCE SPACE – VOWEL SIZES

  (CHURCH, NOT CHURCH BASEMENT – BELL OF THE HORN)

THE SINGING TONE

ELEGANCE

ENJOY – SEND A MESSAGE

Advanced  [musical, interpretation]

STRIVE FOR PERFECTION. NO ONE EVER ACHIEVES IT, BUT IT SURE IS FUN TO TRY

“WORK” LONG NOTES  <  >   KEEP  THEM ALIVE

NEVER BE SATISFIED

HAVE THE JOY OF MUSIC ON YOUR FACE AT ALL TIMES

SEND A MESSAGE IN EVERY SONG

SHOW YOUR LOVE OF MUSIC 

THINK LIKE A SINGER…..  SING LIKE A THINKER.

INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ALPHABET

(bright, forward)…………………………………………………………………..(dark, back)

[i] eat……………………………………… [y] du,für…………………………………. food [u]

(small)                                                                                           (small)

…[e] été,Seele………………………….[Y] Glück…………………..chose, Sohn [o]

……[I] it…………………………………….[ø] peu, schön………………… look [U]

……….[ε:]ate, Mädchen…………. [ə] je, ugh…………………..boat [o]

………………(medium)………………………………………………. (medium)

………………[ε] set…………………………………………………….[ô] Lord

………………… [æ] sat

……………………..[a] lamb……………..[œ] seul, Hölle….[ɔ]  taught

…………………………………………………. [α] father

…………………………………………………(large)

Underlined words are French and German examples.

 

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