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Found 35 results

  1. Hey guys I'm a 14-year-old girl, who has ALWAYS been an EDM girl. Which means not so much singing, more beats. After Avicii´s death, I just couldn't bear listening to EDM, so I tried to find something else. I then started to listen to regular pop/acoustic music. And Jesus Christ I love it. In 2 months I'm gonna start singing lessons. I just bought a guitar. I am not a shy girl, and I love to perform (i have been doing theater since a very young age). Besides that, I have an uncle who had a lot of success in the industry, but of course, I still need the talent. My question is. Am I too old to become a professional/famous singer? Before ill be able to sing good, play the guitar like a pro, and write some breathtaking songs, will I be too old by then? able to get signed/recognition? Thanks in advance <3 P.S just to mention it, I don't want this only because of fame, its because I love to sing, and music. PPS. Are there any masterclasses, videoes etc. you could recommend learning how to sing?
  2. Join us! Robert Lunte & Draven Grey Ask Me Anything Singing Webinar Wednesday, January 24th, 10am PST. Broadcast on FB Live: https://www.facebook.com/events/158276921614589/
  3. Hello I recently discovered a YT-Channel called JT Machinima (now JT Music) and I enjoy a lot of their songs. Their main content are rap videos with some singing passages in them. So naturally I tried to sing/rap along and.... I am really bad at it. Obviously, I am a 16 year old boy who never did sth like this before. Song that I tried: So my question: I am a complete beginner. How can I get started and work my way up to sth like this song? How can I sing/rap without damaging my voice? Because when I tried to sing along my voice just breaks/goes silent because I cant reach that pitch. And even if, then my voice gets hoarse. Ps: Singing lessons are not a viable option right now, because I just want to try it and not start paying money or sth. Maybe later. Furthermore I am also kinda shy/scared when it comes to singing so I don't want to join a choir or sth public. Thank you in advance!
  4. Hi all, I'm gauging interest for a platform I'm looking to start. Its purpose is to provide high-quality material to allow you to self-teach a multitude of different skills using efficient learning methods. The methods that will be taught are incredibly powerful, allowing for quick and considerable results if you are willing to put the work in. The site would be a subscription-based service, with some free content, and payment providing access to additional content teaching you what these self-teaching methods are, and then applying them to many different skills. While we wouldn't teach you the skill itself, we're teaching you how to teach yourself how to do it. The whole idea being to learn how to learn effectively, which you can then apply to singing or indeed any other skill that you'd like to learn. I've added a poll to this post, so please put your vote in. I'd also love to hear any additional comments or questions if you have any below. Thanks, John
  5. Lead Vocals

    The Mystery behind Key Change

    For the pipe organ an open valve will trigger the sound of the pipe. The key of a song tells us which valves we can open safely to stay in harmony. Singers have a comfort zone All singers have a comfort zone, a range of notes that sound best and can be performed effortless. Despite of the ability to expand the vocal range through training, every singer has an individual physical quality which is responsible for the position of the comfort zone within the vocal spectrum. We may not consciously observe this, but the habit of speaking is already giving us a clue about this range. In classic musical education we classify this range by defining voice types, though this method is mostly a helpful convergence to reality. For the singer it is therefore essential to spend some effort on song choice, especially to ensure that a song lies within his or her vocal abilities. Of course that is not the only consideration during song choice, and if you are interested we invite you to read our article "Improve Your Song Choice" to find out more. Another possibility is to simply change the range of notes to be performed by changing the key of the song. The original key Every song was written in an original key. The key we know for any of these songs could be the one it was written in, or it could be the key used when the recording we know was produced. We still refer to it as original key. Original keys are usually relatively easy to access. They may be documented in sheet music, or available in databases, per example for DJ's that research harmonic mixing, among other sources. It also can be determined by examining the chords and notes of the song. It is to mention that a key can and oftentimes does change within a song. The key a song is regarded to be in is most often starting in the key and at one point returning to the same key before the end. Find out what exactly a key is, and how keys are transitioned in our article "Musical Keys and the Key Change". Here is an example. A song written or performed in a G Major key is based on the tonic note of G, and includes a system of notes defined by the major scale that is also based on the tonic note. The chord progressions used in the song will to a great extent lie within the scale, with the tonic chord being the foundation of those progressions. What happens between the use of G Major may be harmonic movement and/or modulation. Lead Vocals and original keys Here at Lead Vocals we consider our practice section as a tool to quickly review and learn the melody, timing, phrasing, and mood of a performance. In addition we think that the tool enables vocalists to study other artists by paying close attention to ingredients like dialect and pronunciation in language, the choice of placing words or phrases within rhythm and beats, any habits, and style and musical influences. Unlike other existing tools like per example some karaoke platforms we do not offer access to the same performance in multiple keys. But just recently we have introduced additional helpful information about many of the songs available here within the tagging system. At present we offer selection by tonic pitch, musical key, and scale information which can be helpful to explore new music. We think that from an educational point of view the choice of the tonic pitch is most interesting, because many melodies in songs may start or end with the tonic note. If a vocalist can deliver that note in a rich, strong, and compelling tonal quality that makes the audience want to hear more, then the song choice by tonic pitch may lead to the discovery of suitable songs for the singer. You may give this a try by selecting a song to practice by tonic pitch. Continue solving the mystery Find out why vocalists change the key of a song and how they approach the key change. In an attempt to solve the mystery behind the musical key we define what a key is, and explain the background of harmonic movement, chord progressions, and modulation. We also include the consideration of emotional characteristics for all keys based on the major and minor scale, that may play an additional role in the selection process for the vocalist. Further we're taking a brief look at common practice in recording sessions. Continue reading about this topic in our article "Musical Keys and the Key Change" at http://www.leadvocals.ca/background/musical-keys-and-the-key-change Additional Information Our Practice Section at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/practice Try to Sing Along at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/lyrics/songs What is Lead Vocals? Lead Vocals is a free of charge online resource for aspiring vocalists, who are learning the craft of singing and who practice their art by singing along to playback recordings and to other selected musical performances on video. All recordings are hand selected and the lyrics are spot on matching to the performance of the lead vocalist. The tool allows for quick access to practice specific parts within a song. We especially took care in avoiding clutter and disruptive advertising. Follow us on Social Media https://facebook.com/leadvocals.ca https://plus.google.com/+LeadvocalsCa https://www.linkedin.com/company/leadvocals https://www.twitter.com/leadvocalsca https://www.youtube.com/LeadvocalsCa
  6. An example for the use of music is its distribution to people through a sound system. If a singer, instrumentalist or a band wants to record, use, or perform music that is owned or controlled by somebody else, it is very likely that a license has to be obtained to do this on legal ground. Find out what kind of licenses control the use and recreation of music compositions, audio recordings, the use of music in public, the reproduction of sheet music, and the performance of theatrical productions. At Lead Vocals we also offer links and services to help you obtaining licenses for cover songs. The purpose of licensing The purpose of music licensing is to make sure that the people and companies involved in the creation process of music, like per example the composer, the record label, the performing artist, and the publisher will get paid for the work and effort they have put into a piece of music. Allowing somebody to use a piece of music either as a composition, or as a recording, can be understood like a trade between the creator and the licensee. Per example, if an artist is recording a cover song of another artist and is then distributing and selling that song on his or her own album release, he or she must ensure that the original composer of that song gets a share in form of a royalty. A royalty is a sum of money paid to the rights holder for each copy of a work sold, or for each public performance of a work. In common practice such royalties are most often calculated and collected in advance during the phase of producing the copies. Types of music licenses It is to mention that we in general distinguish between different kinds of uses for music, its recordings, and its production. Here is an overview with examples for the most common types of music licenses: In general a license is necessary when the task is done by someone, who did not create the work. The overview shows a common example, but is in no way a complete reference. If you are interested in reading deeper into the topic please continue reading our article at - http://www.leadvocals.ca/background/music-licensing Additional Information License a Cover Song http://www.leadvocals.ca/resources/license-a-cover-song Our Practice Section at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/practice Try to Sing Along at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/lyrics/songs What is Lead Vocals? Lead Vocals is a free of charge online resource for aspiring vocalists, who are learning the craft of singing and who practice their art by singing along to playback recordings and to other selected musical performances on video. All recordings are hand selected and the lyrics are spot on matching to the performance of the lead vocalist. The tool allows for quick access to practice specific parts within a song. We especially took care in avoiding clutter and disruptive advertising. Follow us on Social Media https://facebook.com/leadvocals.ca https://plus.google.com/+LeadvocalsCa https://www.linkedin.com/company/leadvocals https://www.twitter.com/leadvocalsca https://www.youtube.com/LeadvocalsCa
  7. Lead Vocals

    Proper Breathing for Vocalists

    Proper Breathing for Vocalists Breath is the motor of our voice. Knowing how to breathe correctly and being able to control it is one of the most important skills a singer can have. A proper breathing technique will enable us to sound great and to improve the tone of our voice. Our ability to sustain notes will increase and we will master to sing longer phrases more effortless. Breathing is a natural process of our body and therefore a good breathing technique comes natural and unforced. Methods of Breathing The human body knows several different ways of breathing which are called costal or chest breathing, clavicular breathing, abdominal or belly breathing, and diapragmatic breathing. The latter two are to prefer when it comes to singing, though only the diapragmatic method allows for full breath with maximum control. The diaphragm by the way is a muscle system that is located in the abdominal region right under the lungs. It controls the air flow by contracting when we breathe in and relaxing when we breathe out. Breath Support As a singer you want to learn slowing down the relaxation of the diaphragm to gain extra volume used for sustaining notes and sing longer phrases. This is called "breath support" and can be achieved in two different ways, either by adding a bit of muscle force during exhalation and while using your voice, or through lowering the muscle force used during inhalation. While the first method allows for an increased volume the latter will result in less air pressure in the lungs which in turn will slow down the exhalation process to the extent that you can sing longer. The second method is popular through the "Italian School" of singing, also known as Appoggio, which includes resonance factors in form of phonation alongside the breath management. Exercises to improve breathing Understanding the theory behind how the body masters the task of breathing builds the base for the vocalist to improve upon his or her own breathing technique, however the singer also needs to build an understanding on an experimental level. For this reason it is well worth to experiment with a few exercises to gain an additional understanding. At Lead Vocals we have collected a number of exercises to get you started. Continue reading about the topic and these exercises at - http://www.leadvocals.ca/improve/breathing Additional Information Our Practice Section at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/practice Try to Sing Along at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/lyrics/songs What is Lead Vocals? Lead Vocals is a free of charge online resource for aspiring vocalists, who are learning the craft of singing and who practice their art by singing along to playback recordings and to other selected musical performances on video. All recordings are hand selected and the lyrics are spot on matching to the performance of the lead vocalist. The tool allows for quick access to practice specific parts within a song. We especially took care in avoiding clutter and disruptive advertising. Follow us on Social Media https://facebook.com/leadvocals.ca https://plus.google.com/+LeadvocalsCa https://www.linkedin.com/company/leadvocals https://www.twitter.com/leadvocalsca https://www.youtube.com/LeadvocalsCa
  8. thewinterknight

    Review My Led Zeppelin

    Hii... i'm posting this one link here... its a pretty untidy take at the song I am confused as to whether this hooty sound is head voice or what is supposedly called the 'reinforced falsetto' .. what i know is that its not meaty enough the way true resonant head voice is ... I've nowadays taken to exercising for a fuller head voice..But i wanted to know just what i've done here
  9. Steven Fraser

    Approach to vocal technique

    Hi, TMV-ers! I thought it would be useful today to write a bit about how I approach and talk about vocal technique, in the hope that by putting these ideas out there, you can pick and choose some of them that make sense to you, and that you will hopefully find useful. As a starting point for this, I am inspired to recall an idea I read in Cornelius Reid's book, 'Voice - Psyche and Soma'. I cannot remember the exact quote, but the gist of it is that the mind and the body are acting together to produce the singing voice. I think this means for vocal technique that singing is simultaneously psychological and physical. A survey of books written on singing over the last 200 years shows that every teacher has a different approach to working with singers, a different mix of the psychological and physical. Some favor emphasis of the physical aspects, and talk about doing things with body parts, muscle groups, tendons, nasal cavities, lower jaw, the tongue, etc. Others emphasize the sensations of the singer, i.e., 'sing so that you feel such and such a sensation in such and such location in your body'. Still others rely on metaphors and imagery, i.e., 'sing out the top of your head', or 'imagine that you are projecting the tone toward a target on the wall', or 'think of a happy memory'. I don't do any of these alone. Perhaps better stated, I do them all, cherry-picking ideas and approaches from these authors that have these characteristics: 1) are based on anatomical fact, acoustical principles, and physiologically healthy bodily action. 2) are easily expressed and understood using in common language 3) can be practiced beneficially by the student without the teacher's constant supervision 4) help the singer build their ability to sing what they desire to sing - whatever genre or style that is. When it comes to teaching, I am also an optimist. :-) I believe that most people, with very few exceptions, can learn to sing for their own & others' enjoyment if they approach it with patience. In my next posts, I will be writing about the basics of how the voice works - 'what happens where' in the mind and body to produce healthy vocal tone. Along the way, I will address some common misconceptions I've encountered, and clarify some terms that are often used by singers and teachers, but not well understood. I have no illusions that the way I approach this is the only way, or even the best way. I am very interested to hear other ways of doing it as well, as that is how I learn myself. If you have a particular area you'd like to discuss, send me an e-mail or comment to my blog, and I will pull that text forward in a response. Best Regards, Steve
  10. TMV World Team

    Vocal Aerobics: Essentials for Today's Singers

    Vocal Aerobics: Essentials for Today's Singers with Julie Lyonn Lieberman Running Time and Format: 60-minute instructional DVD Distributed by: Hal Leonard Corporation (7777 W. Bluemound Rd. Milwaukee, WI 53213, 800-637-2852, http://www.halleonard.com /) to bookstores, music stores and schools through the world) Release Date: September 30, 2008 Description: World-renowned music educator, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, has created an instructional DVD for singers. Her practice system focuses on cognitive illumination and muscular facility. This system can help develop a vibrating palette that communicates spirit, emotion, and viewpoint all riding effortlessly on the breath. It is supported by science yet connected to individuality. By first guiding the exercises in silence, her intent is to prevent the tension and misuse that often occur when the main impetus for the creation of musical sound is fueled by a brew of yearning and fear mixed with a fixation on the end product. Topics covered include: Section I Introduction, Creating a Cathedral, Breath Anatomy Section II Aerobicizing the Tongue, Mobilizing the Lips Section III Balancing the non-dominant side of the mouth, Posture, The Power of Imagery, Warming Up and Warming Down, Vocal Health Ms. Lieberman trusts the innate intelligence of the client by making sure that they understand how and why each region of their vocal anatomy works the way it does. Through extensive experience teaching, she has developed ergonomically based exercises that are fulcrum triggers: they get the job done more efficiently and faster. Lieberman has discovered that when the lights are turned on and the equipment is illuminated, epiphanies abound and can continue to be generated by the singer, long after the teacher leaves the room. In-depth studies while writing her critically acclaimed book. You Are Your Instrument, followed by her three spin-off DVDs (The Vocalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship, The Instrumentalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship, and The Violin in Motion) place a unique spin on this body of work. Most voice teachers use exercises that are effective in the long run or they would be put out of business, but the older model for mentorship entailed I do and do as I say approach. It was a faith-based relationship; the student was expected to blindly follow the teacher's directions without specifics, context, or adequate rapport with the musculature required to do the job smoothly and consciously. The belief behind that style of work was that if you repeated each exercise enough times (often while inadvertently thinking about something else), that it would help you sing better. This is the long, slow train to success. Julie believes that it's time to replace unconscious repetition with less activity, more awareness, and targeted control. She will help you convert the butcher's knife into a laser beam! To Order: see JulieLyonn.com and click on Vocalist's Corner About the author Julie Lyonn Lieberman (JulieLyonn.com) has specialized in working with creative vocalists in her NYC music studio over the last 3 decades. Her students have included artists such as Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton, Grammy-nominated Putnam Murdock, Indie music award winner Kara Suzanne (best new folk-singer/songwriter album of the year), and critically acclaimed lyricist Julie Flanders, to name a few. Ms. Lieberman is an improvising violinist/singer, composer, recording artist, journalist, educator, and the author of nine books and six instructional DVDs. A dynamic, participatory workshop leader, her ability to stimulate participants to think and grow in new ways has earned respect for her work throughout the world. In addition to currently teaching improvisation at Juilliard, she has presented for organizations like Music Educators Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, the Juilliard MAP Program, Carnegie/Weill Hall/Juilliard's The Academy, National Young Audiences, and the Carnegie Hall LinkUp. Lieberman is a J. D'Addario Elite Clinician. Alfred Publishing publishes her scores.
  11. DancingGuy

    How to stand on stage

    Hey folks, I've made a short how-to video that I thought might be useful to you. It came from watching videos of myself performing and wondering how I was managing to move so damn strangely. Fast forward through four years of dancing lessons, and I've tried to distil down the knowledge I've acquired in to a simple default step to help people feel better and keep the audience engaged. I hope it is useful to you all. http://www.thatdancingchap.com/?p=5
  12. TMV World Team

    ArticlesApproach to vocal technique

    Hi, TMV-ers! I thought it would be useful today to write a bit about how I approach and talk about vocal technique, in the hope that by putting these ideas out there, you can pick and choose some of them that make sense to you, and that you will hopefully find useful. As a starting point for this, I am inspired to recall an idea I read in Cornelius Reid's book, 'Voice - Psyche and Soma'. I cannot remember the exact quote, but the gist of it is that the mind and the body are acting together to produce the singing voice. I think this means for vocal technique that singing is simultaneously psychological and physical. A survey of books written on singing over the last 200 years shows that every teacher has a different approach to working with singers, a different mix of the psychological and physical. Some favor emphasis of the physical aspects, and talk about doing things with body parts, muscle groups, tendons, nasal cavities, lower jaw, the tongue, etc. Others emphasize the sensations of the singer, i.e., 'sing so that you feel such and such a sensation in such and such location in your body'. Still others rely on metaphors and imagery, i.e., 'sing out the top of your head', or 'imagine that you are projecting the tone toward a target on the wall', or 'think of a happy memory'. I don't do any of these alone. Perhaps better stated, I do them all, cherry-picking ideas and approaches from these authors that have these characteristics: 1) are based on anatomical fact, acoustical principles, and physiologically healthy bodily action. 2) are easily expressed and understood using in common language 3) can be practiced beneficially by the student without the teacher's constant supervision 4) help the singer build their ability to sing what they desire to sing - whatever genre or style that is. When it comes to teaching, I am also an optimist. :-) I believe that most people, with very few exceptions, can learn to sing for their own & others' enjoyment if they approach it with patience. In my next posts, I will be writing about the basics of how the voice works - 'what happens where' in the mind and body to produce healthy vocal tone. Along the way, I will address some common misconceptions I've encountered, and clarify some terms that are often used by singers and teachers, but not well understood. I have no illusions that the way I approach this is the only way, or even the best way. I am very interested to hear other ways of doing it as well, as that is how I learn myself. If you have a particular area you'd like to discuss, send me an e-mail or comment to my blog, and I will pull that text forward in a response. Best Regards, Steve View full articles
  13. Vocal Aerobics: Essentials for Today's Singers with Julie Lyonn Lieberman Running Time and Format: 60-minute instructional DVD Distributed by: Hal Leonard Corporation (7777 W. Bluemound Rd. Milwaukee, WI 53213, 800-637-2852, http://www.halleonard.com /) to bookstores, music stores and schools through the world) Release Date: September 30, 2008 Description: World-renowned music educator, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, has created an instructional DVD for singers. Her practice system focuses on cognitive illumination and muscular facility. This system can help develop a vibrating palette that communicates spirit, emotion, and viewpoint all riding effortlessly on the breath. It is supported by science yet connected to individuality. By first guiding the exercises in silence, her intent is to prevent the tension and misuse that often occur when the main impetus for the creation of musical sound is fueled by a brew of yearning and fear mixed with a fixation on the end product. Topics covered include: Section I Introduction, Creating a Cathedral, Breath Anatomy Section II Aerobicizing the Tongue, Mobilizing the Lips Section III Balancing the non-dominant side of the mouth, Posture, The Power of Imagery, Warming Up and Warming Down, Vocal Health Ms. Lieberman trusts the innate intelligence of the client by making sure that they understand how and why each region of their vocal anatomy works the way it does. Through extensive experience teaching, she has developed ergonomically based exercises that are fulcrum triggers: they get the job done more efficiently and faster. Lieberman has discovered that when the lights are turned on and the equipment is illuminated, epiphanies abound and can continue to be generated by the singer, long after the teacher leaves the room. In-depth studies while writing her critically acclaimed book. You Are Your Instrument, followed by her three spin-off DVDs (The Vocalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship, The Instrumentalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship, and The Violin in Motion) place a unique spin on this body of work. Most voice teachers use exercises that are effective in the long run or they would be put out of business, but the older model for mentorship entailed I do and do as I say approach. It was a faith-based relationship; the student was expected to blindly follow the teacher's directions without specifics, context, or adequate rapport with the musculature required to do the job smoothly and consciously. The belief behind that style of work was that if you repeated each exercise enough times (often while inadvertently thinking about something else), that it would help you sing better. This is the long, slow train to success. Julie believes that it's time to replace unconscious repetition with less activity, more awareness, and targeted control. She will help you convert the butcher's knife into a laser beam! To Order: see JulieLyonn.com and click on Vocalist's Corner About the author Julie Lyonn Lieberman (JulieLyonn.com) has specialized in working with creative vocalists in her NYC music studio over the last 3 decades. Her students have included artists such as Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton, Grammy-nominated Putnam Murdock, Indie music award winner Kara Suzanne (best new folk-singer/songwriter album of the year), and critically acclaimed lyricist Julie Flanders, to name a few. Ms. Lieberman is an improvising violinist/singer, composer, recording artist, journalist, educator, and the author of nine books and six instructional DVDs. A dynamic, participatory workshop leader, her ability to stimulate participants to think and grow in new ways has earned respect for her work throughout the world. In addition to currently teaching improvisation at Juilliard, she has presented for organizations like Music Educators Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, the Juilliard MAP Program, Carnegie/Weill Hall/Juilliard's The Academy, National Young Audiences, and the Carnegie Hall LinkUp. Lieberman is a J. D'Addario Elite Clinician. Alfred Publishing publishes her scores. View full articles
  14. TMV World Team

    Who needs Vocal Hygiene?

    So, where do we start? Every good voice coach will tell you that before any drills or techniques should be considered you must make sure you know how to behave with your voice mechanism. First, let's not do it any worse then, let's try to make it better. Who needs Vocal Hygiene? EVERYONE does! Listen to a full radio show : http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-156371
  15. TMV World Team

    ArticlesWho needs Vocal Hygiene?

    So, where do we start? Every good voice coach will tell you that before any drills or techniques should be considered you must make sure you know how to behave with your voice mechanism. First, let's not do it any worse then, let's try to make it better. Who needs Vocal Hygiene? EVERYONE does! Listen to a full radio show : http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-156371 View full articles
  16. TMV World Team

    Learning to Sing

    There are hundreds if not thousands of ideas about the 'best' approach to learning to sing. I've just written my own thoughts on the subject, and anticipate a bit of a backlash when the book comes out next month; I highly doubt that many in the voice teaching establishment will enjoy my insistence that 'proper' singing begins only when you 'stop thinking, forget technique, and just sing!' I nonetheless hold tenaciously to this notion, and am thrilled that an increasing number of researchers and thinkers do so as well. I reference many of these men and women in my book, and continue to stumble upon the inspiring writings of those sharing this 'first, follow your instincts' approach to learning. According to D.T. Suzuki, creator of the method by the same name: "We do not eat as we did in our infancy; eating is mixed with intellection. And as we all realize this invasion by the intellect or the mixing with the intellect, simple biological deeds are contaminated by ego-centric interest. This means that there is now an intruder into the unconscious, which can no longer directly or immediately move into the field of consciousness." Indeed, the process of thinking about an activity often screws up the activity itself - particularly when the skills necessary to achieve that activity are by design organic, intuitive and unconscious. If you'd like some proof on this issue, try explaining to someone how to stand, talk or walk, and you'll have a good sense of the confusion and frustration that many beginning and professional singers alike encounter when trying to 'learn' to sing. Psychologist C. Peter Bankart calls this the "sense domain being invaded by intellect". Author Eloise Ristad suggests that we remedy this unhealthy and counterproductive "technical addiction" by "going beyond the rigid set of rules that previously formed our boundaries". Neuroscientists concur, and are racking up research proving that intuitive learning (involving the emotional centers of the amygdala and brain stem) as opposed to technical learning (involving the inhibitory processes of the pre-frontal cortesis), allow people to more fully 'own' information in not only the short-, but the long-term. In non-science speak, this means that true knowing is inherent, and precedes doing, which in turn precedes conscious reflection, naming, categorization and processing. Just as you can't be technically taught how to speak, walk or stand up, you can't really be taught how to sing. The process is one of trial and error, with practice becoming an ego-free act of familiarization and witnessing of the natural experience. Growth and expansion of the voice beyond this witnessing are playful acts best approached with wonder and curiosity. When the Technical attempts to precede and supplant the Intuitive, the natural, interconnected flow of activity ceases (as does the fun), and problems begin. One needs to first witness, observe and allow the natural experience of singing to emerge before attempting to technically comprehend, logically explore and consciously manipulate the voice. It's imperative that the process occur in this order... 'training' (in the traditional, classical sense) before a natural understanding is recognized and fostered can cause not only a one- or two-dimensional understanding of a very three-dimensional experience, but physical- and mental- tensions that are increasingly difficult to extricate as time goes by.
  17. Guest

    ArticlesLearning to Sing

    There are hundreds if not thousands of ideas about the 'best' approach to learning to sing. I've just written my own thoughts on the subject, and anticipate a bit of a backlash when the book comes out next month; I highly doubt that many in the voice teaching establishment will enjoy my insistence that 'proper' singing begins only when you 'stop thinking, forget technique, and just sing!' I nonetheless hold tenaciously to this notion, and am thrilled that an increasing number of researchers and thinkers do so as well. I reference many of these men and women in my book, and continue to stumble upon the inspiring writings of those sharing this 'first, follow your instincts' approach to learning. According to D.T. Suzuki, creator of the method by the same name: "We do not eat as we did in our infancy; eating is mixed with intellection. And as we all realize this invasion by the intellect or the mixing with the intellect, simple biological deeds are contaminated by ego-centric interest. This means that there is now an intruder into the unconscious, which can no longer directly or immediately move into the field of consciousness." Indeed, the process of thinking about an activity often screws up the activity itself - particularly when the skills necessary to achieve that activity are by design organic, intuitive and unconscious. If you'd like some proof on this issue, try explaining to someone how to stand, talk or walk, and you'll have a good sense of the confusion and frustration that many beginning and professional singers alike encounter when trying to 'learn' to sing. Psychologist C. Peter Bankart calls this the "sense domain being invaded by intellect". Author Eloise Ristad suggests that we remedy this unhealthy and counterproductive "technical addiction" by "going beyond the rigid set of rules that previously formed our boundaries". Neuroscientists concur, and are racking up research proving that intuitive learning (involving the emotional centers of the amygdala and brain stem) as opposed to technical learning (involving the inhibitory processes of the pre-frontal cortesis), allow people to more fully 'own' information in not only the short-, but the long-term. In non-science speak, this means that true knowing is inherent, and precedes doing, which in turn precedes conscious reflection, naming, categorization and processing. Just as you can't be technically taught how to speak, walk or stand up, you can't really be taught how to sing. The process is one of trial and error, with practice becoming an ego-free act of familiarization and witnessing of the natural experience. Growth and expansion of the voice beyond this witnessing are playful acts best approached with wonder and curiosity. When the Technical attempts to precede and supplant the Intuitive, the natural, interconnected flow of activity ceases (as does the fun), and problems begin. One needs to first witness, observe and allow the natural experience of singing to emerge before attempting to technically comprehend, logically explore and consciously manipulate the voice. It's imperative that the process occur in this order... 'training' (in the traditional, classical sense) before a natural understanding is recognized and fostered can cause not only a one- or two-dimensional understanding of a very three-dimensional experience, but physical- and mental- tensions that are increasingly difficult to extricate as time goes by. View full articles
  18. TMV World Team

    How to sing the Blues

    I am currently a member of the "Blues Singers Group" on this site. I went on it just a bit ago to check on the activity. I am sad to see that there has been little activity since mid February. Talk about being blue about something, with all the talent & intellegence I have seen since joining this site I would have thought more contributions would be proffered. Singing the Blues is akin to playing the Blues on guitar, or sax, or harmonica, or piano. We attribute W. C. Handy with the 1st Bastion who held the Blues tune up like a torch, blazing in the twilight of inspiration. If not for Bessie Mae Smith @ 1919 who with her voice launched a timeless hit, we may never have heard Handy's " St. Louis Blues". Louie Armstrong may have never joined her with the Coronet & this song may have passed on into obscurity. Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Louie Armstrong, B.B. King, the names go on & on forming & forging a foundation that gave us around 100 years later a place in our hearts for the love they had & we share of the blues. I 1st believe that with any form of singing, warm up is required. Your voice is an instrument, & thus must be treated as such. Most musicians have a warm up routine. Guitarists may run thru open chords to limber up their fingers, & then run a few pentatonic scales just to keep your right & left hands timing just so. A Saxaphonist may limber up his keys & ensure the reed is seated just right in the ligature. The point being the voice needs tuning up. The differance with singing the Blues, is that there is so much emotion added into the song, that in all reality, a Blues song could be in perpetual evolution. Meaning that each night you could hear a varaience in the songs composition. Before delving depper into how the Blues can shape the singer & the song, we must try to capture the essence of what exactly is "The Blues" The older Blues players had (even before age assisted) had the Blues etched into their soul, and you could actually see it when you faced one of these Icons. Be it a damaged gait in the way they walked as if the weight of their world was upon them, or in the depth of their eyes that held you captive when they shook your hand. A hand that was caullosed and weathered and felt like worn leather. The pain, or joy, or confusion of a world turned upsidedown for so long that had been taught to be kept down inside of themselves. The only outlet was in the form of music. The feelings began to pour thru their fingers, up from their diaphrams. between vocal chords, and out for all the world to see. Paul Cezanne one of the later impressionist's said about his medium of art; "We all share the same misery, for a moment come and share it's beauty" His work was dark & moody & he was identifying his work as beauty. Sounds much like the Blues eh? The Blues to "The Modern Vocalist" is something or some things that tug onto the heartstrings of the vocalist. In these times (2009) society is indeed blue! The future is bleak, the economy sucks, people are losing their homes left & right. Banks are getting bailed out all the while handing out huge bonuses' to the shareholders. Confidence is low, fear is high, crime is on the rise. Men feel emasculated because they are out of work. Woman are in a flux as what to do. Jobs that are available don't make it past the week. As these realities begin to hit home, the Blues slowly creep in. Working gigs are fading away to Karaoke, or Open Mike nights. Then somewhere from deep inside you have this feeling...its slow...sultry...deep...painful. It comes out of your body. It makes you want to peel away your skin. Now your up there on a cramped stage as the band senses your vibe & rolls out a group of chords that gives you a chance to open up that bottle you have kept stopped up, or crack open that door that holds the pain and you lash out the words like you never have before. Your bandmates don't know what to do. They look at the Bass Player & Drummer for direction on the downbeat. The rest of the group seems to "feel" what you are trying to say. Four minutes later the Guitarist has taken your lead and is harmonizing with your voice. You all feel a sense of commonality as you wind down the song. You're soaked in sweat like you never have been before. The song ends & for the 1st time you are emotionally drained from singing one song! Your head may spin, you close your eyes & realize you have exposed a very private side of yourself. It's then that you feel naked to the audience. Yet the people are going wild. You realize that your emotions have taken over and you are singing the Blues! No teacher has taught you this, this came from deep down inside you. It's warm & powerful. You feel elated as it carries you the rest of the night. You go home...too jazzed to sleep, but so drained of emotion that all you can do is sit in your comfortable chair, drink in hand running the sets thru your mind, your performance, the bands performance, knowing how magical it was. Could it be repeated again the next night? It's then that you realize you really sang the Blues, instead of singing the Blues! Leading up to the other question in the title? Does getting the Blues make you sing ...better? One argument is that as listedhaving the Blues causes you to supress these feelings until you can find a suitable outlet? I feel having or getting the Blues makes you a naturally better singer. When you sing, you take a story put to music and sing along with the music. As you know the melody is not a monotonus group of notes. The notes go up...down...fast...slow...atempo...off-beat...stacatto. In having all these opportunities to emote, having the Blues gives you a medium to express all that you have kept down. What's even better, is the fact that the audience shares the same highs & lows. You are a representative of all what people are thinking...feeling....hiding. By doing what you are doing on stage, you allow the average joe/joanne to feel your pain too. For one moment in time, you all come together and magic is created by the haunting saddness of the Blues. It is my opinion that both questions are answered in the affirmative. You sing for an outlet of these feelings, & the feelings make you sing better because of the power of the release of the Blues. Can you be taught to sing the Blues? Only if you can be taught to release the weight of your world in front of strangers, & celebrate in the beauty of what we all see as bad, but as bad as it is, we ALL share these doubts, fears, secrets, and wishes of celebrating the beauty that is the BLUES! So....what do you think? Regards, cdbone501 Listen Til it Hz
  19. I am currently a member of the "Blues Singers Group" on this site. I went on it just a bit ago to check on the activity. I am sad to see that there has been little activity since mid February. Talk about being blue about something, with all the talent & intellegence I have seen since joining this site I would have thought more contributions would be proffered. Singing the Blues is akin to playing the Blues on guitar, or sax, or harmonica, or piano. We attribute W. C. Handy with the 1st Bastion who held the Blues tune up like a torch, blazing in the twilight of inspiration. If not for Bessie Mae Smith @ 1919 who with her voice launched a timeless hit, we may never have heard Handy's " St. Louis Blues". Louie Armstrong may have never joined her with the Coronet & this song may have passed on into obscurity. Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Louie Armstrong, B.B. King, the names go on & on forming & forging a foundation that gave us around 100 years later a place in our hearts for the love they had & we share of the blues. I 1st believe that with any form of singing, warm up is required. Your voice is an instrument, & thus must be treated as such. Most musicians have a warm up routine. Guitarists may run thru open chords to limber up their fingers, & then run a few pentatonic scales just to keep your right & left hands timing just so. A Saxaphonist may limber up his keys & ensure the reed is seated just right in the ligature. The point being the voice needs tuning up. The differance with singing the Blues, is that there is so much emotion added into the song, that in all reality, a Blues song could be in perpetual evolution. Meaning that each night you could hear a varaience in the songs composition. Before delving depper into how the Blues can shape the singer & the song, we must try to capture the essence of what exactly is "The Blues" The older Blues players had (even before age assisted) had the Blues etched into their soul, and you could actually see it when you faced one of these Icons. Be it a damaged gait in the way they walked as if the weight of their world was upon them, or in the depth of their eyes that held you captive when they shook your hand. A hand that was caullosed and weathered and felt like worn leather. The pain, or joy, or confusion of a world turned upsidedown for so long that had been taught to be kept down inside of themselves. The only outlet was in the form of music. The feelings began to pour thru their fingers, up from their diaphrams. between vocal chords, and out for all the world to see. Paul Cezanne one of the later impressionist's said about his medium of art; "We all share the same misery, for a moment come and share it's beauty" His work was dark & moody & he was identifying his work as beauty. Sounds much like the Blues eh? The Blues to "The Modern Vocalist" is something or some things that tug onto the heartstrings of the vocalist. In these times (2009) society is indeed blue! The future is bleak, the economy sucks, people are losing their homes left & right. Banks are getting bailed out all the while handing out huge bonuses' to the shareholders. Confidence is low, fear is high, crime is on the rise. Men feel emasculated because they are out of work. Woman are in a flux as what to do. Jobs that are available don't make it past the week. As these realities begin to hit home, the Blues slowly creep in. Working gigs are fading away to Karaoke, or Open Mike nights. Then somewhere from deep inside you have this feeling...its slow...sultry...deep...painful. It comes out of your body. It makes you want to peel away your skin. Now your up there on a cramped stage as the band senses your vibe & rolls out a group of chords that gives you a chance to open up that bottle you have kept stopped up, or crack open that door that holds the pain and you lash out the words like you never have before. Your bandmates don't know what to do. They look at the Bass Player & Drummer for direction on the downbeat. The rest of the group seems to "feel" what you are trying to say. Four minutes later the Guitarist has taken your lead and is harmonizing with your voice. You all feel a sense of commonality as you wind down the song. You're soaked in sweat like you never have been before. The song ends & for the 1st time you are emotionally drained from singing one song! Your head may spin, you close your eyes & realize you have exposed a very private side of yourself. It's then that you feel naked to the audience. Yet the people are going wild. You realize that your emotions have taken over and you are singing the Blues! No teacher has taught you this, this came from deep down inside you. It's warm & powerful. You feel elated as it carries you the rest of the night. You go home...too jazzed to sleep, but so drained of emotion that all you can do is sit in your comfortable chair, drink in hand running the sets thru your mind, your performance, the bands performance, knowing how magical it was. Could it be repeated again the next night? It's then that you realize you really sang the Blues, instead of singing the Blues! Leading up to the other question in the title? Does getting the Blues make you sing ...better? One argument is that as listedhaving the Blues causes you to supress these feelings until you can find a suitable outlet? I feel having or getting the Blues makes you a naturally better singer. When you sing, you take a story put to music and sing along with the music. As you know the melody is not a monotonus group of notes. The notes go up...down...fast...slow...atempo...off-beat...stacatto. In having all these opportunities to emote, having the Blues gives you a medium to express all that you have kept down. What's even better, is the fact that the audience shares the same highs & lows. You are a representative of all what people are thinking...feeling....hiding. By doing what you are doing on stage, you allow the average joe/joanne to feel your pain too. For one moment in time, you all come together and magic is created by the haunting saddness of the Blues. It is my opinion that both questions are answered in the affirmative. You sing for an outlet of these feelings, & the feelings make you sing better because of the power of the release of the Blues. Can you be taught to sing the Blues? Only if you can be taught to release the weight of your world in front of strangers, & celebrate in the beauty of what we all see as bad, but as bad as it is, we ALL share these doubts, fears, secrets, and wishes of celebrating the beauty that is the BLUES! So....what do you think? Regards, cdbone501 Listen Til it Hz View full articles
  20. The longevity of a singer's career depends on having the skill to consistently deliver quality sound without compromised vocal integrity i.e. sing your guts out without hurting yourself. A powerful belt, capably executed with good technique is an indispensable expressive tool. Yet ever since the belt became a necessary skill for singers, the debate has raged on how does one produce a healthy belt? First we need to define what is a belt. Easier said than done. The debate rages on in professional vocal circles. Here's my definition, which has been formed through research, experience and sitting through many professional voice organization seminars. To belt means: clearly spoken lyrics and unaffected vocal production a natural, powerful, communicative sound. In other words, speech on musical pitch, which admittedly may sound like an oxymoron, but voice science supports this concept. Done poorly, the belt boarders on a harsh shout or yell and often causes vocal damage. Don't do that! As an alternative to traditional vocal training, which does not teach belt, I developed a specialized technique that fills the gap between classical training and contemporary vocal needs. The Morganix Method, Sing Like You Speak, is designed to produce an open, clear, communicative instrument flexible enough to sing any style and play any character without strain even when belting. Singing has traditionally been considered a right-brain only activity. Yet as emerging research improves our understanding of the acoustics and mechanics of the vocal apparatus, the rules of theater performance voice and singing blend into one voice. Speech is a left-brain activity that is natural, comfortable and easy. You talk all day long without a passing thought to technique. You speak on pitch in normal conversation. And you speak in rhythm sometimes smooth and legato, sometimes pointed and staccato. Neurologically, speaking on musical pitch requires a crossover in the brain in order to speak (left brain) on musical pitch (right brain). Yet, it has been proven that emotionally inflected speech, i.e., speech with pitch variation, crosses over from left-brain to the expressive right-brain where music is processed. It does so without the physical tension and psychological fear surrounding singing. That is why the foundation of a healthy belt, healthy singing in fact, rests in speaking on pitch to combine the ease of speech with the music of singing. For more creative tips visit my website, www.VocalPowerTools.com . Sign up for my mailing list and receive one practice tip per week for a year! Go forth and create wonderful music! View full articles
  21. TMV World Team

    Singers Key Notes: A Healthy Belt

    The longevity of a singer's career depends on having the skill to consistently deliver quality sound without compromised vocal integrity i.e. sing your guts out without hurting yourself. A powerful belt, capably executed with good technique is an indispensable expressive tool. Yet ever since the belt became a necessary skill for singers, the debate has raged on how does one produce a healthy belt? First we need to define what is a belt. Easier said than done. The debate rages on in professional vocal circles. Here's my definition, which has been formed through research, experience and sitting through many professional voice organization seminars. To belt means: clearly spoken lyrics and unaffected vocal production a natural, powerful, communicative sound. In other words, speech on musical pitch, which admittedly may sound like an oxymoron, but voice science supports this concept. Done poorly, the belt boarders on a harsh shout or yell and often causes vocal damage. Don't do that! As an alternative to traditional vocal training, which does not teach belt, I developed a specialized technique that fills the gap between classical training and contemporary vocal needs. The Morganix Method, Sing Like You Speak, is designed to produce an open, clear, communicative instrument flexible enough to sing any style and play any character without strain even when belting. Singing has traditionally been considered a right-brain only activity. Yet as emerging research improves our understanding of the acoustics and mechanics of the vocal apparatus, the rules of theater performance voice and singing blend into one voice. Speech is a left-brain activity that is natural, comfortable and easy. You talk all day long without a passing thought to technique. You speak on pitch in normal conversation. And you speak in rhythm sometimes smooth and legato, sometimes pointed and staccato. Neurologically, speaking on musical pitch requires a crossover in the brain in order to speak (left brain) on musical pitch (right brain). Yet, it has been proven that emotionally inflected speech, i.e., speech with pitch variation, crosses over from left-brain to the expressive right-brain where music is processed. It does so without the physical tension and psychological fear surrounding singing. That is why the foundation of a healthy belt, healthy singing in fact, rests in speaking on pitch to combine the ease of speech with the music of singing. For more creative tips visit my website, www.VocalPowerTools.com . Sign up for my mailing list and receive one practice tip per week for a year! Go forth and create wonderful music!
  22. (This text has been sourced from the eBook "Just another day at the office...How to get better results in auditions and other high pressure performing situations"). Introduction Throughout the course of your performing life, opportunities to audition for jobs or perform in solo recitals don't usually come along too often. If you're an active job-seeker, you may have the chance to attend four or five auditions per year. As a student, you might perform one or two sixty-minute solo recitals per year. And as a full-time professional orchestral musician or choral singer, solo performances may be very few and far between indeed. Auditions and other solo performances are under the spotlight events, and are often experienced by many performers with high levels of performance arousal. Performance arousal? What's that? You've no doubt heard of or even experienced feelings of anxiety before and at times during performances. This anxiety, or performance anxiety as it is commonly referred to, is the negative form of performance arousal. Performance anxiety can affect you negatively in performing situations. Excitement on the other hand, or the feeling of looking forward to a performance, is the positive form of performance arousal, and can have a positive effect on your ability to perform. But this is only true if the level of excitement you experience is appropriate for your particular performing situation. In other words if the level of excitement you experience is inappropriate (i.e. too much or too little) for your performing situation, then this excitement will have a negative effect on your ability to perform. So in short, the term performance arousal describes the excitement or anxiety you may feel before and at times during performances. Performance arousal can be particularly strong in under the spotlight events, or other performing situations that you perceive as high-pressure. Ok. So how much positive performance arousal (excitement) do I need to get the best results? As a classical musician or singer performing in a recital or audition situation, high levels of excitement may make you feel like you are out of control. Likewise, performance anxiety can also make you feel out of control, and in addition may be accompanied by unpleasant physical sensations such as muscular tension, hyperventilation, sweaty palms, nausea, and so on. So, in traditional recital or audition situations, a moderately low level of positive performance arousal (excitement) will in most cases allow you to achieve your best possible results. That sounds like it should work in theory. But how do I actually make it happen? In this eBook you'll be shown the simple yet powerful technique of Intense Positive Visualisation . This technique has been specifically designed to help you obtain an ideal state of mind for your performing situations, regardless of your field of performance. Using Intense Positive Visualisation, you can achieve better results in auditions, and see how other high-pressure performance situations may be perceived as easy, comfortable, and dare I say, even a joy to experience! Familiarity To begin with, let's take a situation quite apart from a musical one. Let's imagine for a minute that you are an office worker beginning your first day at a new job. As with a recital or audition, this is a situation that can put you in the stressful position of not knowing exactly what will happen throughout the course of the experience. You might have a certain amount of information, but there are still many variables and details that are either unfamiliar, or completely unknown. You are also quite naturally aware that the outcome of the actual event is significant, especially given the importance placed on first impressions. What are some of the physical and mental responses that you might experience before and/or during your ever-important first day at the office? Perhaps you might have sweaty palms, shallow breathing, a churning stomach, or possibly mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. However, after experiencing your new environment for a few days, you begin to perceive being at the office as no big deal. When this happens, the heightened excitement or anxiety (performance arousal) you experienced on your first day starts to disappear. Now, compare the number of times you've heard of the phrase I'm starting my new job today. Wish me luck! with the phrase It's my 30th day at the office today. Wish me luck! and not to mention It's my 2,623rd day at the office today. Wish me luck! It starts to sound ridiculous, doesn't it? So therefore, and this really is the crux of the matter, what is the difference between the ever so slightly ridiculous sounding 2,623rd day at the office and the 1st day at the office? The answer is familiarity! And it is a special sort of familiarity that helps us feel at ease, calm, confident and in control. This sort of familiarity can be referred to as positive conditioning. Riding the Roller Coaster To explain positive conditioning in plain English, picture this. You are at a theme park and are very nervous or anxious about riding that big, scary roller coaster for the first time. Even thinking about taking the plunge starts you off on a serious emotional roller coaster! Should I? Shouldn't I? I don't really want to after all. But I do want to try it, and all my friends are doing it. I can do it. I can't do it. It might be fun!? But what happens if we crash? Maybe I should have just stayed in bed this morning! Eventually you decide to board the roller coaster, and experience the ride. Riding the roller coaster turns out to be a positive experience you survived and even enjoyed it in some weird way! This makes your brain suddenly say Hey! That wasn't so bad after all! The next time you think about riding the roller coaster, you are perhaps only a little nervous or anxious. You make the decision to ride the roller coaster again, and again it turns out to be a positive experience you even had your eyes open this time! Your brain now says to you Hey! That was actually kinda fun! I wanna do it again! And so the next time you think about riding the roller coaster, you are looking forward to it, because you know it will be a fun, enjoyable experience! This is basically how positive conditioning works. However, what if your experiences are negative? For example, what happens if the first time you ride the roller coaster you get stuck at the top of the ride and are forced to dangle upside-down for 6 hours because of a technical problem? If this happens, your brain is probably going to say to you the next time you think about riding a roller coaster, Oi! Remember that last roller coaster experience?? It was horrible! I don't ever want to go through that again get me outta here! This is negative conditioning in action. The Routine Part 1 So, how do we ensure your brain tells you that auditions, recitals, and other high-pressure performing situations are easy and fun? How do you achieve positive conditioning when you only get one shot at something??? We'll answer these questions very soon! But for now, it's back to the office! After 30 days at the office, you know the routine... Wake up with the alarm clock, hit the snooze button, and sleep for an extra 10 minutes Get out of bed when the alarm rings for the second time Eat breakfast Have a shower and get dressed Brush teeth Shoes on Leave the house after locking the door Walk to the bus stop. Aim to arrive there in time to get on the number 85 bus that you know always leaves 2 or 3 minutes earlier than it's supposed to Board the bus Get off the bus at the appropriate stop Walk up to the building and in through the main entrance The Routine Part 2 A Greet the receptionist Sign in Walk up the stairs, bidding a fellow colleague a good day on the way Greet the other office workers as you pass them on your way to your desk Arrive at your desk, sit down, and start the day's work Lunch break for 45 minutes Work through to the late afternoon When it's time to leave, walk back down the stairs, out of the office, and out of the building All of these small but necessary actions are completed each day as part of your routine. Thinking back to your first day at the office, you didn't have this routine your first day was completely unfamiliar! This is the reason why you may have been feeling anxious or even over-excited (high performance arousal level), and the reason why you asked your partner, flatmate, friends, or family to wish you luck. Now, if it feels like we have wandered from the path of an under the spotlight performance situation, read the bullet points in The Routine Part 1 again, and then skip directly toThe Routine Part 2 B below. The Routine Part 2 B Walk around to the stage door of the venue Greet the receptionist at the desk Sign in Walk up the stairs and along the corridor to warm-up room marked ‘Soloist 1’ Take out your instrument, and begin your warm-up routine After some time, your accompanist enters the warm-up room With 15 minutes until your audition is scheduled to start, you rehearse entries and certain problem passages The stage manager knocks on the door, and asks if you are both ready You follow the stage manager to the wings in the off-stage area You walk confidently on stage, with your accompanist following closely behind You acknowledge the audition jury You begin the audition calmly, and confidently The performance begins, and continues in the most musical way you can possibly imagine You finish the last audition piece, acknowledge the jury, and finally walk off stage So, if you're a performer, and get the chance to be at the office for 30 days (performing in recitals or auditions every day for 30 days) you can get to know the routine, and become quite comfortable and familiar with it. But wait a second! You might be thinking: Ok, but the office worker has the opportunity to learn the routine and get familiar with it as they are in reality at the office every weekday. I'm not doing a recital or audition everyday. I only get one shot at this! What?!? You're right! You're not performing in a recital or audition everyday but you should be! What?!? Auditions and recitals don't come along everyday! In reality, no they don't! But in your mind, you can perform auditions and recitals as often as you wish! What do you mean?!? How does this work?!? By using specially designed visualisation techniques, you can use your mind to rehearse any one-shot performance as many times as you wish! Therefore, you can become familiar with your one-shot performing situation, well before it even happens! So, if you practise visualisation techniques, when you walk into your performing situation in reality, you're just like the office worker going to work on their 30th or even 2,623rd day at the office! In other words, you can feel, calm, confident, and in control in any performance situation! The Proof But wait just another second! Surely there is a vast difference between experiencing an event in reality and experiencing the same event in your imagination? After all, the office worker actually is at the office every day, and if I use visualisation, I'm only going to imagine myself being at the office. Can this really be the same thing? The short answer to this question is YES! According to many studies on visualisation in the field of sports psychology, the subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between actually experiencing an event, and simply imagining an event in vivid detail! Look at this example: One study on visualisation in sports psychology involved the members of three basketball teams of approximately equal skill level, practising shooting 3-pointers, for a period of 30 days. One of the teams practised neither physically on the court, nor in their minds during the duration of the study. Their improvement at the end of the study was not surprisingly 0%. Another team practised physically that is, on the basketball court for a period of one hour each day. After 30 days, their improvement was measured at 24%. The third team did not practise physically at all but was told to mentally visualise the game for one hour each day. At the end of the thirty day period, their improvement was a remarkable 23%. What was the reason for this? The sports scientists concluded that the subconscious mind cannot differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. Therefore, since the subconscious mind has a large influence on how you perform, positively conditioning your subconscious mind using Intense Positive Visualisation can have a huge effect on your success as a performer! Find out how to practise Intense Positive Visualisation in the next chapter! Intense Positive Visualisation Visualisation techniques can help you positively condition yourself to achieve an ideal state of mind, helping you to gain optimal results in your performing situations. In short, when visualising, you train your mind by entering a relaxed state and imagining the exact results you would like to achieve. By regularly practising visualisation techniques, you can condition yourself for success! In the book Performing in The Zone, three different types of visualisation techniques are explained: Snap Shot Intense Positive Visualisation The 5 Sense Visualisation Method Here in Just Another Day at the Office you're going to see exactly how the simple yet powerful technique of Intense Positive Visualisation can help you in your performing situations! Read on! Different points of view Intense Positive Visualisation can be carried out in the 1st person or 3rd person perspective. Using the 1st person perspective, you put yourself in the centre of the visualisation. For example, if you are a concert pianist, you would imagine yourself performing on stage from your own eyes, seeing your hands and the piano keyboard in front of you, taking in the experience as if you were actually carrying it out in reality. In the 3rd person perspective, you would see yourself from a distance, possibly from a seat in the audience, the back of the room, or even a position up in the ceiling somewhere above, behind, or beside you. Some performers find a 1st person visualisation to be more powerful and real, whereas others may find a 3rd person visualisation to be most effective. Experiment using both viewpoints, and discover which one works best for you. Intense Positive Visualisation explained To practise Intense Positive Visualisation, you will need to be undisturbed for a period of anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, depending on the length of the performance you are about to visualise. Intense Positive Visualisation is best carried out lying down on your back with your hands resting gently on your solar-plexus. You may choose to lie flat on the floor or on a yoga mattress. Lying down on a bed can be an acceptable alternative, and is at times preferable if practising this exercise just before sleeping. It's important to keep the body at a comfortable temperature throughout the duration of the visualisation, and therefore covering yourself with a blanket might be necessary. To begin Intense Positive Visualisation, gently close your eyes, and lightly touch your tongue to the front part of the roof of your mouth, just behind the teeth. This is a Qi Gong technique which forms an energy bridge to allow freer flow of energy in the human energy system. Try to keep the root of your tongue relaxed at all times. If you have trouble with this, simply let your tongue sit in its natural position and come back to this Qi Gong energy bridge technique at a later stage. Whilst in a horizontal position, allow the floor to take your weight. Feel your limbs becoming heavier the more relaxed they feel. Trust the floor it will hold you. Give in to the support from underneath. Trust, relax, and let go. Breathe gently through your nose. Allow your body to breathe as it needs to. The next section is designed to help you understand how Intense Positive Visualisation works. It is an example of one possible visualisation, taken from the perspective of a musician giving a recital, requiring a performance arousal level of +1 before the performance, +2 for the majority of the recital, and +3 for the climax of the concert. After reading the following example and understanding the process of Intense Positive Visualisation, you can then create your own personal visualisation to meet your specific needs. When creating your visualisation, remember to visualise events exactly as you want them to be Start of Intense Positive Visualisation example: You begin by imagining yourself at home, taking your performance clothes out of the wardrobe. You check to see that everything is in order with your clothes and your performance shoes. You put your performance clothes and shoes in a suit bag, pick up your instrument case, check to see if you have your keys and wallet, and leave the house, locking the door behind you. You walk down the stairs and out on to the street in a relaxed pace. Arriving at the metro (underground train/tube) station, you use your ticket to pass the barrier, and board your train. It's going to be a great show. Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. Getting off at the right stop, you stroll towards the recital hall, taking in the scenery on the way. Perhaps a seagull is calling in the distance? How do the trees look? Are there other people out walking? You take out your Cue Card and slowly read over your key words. Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. You arrive at the venue and greet the receptionist on the way in. After signing in, you head to your warm up room where your accompanist is already waiting for you. You ask your accompanist for 15 minutes by yourself so that you can prepare yourself and warm up. You unpack your instrument, and begin your warm up routine. It feels fantastic to start warming up. You know your accompanist is going help you put on a great show. You know that the venue has a warm acoustic. Your performance clothes are ironed and your shoes polished. You are ready. You are about to share part of yourself with some people who want to hear you they want to be touched by you. It's going to be a warm, giving, rewarding experience for both them and you. It's going to be great! Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. After 15 minutes your accompanist walks in to the room. Before you begin to rehearse, you check your Cue Card again, and go through your Pre-Performance Ritual, C3 calm, controlled, confident the C3 and +1 on your Cue Card gives you a familiar, friendly reminder. You rehearse the beginning of the first piece with your accompanist. It's easy and free. The acoustic in the practise room is dry, but you know that out there in the hall the space will take care of you the warm reverb will beautify every nuance and add to the experience for everyone. Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. When it is time, you are called to the wings of the stage. You take one final look at your Cue Card and go through the C3 exercise again. You can hear the chatter of the audience, and see the stage in front of you. You walk calmly, securely, and with purpose on to the stage where you are greeted by applause. They like you and you haven't even done anything yet! This is going to be a fun performance! Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. Whilst your accompanist adjusts the piano stool, you look out into the audience and make visual contact with the people you are about to touch with your performance. Your body language exudes confidence and assuredness. You greet the audience, introducing yourself and your accompanist, and begin to talk about the evening's programme. Your voice is stable, powerful, and reflects the perfect +1 state of performance arousal that you are currently in. Your voice resonates effortlessly to the back of the hall. You are in The Zone. After your brief introductory talk, you look to your accompanist who is ready to work with you. This is going great! You begin your performance, and your performance arousal gently rises to a +2. (At this point in the visualisation I strongly suggest that you visualise your entire performance that is, see and hear yourself giving the most musical, fantastic, controlled, inspired, moving performance you can possibly imagine. Use either 1st or 3rd person perspective. In your visualisation you are doing everything right it feels fantastic and sounds amazing. You are at an ideal level of performance arousal for this performing situation, and totally in The Zone.) Just before the climax of the final piece, you turn the page, and see the familiar figure of +3 that you wrote earlier at the top of your music. You step it up a notch, and raise your performance arousal level to +3. The music takes on a new life and energy and this is felt by you, your accompanist, and the audience. Finishing the concert at a +3 level your audience erupts in cheers and applause. You did it! It was great!! You were in The Zone!!! You acknowledge the audience, and walk off stage. End of Intense Positive Visualisation example. When you feel ready, slowly begin to move your body again. How did it feel to give that amazing performance? You were great! Everything just clicked. You were totally and completely in The Zone throughout the entire process. Intense Positive Visualisation can be practised every day before a performance. By doing so, you can condition yourself to perform in The Zone. Intense Positive Visualisation is highly recommended to all performers about to give important performances, auditions or recitals. The earlier you begin Intense Positive Visualisation the better, but at least one week prior to the performance event should be the minimum. In your own visualisations, remember to assess how much positive performance arousal you need at various moments: +1, +2, +3, +4, or +5. Do you need to be at the same activation level for the entire event, or does your performance arousal level need to modulate at various times? Remember that imagining yourself calm and relaxed probably isn't going to give you the best results if you are preparing for an intensely physical, fast-paced performance situation. Likewise, visualising getting yourself psyched up and exploding out of the gates isn’t going to help you if you are preparing for a more delicate +1 situation, such as a slow movement of a concerto. Visualising performing with an ideal level of performance arousal is important! By using Intense Positive Visualisation, you are using positive conditioning to become familiar with as many elements of your performance day as possible, and become used to experiencing these always in a positive light. Notice also that Intense Positive Visualisation goes into as much detail as possible, both before and during your performance. This is to help take away as many surprises and unknown factors on the day of your performance as possible. It may help the accuracy and intensity of your visualisation to do some reconnaissance by actually visiting the performance venue prior to your performance event. This is easily possible for students giving final recitals for example, or sportspeople playing at a local venue. Try to also incorporate some variations in your visualisations. Perhaps the audience isn’t ready and takes an extra 5 minutes to get seated? Perhaps your accompanist arrives later than expected due to traffic problems? Maybe the stage curtains are blue and not red? Perhaps the warm up room is bigger or smaller? Regardless of what happens, you are prepared, and you stay in your ideal level of positive performance arousal. You are completely stable, and in The Zone, always. By using Intense Positive Visualisation every day over a period of one week, you have in effect carried out your performance successfully 7 times. Practise this visualisation 3 times per day for a week and you’ve completed 21 successful, positive, great, fantastic, easy, ideal performances, and have been in The Zone every single time! Remember that your subconscious doesn’t differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. Therefore by using Intense Positive Visualisation diligently, you are conditioning yourself for success by becoming familiar with performing in The Zone! By using the technique of Intense Positive Visualisation, you can experience your next audition, recital or ‘high-pressure’ performance as just another day at the office! Conclusion Intense Positive Visualisation is just one of over 20 effective techniques fully explained in the book Performing in The Zone. These techniques can help you to become secure, confident, comfortable, in control, and successful in your performing situations. With the book Performing in The Zone, you get more than just techniques. You get: To find out what really goes on inside your mind and body in performing situations To learn about The Zone, what it is, and how you can get there A complete explanation of performance arousal, and how it can affect you positively or negatively in performing situations Over 20 techniques specifically designed to help you get better results in any field of performance The 12 Week Performance Success Programme to help you incorporate the techniques from Performing in The Zone into your performing life An introduction to additional sources of advice and information to further aid you in your journey to The Zone! By reading Performing in The Zone, you can: Perform at an optimal level Achieve better results when under the spotlight Become a master of yourself and your performance environment Realise your true performing potential Become a better performer by learning to perform in The Zone! In addition, at http://www.thezonebook.com you can subscribe to: The very latest techniques for controlling performance anxiety and over-excitement A personal email support service One-on-one coaching services – in person, via chat, or via video conferencing (limited number of places available) What should I do now? 1) Visit www.thezonebook.com 2) Sign up for a 20% Pre-Release Discount on "Performing in The Zone!" 3) Read Performing in The Zone, apply the information in the book, and enjoy the results! 4) Keep visiting www.thezonebook.com (as well as the blog, at http://www.thezonebook.com/blog) regularly for news updates, the latest techniques for getting better results in performing situations, and special offers!
  23. (This text has been sourced from the eBook "Just another day at the office...How to get better results in auditions and other high pressure performing situations"). Introduction Throughout the course of your performing life, opportunities to audition for jobs or perform in solo recitals don't usually come along too often. If you're an active job-seeker, you may have the chance to attend four or five auditions per year. As a student, you might perform one or two sixty-minute solo recitals per year. And as a full-time professional orchestral musician or choral singer, solo performances may be very few and far between indeed. Auditions and other solo performances are under the spotlight events, and are often experienced by many performers with high levels of performance arousal. Performance arousal? What's that? You've no doubt heard of or even experienced feelings of anxiety before and at times during performances. This anxiety, or performance anxiety as it is commonly referred to, is the negative form of performance arousal. Performance anxiety can affect you negatively in performing situations. Excitement on the other hand, or the feeling of looking forward to a performance, is the positive form of performance arousal, and can have a positive effect on your ability to perform. But this is only true if the level of excitement you experience is appropriate for your particular performing situation. In other words if the level of excitement you experience is inappropriate (i.e. too much or too little) for your performing situation, then this excitement will have a negative effect on your ability to perform. So in short, the term performance arousal describes the excitement or anxiety you may feel before and at times during performances. Performance arousal can be particularly strong in under the spotlight events, or other performing situations that you perceive as high-pressure. Ok. So how much positive performance arousal (excitement) do I need to get the best results? As a classical musician or singer performing in a recital or audition situation, high levels of excitement may make you feel like you are out of control. Likewise, performance anxiety can also make you feel out of control, and in addition may be accompanied by unpleasant physical sensations such as muscular tension, hyperventilation, sweaty palms, nausea, and so on. So, in traditional recital or audition situations, a moderately low level of positive performance arousal (excitement) will in most cases allow you to achieve your best possible results. That sounds like it should work in theory. But how do I actually make it happen? In this eBook you'll be shown the simple yet powerful technique of Intense Positive Visualisation . This technique has been specifically designed to help you obtain an ideal state of mind for your performing situations, regardless of your field of performance. Using Intense Positive Visualisation, you can achieve better results in auditions, and see how other high-pressure performance situations may be perceived as easy, comfortable, and dare I say, even a joy to experience! Familiarity To begin with, let's take a situation quite apart from a musical one. Let's imagine for a minute that you are an office worker beginning your first day at a new job. As with a recital or audition, this is a situation that can put you in the stressful position of not knowing exactly what will happen throughout the course of the experience. You might have a certain amount of information, but there are still many variables and details that are either unfamiliar, or completely unknown. You are also quite naturally aware that the outcome of the actual event is significant, especially given the importance placed on first impressions. What are some of the physical and mental responses that you might experience before and/or during your ever-important first day at the office? Perhaps you might have sweaty palms, shallow breathing, a churning stomach, or possibly mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. However, after experiencing your new environment for a few days, you begin to perceive being at the office as no big deal. When this happens, the heightened excitement or anxiety (performance arousal) you experienced on your first day starts to disappear. Now, compare the number of times you've heard of the phrase I'm starting my new job today. Wish me luck! with the phrase It's my 30th day at the office today. Wish me luck! and not to mention It's my 2,623rd day at the office today. Wish me luck! It starts to sound ridiculous, doesn't it? So therefore, and this really is the crux of the matter, what is the difference between the ever so slightly ridiculous sounding 2,623rd day at the office and the 1st day at the office? The answer is familiarity! And it is a special sort of familiarity that helps us feel at ease, calm, confident and in control. This sort of familiarity can be referred to as positive conditioning. Riding the Roller Coaster To explain positive conditioning in plain English, picture this. You are at a theme park and are very nervous or anxious about riding that big, scary roller coaster for the first time. Even thinking about taking the plunge starts you off on a serious emotional roller coaster! Should I? Shouldn't I? I don't really want to after all. But I do want to try it, and all my friends are doing it. I can do it. I can't do it. It might be fun!? But what happens if we crash? Maybe I should have just stayed in bed this morning! Eventually you decide to board the roller coaster, and experience the ride. Riding the roller coaster turns out to be a positive experience you survived and even enjoyed it in some weird way! This makes your brain suddenly say Hey! That wasn't so bad after all! The next time you think about riding the roller coaster, you are perhaps only a little nervous or anxious. You make the decision to ride the roller coaster again, and again it turns out to be a positive experience you even had your eyes open this time! Your brain now says to you Hey! That was actually kinda fun! I wanna do it again! And so the next time you think about riding the roller coaster, you are looking forward to it, because you know it will be a fun, enjoyable experience! This is basically how positive conditioning works. However, what if your experiences are negative? For example, what happens if the first time you ride the roller coaster you get stuck at the top of the ride and are forced to dangle upside-down for 6 hours because of a technical problem? If this happens, your brain is probably going to say to you the next time you think about riding a roller coaster, Oi! Remember that last roller coaster experience?? It was horrible! I don't ever want to go through that again get me outta here! This is negative conditioning in action. The Routine Part 1 So, how do we ensure your brain tells you that auditions, recitals, and other high-pressure performing situations are easy and fun? How do you achieve positive conditioning when you only get one shot at something??? We'll answer these questions very soon! But for now, it's back to the office! After 30 days at the office, you know the routine... Wake up with the alarm clock, hit the snooze button, and sleep for an extra 10 minutes Get out of bed when the alarm rings for the second time Eat breakfast Have a shower and get dressed Brush teeth Shoes on Leave the house after locking the door Walk to the bus stop. Aim to arrive there in time to get on the number 85 bus that you know always leaves 2 or 3 minutes earlier than it's supposed to Board the bus Get off the bus at the appropriate stop Walk up to the building and in through the main entrance The Routine Part 2 A Greet the receptionist Sign in Walk up the stairs, bidding a fellow colleague a good day on the way Greet the other office workers as you pass them on your way to your desk Arrive at your desk, sit down, and start the day's work Lunch break for 45 minutes Work through to the late afternoon When it's time to leave, walk back down the stairs, out of the office, and out of the building All of these small but necessary actions are completed each day as part of your routine. Thinking back to your first day at the office, you didn't have this routine your first day was completely unfamiliar! This is the reason why you may have been feeling anxious or even over-excited (high performance arousal level), and the reason why you asked your partner, flatmate, friends, or family to wish you luck. Now, if it feels like we have wandered from the path of an under the spotlight performance situation, read the bullet points in The Routine Part 1 again, and then skip directly toThe Routine Part 2 B below. The Routine Part 2 B Walk around to the stage door of the venue Greet the receptionist at the desk Sign in Walk up the stairs and along the corridor to warm-up room marked ‘Soloist 1’ Take out your instrument, and begin your warm-up routine After some time, your accompanist enters the warm-up room With 15 minutes until your audition is scheduled to start, you rehearse entries and certain problem passages The stage manager knocks on the door, and asks if you are both ready You follow the stage manager to the wings in the off-stage area You walk confidently on stage, with your accompanist following closely behind You acknowledge the audition jury You begin the audition calmly, and confidently The performance begins, and continues in the most musical way you can possibly imagine You finish the last audition piece, acknowledge the jury, and finally walk off stage So, if you're a performer, and get the chance to be at the office for 30 days (performing in recitals or auditions every day for 30 days) you can get to know the routine, and become quite comfortable and familiar with it. But wait a second! You might be thinking: Ok, but the office worker has the opportunity to learn the routine and get familiar with it as they are in reality at the office every weekday. I'm not doing a recital or audition everyday. I only get one shot at this! What?!? You're right! You're not performing in a recital or audition everyday but you should be! What?!? Auditions and recitals don't come along everyday! In reality, no they don't! But in your mind, you can perform auditions and recitals as often as you wish! What do you mean?!? How does this work?!? By using specially designed visualisation techniques, you can use your mind to rehearse any one-shot performance as many times as you wish! Therefore, you can become familiar with your one-shot performing situation, well before it even happens! So, if you practise visualisation techniques, when you walk into your performing situation in reality, you're just like the office worker going to work on their 30th or even 2,623rd day at the office! In other words, you can feel, calm, confident, and in control in any performance situation! The Proof But wait just another second! Surely there is a vast difference between experiencing an event in reality and experiencing the same event in your imagination? After all, the office worker actually is at the office every day, and if I use visualisation, I'm only going to imagine myself being at the office. Can this really be the same thing? The short answer to this question is YES! According to many studies on visualisation in the field of sports psychology, the subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between actually experiencing an event, and simply imagining an event in vivid detail! Look at this example: One study on visualisation in sports psychology involved the members of three basketball teams of approximately equal skill level, practising shooting 3-pointers, for a period of 30 days. One of the teams practised neither physically on the court, nor in their minds during the duration of the study. Their improvement at the end of the study was not surprisingly 0%. Another team practised physically that is, on the basketball court for a period of one hour each day. After 30 days, their improvement was measured at 24%. The third team did not practise physically at all but was told to mentally visualise the game for one hour each day. At the end of the thirty day period, their improvement was a remarkable 23%. What was the reason for this? The sports scientists concluded that the subconscious mind cannot differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. Therefore, since the subconscious mind has a large influence on how you perform, positively conditioning your subconscious mind using Intense Positive Visualisation can have a huge effect on your success as a performer! Find out how to practise Intense Positive Visualisation in the next chapter! Intense Positive Visualisation Visualisation techniques can help you positively condition yourself to achieve an ideal state of mind, helping you to gain optimal results in your performing situations. In short, when visualising, you train your mind by entering a relaxed state and imagining the exact results you would like to achieve. By regularly practising visualisation techniques, you can condition yourself for success! In the book Performing in The Zone, three different types of visualisation techniques are explained: Snap Shot Intense Positive Visualisation The 5 Sense Visualisation Method Here in Just Another Day at the Office you're going to see exactly how the simple yet powerful technique of Intense Positive Visualisation can help you in your performing situations! Read on! Different points of view Intense Positive Visualisation can be carried out in the 1st person or 3rd person perspective. Using the 1st person perspective, you put yourself in the centre of the visualisation. For example, if you are a concert pianist, you would imagine yourself performing on stage from your own eyes, seeing your hands and the piano keyboard in front of you, taking in the experience as if you were actually carrying it out in reality. In the 3rd person perspective, you would see yourself from a distance, possibly from a seat in the audience, the back of the room, or even a position up in the ceiling somewhere above, behind, or beside you. Some performers find a 1st person visualisation to be more powerful and real, whereas others may find a 3rd person visualisation to be most effective. Experiment using both viewpoints, and discover which one works best for you. Intense Positive Visualisation explained To practise Intense Positive Visualisation, you will need to be undisturbed for a period of anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, depending on the length of the performance you are about to visualise. Intense Positive Visualisation is best carried out lying down on your back with your hands resting gently on your solar-plexus. You may choose to lie flat on the floor or on a yoga mattress. Lying down on a bed can be an acceptable alternative, and is at times preferable if practising this exercise just before sleeping. It's important to keep the body at a comfortable temperature throughout the duration of the visualisation, and therefore covering yourself with a blanket might be necessary. To begin Intense Positive Visualisation, gently close your eyes, and lightly touch your tongue to the front part of the roof of your mouth, just behind the teeth. This is a Qi Gong technique which forms an energy bridge to allow freer flow of energy in the human energy system. Try to keep the root of your tongue relaxed at all times. If you have trouble with this, simply let your tongue sit in its natural position and come back to this Qi Gong energy bridge technique at a later stage. Whilst in a horizontal position, allow the floor to take your weight. Feel your limbs becoming heavier the more relaxed they feel. Trust the floor it will hold you. Give in to the support from underneath. Trust, relax, and let go. Breathe gently through your nose. Allow your body to breathe as it needs to. The next section is designed to help you understand how Intense Positive Visualisation works. It is an example of one possible visualisation, taken from the perspective of a musician giving a recital, requiring a performance arousal level of +1 before the performance, +2 for the majority of the recital, and +3 for the climax of the concert. After reading the following example and understanding the process of Intense Positive Visualisation, you can then create your own personal visualisation to meet your specific needs. When creating your visualisation, remember to visualise events exactly as you want them to be Start of Intense Positive Visualisation example: You begin by imagining yourself at home, taking your performance clothes out of the wardrobe. You check to see that everything is in order with your clothes and your performance shoes. You put your performance clothes and shoes in a suit bag, pick up your instrument case, check to see if you have your keys and wallet, and leave the house, locking the door behind you. You walk down the stairs and out on to the street in a relaxed pace. Arriving at the metro (underground train/tube) station, you use your ticket to pass the barrier, and board your train. It's going to be a great show. Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. Getting off at the right stop, you stroll towards the recital hall, taking in the scenery on the way. Perhaps a seagull is calling in the distance? How do the trees look? Are there other people out walking? You take out your Cue Card and slowly read over your key words. Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. You arrive at the venue and greet the receptionist on the way in. After signing in, you head to your warm up room where your accompanist is already waiting for you. You ask your accompanist for 15 minutes by yourself so that you can prepare yourself and warm up. You unpack your instrument, and begin your warm up routine. It feels fantastic to start warming up. You know your accompanist is going help you put on a great show. You know that the venue has a warm acoustic. Your performance clothes are ironed and your shoes polished. You are ready. You are about to share part of yourself with some people who want to hear you they want to be touched by you. It's going to be a warm, giving, rewarding experience for both them and you. It's going to be great! Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. After 15 minutes your accompanist walks in to the room. Before you begin to rehearse, you check your Cue Card again, and go through your Pre-Performance Ritual, C3 calm, controlled, confident the C3 and +1 on your Cue Card gives you a familiar, friendly reminder. You rehearse the beginning of the first piece with your accompanist. It's easy and free. The acoustic in the practise room is dry, but you know that out there in the hall the space will take care of you the warm reverb will beautify every nuance and add to the experience for everyone. Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. When it is time, you are called to the wings of the stage. You take one final look at your Cue Card and go through the C3 exercise again. You can hear the chatter of the audience, and see the stage in front of you. You walk calmly, securely, and with purpose on to the stage where you are greeted by applause. They like you and you haven't even done anything yet! This is going to be a fun performance! Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. Whilst your accompanist adjusts the piano stool, you look out into the audience and make visual contact with the people you are about to touch with your performance. Your body language exudes confidence and assuredness. You greet the audience, introducing yourself and your accompanist, and begin to talk about the evening's programme. Your voice is stable, powerful, and reflects the perfect +1 state of performance arousal that you are currently in. Your voice resonates effortlessly to the back of the hall. You are in The Zone. After your brief introductory talk, you look to your accompanist who is ready to work with you. This is going great! You begin your performance, and your performance arousal gently rises to a +2. (At this point in the visualisation I strongly suggest that you visualise your entire performance that is, see and hear yourself giving the most musical, fantastic, controlled, inspired, moving performance you can possibly imagine. Use either 1st or 3rd person perspective. In your visualisation you are doing everything right it feels fantastic and sounds amazing. You are at an ideal level of performance arousal for this performing situation, and totally in The Zone.) Just before the climax of the final piece, you turn the page, and see the familiar figure of +3 that you wrote earlier at the top of your music. You step it up a notch, and raise your performance arousal level to +3. The music takes on a new life and energy and this is felt by you, your accompanist, and the audience. Finishing the concert at a +3 level your audience erupts in cheers and applause. You did it! It was great!! You were in The Zone!!! You acknowledge the audience, and walk off stage. End of Intense Positive Visualisation example. When you feel ready, slowly begin to move your body again. How did it feel to give that amazing performance? You were great! Everything just clicked. You were totally and completely in The Zone throughout the entire process. Intense Positive Visualisation can be practised every day before a performance. By doing so, you can condition yourself to perform in The Zone. Intense Positive Visualisation is highly recommended to all performers about to give important performances, auditions or recitals. The earlier you begin Intense Positive Visualisation the better, but at least one week prior to the performance event should be the minimum. In your own visualisations, remember to assess how much positive performance arousal you need at various moments: +1, +2, +3, +4, or +5. Do you need to be at the same activation level for the entire event, or does your performance arousal level need to modulate at various times? Remember that imagining yourself calm and relaxed probably isn't going to give you the best results if you are preparing for an intensely physical, fast-paced performance situation. Likewise, visualising getting yourself psyched up and exploding out of the gates isn’t going to help you if you are preparing for a more delicate +1 situation, such as a slow movement of a concerto. Visualising performing with an ideal level of performance arousal is important! By using Intense Positive Visualisation, you are using positive conditioning to become familiar with as many elements of your performance day as possible, and become used to experiencing these always in a positive light. Notice also that Intense Positive Visualisation goes into as much detail as possible, both before and during your performance. This is to help take away as many surprises and unknown factors on the day of your performance as possible. It may help the accuracy and intensity of your visualisation to do some reconnaissance by actually visiting the performance venue prior to your performance event. This is easily possible for students giving final recitals for example, or sportspeople playing at a local venue. Try to also incorporate some variations in your visualisations. Perhaps the audience isn’t ready and takes an extra 5 minutes to get seated? Perhaps your accompanist arrives later than expected due to traffic problems? Maybe the stage curtains are blue and not red? Perhaps the warm up room is bigger or smaller? Regardless of what happens, you are prepared, and you stay in your ideal level of positive performance arousal. You are completely stable, and in The Zone, always. By using Intense Positive Visualisation every day over a period of one week, you have in effect carried out your performance successfully 7 times. Practise this visualisation 3 times per day for a week and you’ve completed 21 successful, positive, great, fantastic, easy, ideal performances, and have been in The Zone every single time! Remember that your subconscious doesn’t differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. Therefore by using Intense Positive Visualisation diligently, you are conditioning yourself for success by becoming familiar with performing in The Zone! By using the technique of Intense Positive Visualisation, you can experience your next audition, recital or ‘high-pressure’ performance as just another day at the office! Conclusion Intense Positive Visualisation is just one of over 20 effective techniques fully explained in the book Performing in The Zone. These techniques can help you to become secure, confident, comfortable, in control, and successful in your performing situations. With the book Performing in The Zone, you get more than just techniques. You get: To find out what really goes on inside your mind and body in performing situations To learn about The Zone, what it is, and how you can get there A complete explanation of performance arousal, and how it can affect you positively or negatively in performing situations Over 20 techniques specifically designed to help you get better results in any field of performance The 12 Week Performance Success Programme to help you incorporate the techniques from Performing in The Zone into your performing life An introduction to additional sources of advice and information to further aid you in your journey to The Zone! By reading Performing in The Zone, you can: Perform at an optimal level Achieve better results when under the spotlight Become a master of yourself and your performance environment Realise your true performing potential Become a better performer by learning to perform in The Zone! In addition, at http://www.thezonebook.com you can subscribe to: The very latest techniques for controlling performance anxiety and over-excitement A personal email support service One-on-one coaching services – in person, via chat, or via video conferencing (limited number of places available) What should I do now? 1) Visit www.thezonebook.com 2) Sign up for a 20% Pre-Release Discount on "Performing in The Zone!" 3) Read Performing in The Zone, apply the information in the book, and enjoy the results! 4) Keep visiting www.thezonebook.com (as well as the blog, at http://www.thezonebook.com/blog) regularly for news updates, the latest techniques for getting better results in performing situations, and special offers! View full articles
  24. I get asked a lot on my YouTube channel about how to sing without your larynx shooting up really high behind your chin. This can be challenging to any singer beginner or advanced. We naturally raise our larynx when we speak and swallow so it can easily carry over into our singing unfortunately it's doesn't help our singing at all. A slight raise of the larynx is necessary for some vocal effects like twanging the epiglottal tunnel, but in general its unhealthy for singing. So what can we do to help us disconnect from raising the larynx when we sing? Try this exercise on for size. 1. Imitate the face of an ape or monkey saying oo, oo, oo your jaw should be low and the lips outstretched uniformly to form a small, round opening. (yes -you will look silly) 2. With OO sound, start in your middle range and slide down gently to your lowest note in one continuous sound. It should sound like an old air raid siren winding down. The slide down should be slow and as even as possible. 3. Slip into an AH sound at the very bottom each time you do it. 4. Gradually raise the pitch you start on step by step. Continue to let the OO sound drop and turn into the AH as you reach your lowest note. 5. Continue raising the start pitch until you start singing in falsetto and the OO slides through your break area. *IMPORTANT* Don't make any changes in how you physically do the notes or change your volume to get through the break area. 6. Keep the exercises as deep as possible by keeping your jaw low and the lips puckered forward. Your lips may tremble a bit as a result of the tension you are opposing, but that's OK, let it happen. What's Going On: The monkey face is not used for singing those vowel sounds but for disconnecting the muscles that lift the larynx. The Lifter Muscles as they are called, are part of the chain of swallowing and when they are stretched the larynx is given some freedom. The slide down in pitch helps coordinate the muscles used for making pitch but nothing else. Its common to have some falling off of the notes at first because the larynx isn't used to acting by itself. Thats OK let it happen. It gets better the more you do this exercise. The goal of this exercise is to achieve a very slow and smooth slide down through the break area without a flip in the voice or any extra effort. This helps promote depth in your singing and control of the pitch without using any external muscles that just aren't needed. Once you become comfortable with exercise, add a return slide back up to your starting pitch and that OO sound. This not only helps disconnect the lifting muscles but also aids in breath support. If you run out of air before you get back to the top go back and do some more breathing exercises!!! Till Next Time Keep Rockin Kevin Richards www.rockthestagenyc.com View full articles
  25. I get asked a lot on my YouTube channel about how to sing without your larynx shooting up really high behind your chin. This can be challenging to any singer beginner or advanced. We naturally raise our larynx when we speak and swallow so it can easily carry over into our singing unfortunately it's doesn't help our singing at all. A slight raise of the larynx is necessary for some vocal effects like twanging the epiglottal tunnel, but in general its unhealthy for singing. So what can we do to help us disconnect from raising the larynx when we sing? Try this exercise on for size. 1. Imitate the face of an ape or monkey saying oo, oo, oo your jaw should be low and the lips outstretched uniformly to form a small, round opening. (yes -you will look silly) 2. With OO sound, start in your middle range and slide down gently to your lowest note in one continuous sound. It should sound like an old air raid siren winding down. The slide down should be slow and as even as possible. 3. Slip into an AH sound at the very bottom each time you do it. 4. Gradually raise the pitch you start on step by step. Continue to let the OO sound drop and turn into the AH as you reach your lowest note. 5. Continue raising the start pitch until you start singing in falsetto and the OO slides through your break area. *IMPORTANT* Don't make any changes in how you physically do the notes or change your volume to get through the break area. 6. Keep the exercises as deep as possible by keeping your jaw low and the lips puckered forward. Your lips may tremble a bit as a result of the tension you are opposing, but that's OK, let it happen. What's Going On: The monkey face is not used for singing those vowel sounds but for disconnecting the muscles that lift the larynx. The Lifter Muscles as they are called, are part of the chain of swallowing and when they are stretched the larynx is given some freedom. The slide down in pitch helps coordinate the muscles used for making pitch but nothing else. Its common to have some falling off of the notes at first because the larynx isn't used to acting by itself. Thats OK let it happen. It gets better the more you do this exercise. The goal of this exercise is to achieve a very slow and smooth slide down through the break area without a flip in the voice or any extra effort. This helps promote depth in your singing and control of the pitch without using any external muscles that just aren't needed. Once you become comfortable with exercise, add a return slide back up to your starting pitch and that OO sound. This not only helps disconnect the lifting muscles but also aids in breath support. If you run out of air before you get back to the top go back and do some more breathing exercises!!! Till Next Time Keep Rockin Kevin Richards www.rockthestagenyc.com