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How do you find ways to encourage instrumentalists to feel comfortable answering questions related to singing? Examples like: How to chose repertoire for a beginning singer or what kind of vocal inefficiency is there? (Assuming they do not have much experience singing themselves) I have found that it is hard for me to get them to join the conversation during lessons in our pedagogy class. I don't want them to feel like I am calling them out, but I also really want more participation from them in general. What do you all suggest I do?

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@kickingtone i am currently in a vocal pedagogy class that is a mix of vocalists and instrumentalists. Most are future music educators and some are strictly performance. So i guess my question is how to make the instrumentalists feel comfortable answering questions in class? Most of the material relates to things the vocalists have already been learning whereas the instrumentalists have not. 

I want to encourage more participation from them in general but especially when we have members of the class demonstrate a singing exercise or a technique. But, I do not want them to feel like I am purposely calling them out.

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I think that it depends on the type of questions being asked.

For example, in an online singer's master class I was watching, the maestro said to the student, "Don't rush that section. The pianist knows that it is vocally challenging, and will give you time!" That makes it clear that it is part of the pianist's skill set to appreciate what is vocally challenging, even if he or she is not a singer. Questions around this are clearly in the domain of the instrumentalist, and should motivate them to get involved. To accompany a singer, you need to have some knowledge of how to sing.

Then there are question that the instrumentalist may not think really concerns him, or which may be asked just to get a discussion going. The attitude of the instrumentalist may be that he is not the best qualified to answer, so he keeps quiet and leaves it to the "experts". So, again, I would say that it is a matter of pitching the relevance of the line of questioning in a way that taps into the skill set of the instrumentalist.

Finally, there may anticipatory fear by people in the class who are not singers but are terrified of being asked to demonstrate a technique if they get too involved or appear too enthusiastic. They would have to be reassured somehow that any demonstration would only ever be voluntary and instigated by them. (Unless, you have a sikrit plan that no one has spotted, to get them to sing likkle by likkle... lol).

In a class of any subject, you usually get a couple of vocal (forgive the pun) students, and a load of passengers. It would be triply difficult in a music class, where there typically is a pedagogical mindset, and "demo-phobia".

Part of being an artist is broadening the comfort zone, so perhaps students should learn to be "called out" and rise to the occasion.

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10 hours ago, ASosa said:

@kickingtone i am currently in a vocal pedagogy class that is a mix of vocalists and instrumentalists. Most are future music educators and some are strictly performance. So i guess my question is how to make the instrumentalists feel comfortable answering questions in class? Most of the material relates to things the vocalists have already been learning whereas the instrumentalists have not. 

I want to encourage more participation from them in general but especially when we have members of the class demonstrate a singing exercise or a technique. But, I do not want them to feel like I am purposely calling them out.

"i am currently in a vocal pedagogy class"   If you are IN a class, I would assume you were one of the students and not the teacher. Vocal pedagogy seems to be a subject that is complex enough that Vocal coaches and teachers do not fully understand or agree on things.  Even the people who really want to learn how to sing better do not care to learn about the complexity involved let alone to learn terms or the anatomy involved. 

        But, I do agree with Kickingtone, the types of questions and how they effect the instrumentalist is important. Being that you have both Instrumentalists and Singers in your class, If you are the teacher, I would start by getting the idea across that they need to work together and compliment each other while performing their craft. They both have a vital part in making music and need to understand the challenges that each other face. 

       While I believe that making use of the voice to learn an instrument is of benefit I do not believe that a Violin player needs to know how to play a trumpet for both to work together. So why would an instrumentalist need to learn how to sing? Or to learn vocal pedagogy? That may be one of the questions your Students are asking themselves and why they might not participate.

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4 hours ago, kickingtone said:

 

For example, in an online singer's master class I was watching, the maestro said to the student, "Don't rush that section. The pianist knows that it is vocally challenging, and will give you time!" That makes it clear that it is part of the pianist's skill set to appreciate what is vocally challenging, even if he or she is not a singer. Questions around this are clearly in the domain of the instrumentalist, and should motivate them to get involved. To accompany a singer, you need to have some knowledge of how to sing.

NO! it is easyer for the pianist to slow down as well and play the song at 1/2 or 3/4 speed

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if you can relate it to what they know, I bet you get more participation. Beyond pushing the right buttons, how does a trumpet player make a good sound. It has to do with balancing tension and relaxation, the shape of the mouth and good support. Same thing with singing. Why does a Stradivarius violin sound different from a Stentor. The structure is different so it makes a different sound. Same with the structure of the vocal cords. 
 

And it can’t be emphasized enough how people are intimidated about singing. You can blame sounding poorly on an instrument because the valve keeps sticking or because you have an entry level instrument. You can’t change your voice. It’s yours and it’s very personal. There’s no instrument to hide behind. Your body is your instrument. 
 

I honestly think the instrumentalists are either intimidated or don’t understand the relevance to them. Most instrumentalists I know are scared to sing. And most instrumental music Ed majors believe that they will be teaching middle or high school band so what’s the point in learning vocal pedagogy. If you can get to the level of their understanding about voice, then you’ll know the right questions to ask which will help them feel more comfortable participating. 

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10 hours ago, The Aspiring Singer said:

And it can’t be emphasized enough how people are intimidated about singing. You can blame sounding poorly on an instrument because the valve keeps sticking or because you have an entry level instrument. You can’t change your voice. It’s yours and it’s very personal. There’s no instrument to hide behind. Your body is your instrument. 

Also, use this opportunity to get your students to understand that just like any instrument you need to practice to get better. You do not start off knowing how to play an instrument, you learn over time. Trumpet players are allowed to make weird honking sounds and annoy their families to no end until they finally get the hang of it. Violin players are allowed to sound like raking fingers over a chalk board while learning how to use the bow and where to place their fingers. Drummers are allowed to beat on what ever they find giving their families head aches while learning......The same should go for singers while learning their instrument. You start of sounding bad.  And it is OK to sound bad while LEARNING your instrument. It takes time just like it took time for the trumpet players, Violinists and drummers and the rest of the orchestra. Too many people think that you are just born singing or you cannot develop it.

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7 hours ago, MDEW said:

Too many people think that you are just born singing or you cannot develop it.

that is because they have been indoctrinated through proper gander by our masters through the television consensors (interbreaded family blood line names like simon cowl). singing is music and music is entertainment and entertainment is one of the 13 family blood lined industries that they will use to conquer the world through a new world order (the 13 familys are represented as 13 layors of gold bricks on the pyramid of lucifer's eye which can bee seen on the reverse of the american seal and the reverse of a one dollar bill). So they want to keep this order to them selfs

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