Hello singers! I’ve been asked to give a free Masterclass to singers at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and thinking about how to provide the most beneficial experience all!
What do you think to the ideas below? Which one would you most benefit from? It’s a two hour class so I can dig deep and there’ll also be a downloadable warm up track to take away!
For ongoing courses, take a look here. (courses run at the Actor's Centre and Aspire, Southfields)
1) The perfect audition song: Finding the song that makes you stand out in an overcrowded industry.
2) The optimum vocal warm up and work out: What to strengthen and what to release in practise so when you sing you can focus on the music and story.
3) Inspiration through Mimicry - learning from your icons and idols.
Here's a little more about each Masterclass.
1) Finding the perfect audition song.
Picture the perfect audition: The first bar of music instantly transports you to a place of calm and heightened awareness. You know how to do this. The music triggers a tide of emotions that will carry this song, connecting your voice to your body. You know exactly who you and your character are, and why you need to sing. You’ve done the work. This song is sung in, your muscles are used to the leaps and phrasing. You’ve worked each tricky spot technically over and over and now you can just be and do your thing. If they don’t want you, that’s fine. It’s probably height, hair colour, tone of voice, something impossible to change. But you’ve done your very best.
In an overpopulated industry, crammed with talent and passion, what will make you stand out?
Is it the big notes? Your tone? Your characterisation?
How do you approach the difficult parts without tension or hindering yourself with tension?
How do you cut a song when jumping into the big notes can seem jarring? How do you make the panel feel like they are watching a performance not an audition, bringing them to you rather than begging them to like you? Does overdone make it a no go?
I'll help you understand how to choose the song that connects to your own story, casting type, singing voice. We’ll look at how to prepare mentally and train vocally for an audition so once you're in the room you can just give over to story and music.
Complete with a downloadable warm up to take away and a list of recommended repertoire.
2) The optimum vocal warm up and work out.
What’s you aim for your voice?
How about a consistently warm, powerful and resonant tone that carries through the range without register breaks, tightness or breathy weak spots or tightness.
Is it belting with ease?
Is it controlling the quiet moments as well as the loud ones?
It is being able to concentrate on the emotion, words and musicality rather than wondering whether the notes will come out?
Singing seems to be one of the only physical forms in which we don’t practise every day. Any dancer or sportsperson who commit to regular and consistent practise to progress in skill, strength and ability.
The voice also needs regular work to strengthen the muscles that need to be strengthened, and releasing tension so the voice can vibrate and move freely.
I’ve created a daily vocal routine that will work each of fundamental components of the voice so that you can begin to fully understand and demystify your instrument until you can be fully in control attaining balance on every note.
The routine will include:
Breath support, SOVT (semi-occluded vocal tract exercises), your adductors, aspirate and glottal onsets, tilt, using sympathetic resonance, releasing tongue, jaw and neck tension, using consonants for support, articulation and energy and opening up your vocal tract using vowels!
I’ll also talk you through the quickest and most productive warm up that you can do on the way to an audition.
Complete with a downloadable warm up and work out to take away.
3) Mimicry as Inspiration.
How does Adele make her notes sound so low and easy? How does Sarah Bareilles infuse her voice with such emotion? How does Idina Menzel get her power? Norah Jones her warmth? How do your idols reach their highest notes, or create their distinctive tone?
Who is using consonants as their secret weapon? And who almost only sings on the vowels yet can reach any note?
What are the strangest techniques singers use and why do they work, including a well known Musical Theatre star who makes a tiny squeak before a note to reach the biggest notes?
How does altering the shape of your vocal tract (mouth and throat) transform your sound and can you learn which colours to include into your own voice as you create your own palate of styles and timbres, techniques and tricks.
Using your idols and icons, we'll look at how their habits are simply engaging one of the main components of your instrument, 'the voice' including: breath support, aspirate and glottal onsets, tilt, sympathetic resonance, tongue, jaw and neck release, consonants or vowel shapes!
In demystifying the process of mimicry, we can learn to strengthen our own voices, playing around with styles until you find the balance that is yours and yours alone.
Until someone else tries to mimic you!