Jump to content

Vocal Assessment - What exercises do you include?

Rate this topic


Vocaltutor
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am currently writing a peice on what to listen for, and what is important to assess, when you take on a new student in their first lesson. Can you help?

So as a teacher - when you meet a new student, what exercises do you run the student through and why?

I would love to hear your feedback,

Georgina. Vocaltutor

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thats great Thank you, Elrathion.

I agree - a normal scale on the ah vowel is so exposing. I can hear and learn so much about the persons voice with that exercise.

I always begin with breathing exercises, so I can assess their breath capacity and control. Checking they are breathing correctly.

I normally do, 1 set of breathing in over 8 and out for 8, then my own titled "the counting exercise". A huge favourite with all my students and teachers. (They all use my CD with it on - Healthy Singing for Female singers) breath in over 8, hold for 8 and then exhale for 8. It can tell me so much about the persons ability.

I then move onto the lip roll, to break the ice, and get them having fun. Just a basic c major scale, warming up their face and lips as well as their voice. I use the CD for all the exercises rather than playing them so I can do the exercises with them, to help them feel comfortable, without the barrier of the keyboard between us.

How about you guys? I will add more as you do.

Georgina.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Georgina,

I like to listen to the new student sing the basic vowels Ah, ee, oh, oo to assess thier ability to sing in chest voice and head voice. I use either the five note scale or an octave, 1351. If they can connect chest and head, we move on to sustains. If they can't I use MM and NG sounds to help them sing with less of a load on their vocal cords. My aim is to establish their blend as soon as possible so they get out of the habit of singing in chest voice only, or head voice only.

-John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I usually use major scales, staccato and legato There are so many. I listen for whether a voice is too breathy (cords not coming together enough), too edgy (tight and strained), how the student is going after achieving proper support, what bad habits might be in the way, placement, and resonance.

I use vowels, but also use a combo of consonant and vowel.

I bridge voices by showing the student how the vocal mechanism connects to breath control and exactly how to get it.

Hope this helps some

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Georgina

I allow them to sing a song for me so it's fun and they can relax first. I simply listen to their voice and how/where they are placing their sound, breath and range.

Then I start work with vowel sounds and scales etc

I have a blog on it......on my profile page - How I coach - Intuitive Coaching

Dena, Elrathion & John are fab teachers so you have a great choice here!

love Hilary :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

Great question!

At TVS we hold bridging the Passagio and building full, convincing head tones as a high value. Thus, in the first lesson, I want to determine four things:

1. Can the student hear/match pitch? If they can not, we are in for a long, arduous haul and test of human will for both the student and myself. If the student wants to learn to sing bad enough, I will stay with them until we win this battle... but until you can hear/match pitch... the next three points dont even come into play for a long time...

... assuming they can hear pitch...

2. Can the student establish resonant track. (semi-occulations). Can the student produce a nice balance of presure in the sub and super-glottal regions, phonate and place those results into the resonators. If they can, then I know they will be inclined to sing from the "top down", instead of from the "bottom up". Those that can not, are anchored too heavily in speech vocal mode and there wil be work that has to be done to "lift" the singing voice.

3. Can the student bridge. We may do some simple, slow acending sirens through the passagio, into the head voice. I want to see what happens. Will the student lift up / pull back and do a nice bridged movement, or will the constrictors engage or yoddling ensue? Some can, some cant on the first few lessons, it depends on the individual.

4. Once into the head voice, can the student configure the larynx in such a way that we get some connectivity (twang mode) and eliminate falsetto mode? Again, some can out of the gates, some can not.

Its a triage... that tells me where the intuitions are and where to begin working.

Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Can the student hear/match pitch? If they can not, we are in for a long, arduous haul and test of human will for both the student and myself. If the student wants to learn to sing bad enough, I will stay with them until we win this battle... but until you can hear/match pitch... the next three points dont even come into play for a long time...

... assuming they can hear pitch...

Hope this helps.

Well, I would say that the point is NOT if the singer can hear the pitch or not(because everybody can do that). It's the connection between what you hear and how you use your vocal technique to bring that to "life". I have a very good friend who plays the bass. And he has almost perfect pitch - but he can't sing in tune! Why? Well, he simply hasn't established the connection between what he hears and his vocal functions. :)

Just my two cents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your replies. I really appreciate it. If any one else would like to comment, that would be great.

Vocaltutor: There are very many skills which are more or less present in a singer. IMO, the best exercises for determining the 'more or less' for them are those which combine skills in small groups:

1) test for pitch recognition, pitch pattern memory, rhythmic patterns and intonation: Simple pitch patterns, starting with a small number (3-5) notes, sung on 'la' syllables in the middle range. Teacher plays the pattern on the piano, student echoes back notes and rhythms as played. This is best presented as a game., with patterns becoming longer and more chromatic.

2) Intonation precision: Any melodic pattern with decending minor 3rds or 2nds, as in sol-mi, or doh-ti. Any melodic pattern with an ascending whole steps, as in doh-sol-la, dwelling on the la. Also doh-re-mi. Both these kinds of patterns will reveal flatting.

3) Vowel formation habits, song memory & diction clarity: Have the student sing the first few lines of a locally-well-known song.

4) Registration freedom, tension & posture: soft, clear, smooth slides on Z or V consonants, from the bottom of the range to the top. Listen for tone continuity and watch for physical tension & postural issues.

5) musical imagination & expression: Discuss their favorite song & what about it they like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...