eZINE 79 – Singers and Speakers
Gillyanne reviews voice colleague Ineke van Doorn’s book Singing from the Inside Out, newly translated into English.
We update you on what’s been happening for the last month and what’s coming up in the Autumn
And we share the two competition results – a Wellcome Foundation competition and the international Voice Messages Documentary competition
And finally, there’s Jeremy’s cartoon on 5 tips for singing teachers
We’re offering two brand new courses in September and October, one for singers & speakers, and one for singing teachers.
Experience “This Is A Voice”
On September 17th you’ll find us at the Hammond School in Chester for the first of our This Is A Voice interactive workshops for singers and speakers. We’ll be working live with the audience sharing some of the techniques in our new bestselling book of the same name.
On the day you’ll experience the best techniques for:
- warming up your voice
- improving the tone and range of your speaking voice
- creating more impact in your presenting skills
- the most important skills in classical singing (breathing, phrasing, tone quality and stamina)
- the simplest ways to move from classical to contemporary singing
- how to look after your voice if you’re not feeling 100%
- and if we have time – the fundamentals of beatboxing!
We’ll end the day working live with students from the Hammond School, so you can see how the techniques work when you put them into practice. After all, techniques are just techniques until you use them in a context!
You can find out more about the This Is A Voice interactive day here. Tickets are already selling well so make sure you book well in advance or you’ll miss out.
If you’d like to host a This Is A Voice interactive day, email or call Gillyanne to find out how. We already have two more days in the UK that we’re finalising so come and join the party – it’s very straightforward!
Meet the Teachers
On October 15th we’re right in the centre of the country in Birmingham for our new brainstorming event Meet The Teachers.
After 7 books, multiple training resources and 19 years of sharing information and promoting expertise online, in person and in print, we’re proud to have influenced a whole generation of singers, actors and singing teachers.
We’ve organised Meet The Teachers so that you can discover our updates on vocal techniques, teaching practice, learning aids and practical application, and meet our newly Accredited Vocal Process Teachers.
We have so much planned for this event – it’s going to be a brainstorming, sharing, networking joy!
Here’s what we’re including:
- Our latest thoughts on voice quality, vocal registers and transitions: including what falsetto really is, and how it fits into the ‘head and chest voice’ debate.
- The style indicators that can help you teach different genres: including note approaches, tone onsets and offsets, and “phrasing”.
- Our take on vowel tuning in classical AND commercial singing.
- Why “fach” isn’t relevant but comfort zone is! Gillyanne’s core research into voice type and genres.
- Using pitch centres as a practical tool for multi-genre learning.
- Apps are the in thing for training (and homework…). Vocal Process Associate Teacher Anne Leatherland shows you which Apps to get and how to use them in your studio and classroom.
- The latest developments on our Teacher Training Accreditation programme.
- Brainstorm multi-genre repertoire, techniques and guidance for teenagers and young voices with our focus groups, led by our newly Accredited Vocal Process Teachers.
- Round Table – Gillyanne, Jeremy and our Associate and Accredited Teachers put their heads together to answer your questions about voice and challenges in teaching.
The last time we ran a brainstorming session like this, we had over 200 people turn up. This time we only have room for 75 people, and tickets are already going – there’s quite a buzz about it on our Facebook teachers group. We’re deliberately keeping the price very low for this event (it’s only £40) so click here and make sure you reserve a place.
By the way, if you can’t make it to Meet The Teachers, email us for a Skype coaching session. Even our 1-1 coaching sessions can now have 1 CPD point per hour allocated – just let us know when you book that you require CPD points.
Review: Singing from the Inside Out
This extensive 272 page book on singing by Ineke van Doorn has recently been translated into English, reviewed here by Gillyanne. The full 1200 word review is available to read on our blog (see below), but here are a few of Gillyanne’s thoughts on the book’s content and layout:
“Ineke makes it clear that the book can be used by beginner as well as experienced singers. Each section is clearly introduced and there is no unnecessary mystical terminology.
“A clear and simple overview of expected ranges in terms of high and low voices in males and females follows, making a useful and practical reference point. The ensuing ‘Hard Science’ section is clear and well-explained for anyone new to the anatomy and physiology of vocal function…
“Section 3 of the book deals with Singing Technique, starting with a nice overview of what we can change, control and develop in our voice, and what cannot be changed (such as the resting length and thickness of the vocal folds and overall dimensions of the vocal tract). For Ineke, Jazz and pop are different from Classical and Musical Theatre singing in that there is no idealised sound: the artist has more freedom to interpret the song as she or he wishes, and to create an individual sound-scape.
“Looking at the chapter on registers there is one instruction that I disagree with from the perspective of my own experience and practice with singers. I like that Ineke takes the simple – and defensible – stance of there being two modes of vocal fold vibration used by most singers: modal and falsetto. As regards taking a modal voice higher in pitch, personally I would not recommend keeping the back of the tongue flat and the larynx low. This may give a desirable timbre in the lower range but in my experience is likely to cause discomfort in the higher range.
“Overall, this book provides thorough and comprehensive approach to singing for jazz and commercial music singers. It can act as a training manual for an individual or for teachers working in a training institution. While there may be some points of technique on which I disagree, the book is nevertheless fully thought through with a clear structure and step-by-step approach to each topic, underpinned by Ineke’s practical experience as a singer and teacher, which resonates throughout.”
What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happening
Since the last eZINE we’ve been busy coaching at the RAC Club, running private intensive coaching sessions in Wales, having fun on the radio and giving the guest masterclass for AOTOS. Here’s a quick roundup of how they all went.
RAC Club choir
The RAC Club is one of the most spectacular private clubs in the country – a beautiful neo-classical building with probably the finest swimming pool in London. We were there to coach members of the chamber choir and we had a fun three-hour session working on multiple styles. With support from their conductor Ian MacGregor we covered singing in Swahili, contemporary and 70s pop, medieval music and Bruckner. As part of the package we were treated to dinner at the club, and the use of their extraordinary spa in the two-storey basement – one of the only remaining original Victorian Turkish Baths. Jeremy was in heaven!
Broadcasting on the BBC
The same weekend we were broadcasting live from BBC House with the incredibly knowledgeable Cerys Matthews as “the voice gurus”. Cerys’s playlist is always interesting and we were prepared for most things. We weren’t prepared for the email that came the afternoon before the broadcast asking us to provide examples of non-Western singing for the programme that we could talk about. A flurry of internet searches later we came up with Hua’er folksongs from China, where the men sing at the same pitch as the women (belting their way through multiple phrases above the stave). We also suggested this YouTube video from Huan-Huur-Tu – if you’re interested in Tuvan throat singing, overtones and undertones, check out the live recording of this astounding male quartet.
Gillyanne was able to demonstrate subharmonic singing live on the programme, having only learned how to do it the night before thanks to a video lesson from our colleague Tran Quang Hai. The link to the 49 minute interview with Cerys is still up on the BBC site here.
Private coaching intensive
The following week we had two singers flying in from Gothenburg for an intensive coaching day in Presteigne. Here’s what they had to say:
” Thank you for the 13th of July! It was amazing how you help us sound our best! Lots of things to remember and practise on, and for me to think about with students! We will tell colleagues; you are absolutely tops. All the knowledge and your pedagogical way to work with singers, we are so thankful for meeting you!”
We offer these intensive coaching days to dedicated singers and singing teachers to come and spend a day with us working on voice, performance and ‘singing with the whole person’. Email or call us to find out more.
The Association of Teachers of Singing annual conference was our next port of call. We gave a 90 minute masterclass working with five singers of varying ages and abilities. We covered over 400 years of song, from Mozart and Donizetti through Rodgers & Hart to Sondheim and a contemporary musical theatre piece even WE didn’t know. We covered classical voice projection, bel canto phrasing, lyric diction, acting through song, physical energy and grounding, portraying thought processes and a host of different techniques relevant to each vocal genre. Gillyanne will be the keynote speaker at the AOTOS annual conference next year.
And a headsup on our Autumn courses
On the 8th October we’re giving a “This Is A Voice” Choral Workshop in Oxford with our friend the conductor Janet Lincé. We’ll send you more details nearer the time.
On 9th October Jeremy will be working with young singers in Minehead at Fusion Young Performers.
Saturday 15th October is our Meet The Teachers day in Birmingham (see above)
22nd to 24th October is our ADVANCED Retreat in Presteigne (eligible for 18 CPD Points)
28th to 30th October is our incredibly popular Singing Teacher’s Retreat – places are already disappearing.
And in November we’ll be in Sweden working at SMI, ScenGymnasiet and Dansforum
We’ll keep you posted.
The winner takes it all
The Wellcome Collection ran a competition with us as the prize. The two winners (one from the public and one from the Wellcome Trust staff) weren’t actually allowed to take us home but we did give them both a coaching session in the stunning Wellcome buildings in London. Their internal winner was an antipodean who had just arrived to work at the Wellcome Trust. We worked with him on speaking voice, pitch contours and articulation, and coached his clear tenor voice in the skills required for choral singing.
Their public winner worked in sound design and was fascinated by the exercises in the book. She was VERY excited to work with us in person. We showed her how to change her sound in seconds and experimented with different vocal archetypes. She already sings in a choir that covers a wide range of repertoire, so we showed her how to apply the vocal archetypes in different music styles, from classical to gospel and pop.
Voice Messages Documentary
Martin Zied, the 6-times Emmy award winning filmmaker contacted us last month inviting us to be part of his competition. We were already sponsoring his crowd-funding campaign but we wanted to offer something extraordinary.
We agreed to donate all 18 Webinars AND a Skype coaching session with both of us to two winners. The competition ran for six weeks, and the two winners were Susan Hayes in the UK and Mike Strug in the US. Susan has already attended one of our singing Retreats, but Mike is new to us. We’ll be sending them both all 18 of our voice training Webinars, and arranging their Skype coaching session in the next few weeks.
The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the documentary has now ended, and we’ll be giving a Webinar worth £27 to over 200 generous donors. Martin was thrilled with the campaign and with our support:
“Awesome – thank you for your generosity!”
If you’re inspired by Martin’s project, click here to find out more about the documentary.
And finally…5 tips
If you haven’t seen it already, check out our little info-toon on Top 5 Tips for Singing Teachers (the top 5 things a singing teacher needs to know).
You can find it here on the Vocal Process YouTube Channel.
Jeremy and Dr Gillyanne