Jump to content

Masterclass

Rate this topic


MDEW
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been watching Opera masterclasses on you tube. I don't like Opera (can't understand the different languages :P ). But what the teachers are saying is priceless.

Why can't we find something like this with songs like "SMOKE on the WATER" or "Waiting for a Girl like you"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny it should start with this performance. I am always reminded of Alfalfa in the "Little Rascals" running around hooting "I'm the Barber of Seville!"

She talks about tent poles anchoring out from the lowest part of the abdomen. So, motion and action in the abs. What a novel idea. Once she gets him to anchor tent poles, she points to his throat and asks, "What happened here?" And the answer was nothing. As it should be. Nothing in the throat. (Sounds familiar to me, anyway.) Which leaves the note to get to where it resonates, which is above the folds which would be somewhere in the vicinity of that 5 pounds of matter above the folds, i.e., the head. Especially, if you will notice, his mouth does not drop all that much, more of a sideways "Embouchre" to borrow from our recent discussion. Because these muscles also cause a retraction of the soft palate and uvula. Which leads me to another image. In that it is not so much allowing sound to go all the way into the sinus but also more properly exposes the hard palate which would normally be partially obscured to the sung note because of a low soft palate. The end result is a clean and balanced sound, save for whatever emotional effect you put on it. Sing it clean, at first, inflect as you feel.

And expression, sing what the role means to you. It's not just a recitation of notes or purely technical execution of notes, though it starts that way, in practice. You place each note in the voice and later, you inflect the emotion needed to tell the story. All good things that apply just as much to music outside of opera.

Thanks for sharing that, M.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was just one of many that I watched. I was actually hoping to find something similer with a rock type song. Nothing.

Even though the coaches would say the same things we read about here on the forum, it has more effect seeing their expressions and arm jestures when trying to convey the Idea. To see and hear the immediate results of a suggestion once the concept is realised by the singer is sometimes amazing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

coaches would say the same things we read about here on the forum, it has more effect seeing their expressions and arm jestures when trying to convey the Idea. To see and hear the immediate results of a suggestion once the concept is realised by the singer is sometimes amazing.

Yes, and imagine how even more powerful if you could be there in person. Which gives some credence to Felipe's suggestions of getting a coach or teacher. I would add, even if it's just for one or two lessons. And I would add my other standard proviso, as well - if you go to a coach, and especially if you are paying for the lesson, listen to him or her. For he (in general, English has no gender neutral pronoun) can hear and see what you are doing without the artifacts of digital recording and reproduction. There are no eq settings and compressor settings and reverb or echo other than whatever room presence to get in the way of him hearing what the result is and to physically see how you are breathing or not breathing.

And then, here's the hard part. Listen to that teacher, more than you would listen to us arm chair experts, though I understand people want "neutral" opinions from people not being paid to tell you how well you are doing. That being said, we are not really"neutral," as we each judge from our own perspectives. Listening is mental.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MDEW - You're right - the masterclasses are great. They are part of the standard musical development that was established and perfected over the centuries - always at the universities. And some private teaches outside universities have them too. There are masterclasses at GIT and Berklee where you will find rock and other modern music. However a quick search yielded nothing for me either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its harder to organize such thing mdew, there isnt really a standard of technique on pop, yet, and much less on the songs (which probably will never happen, otherwise it will not be pop music anymore). Interfering with support, for example, on someone that you never worked with could range from an understandment as in this excelent video you link, totally contrary views or a question on "what is support".

If you use classical technique, then you are better of viewing the masterclasses on pieces like those you are seeing the videos, since they have more complexity and allows the technique to be totally applied, and will be more general since they are split by fachs. The approach that works for me on smoke on the water will not work for others, for example, and others could have interpretative choices that I do not have.

However individual sessions addressing just interpretation of songs is very common, just not in a masterclass format.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have watched several of these. To be honest the sounds themselves are at times not appealing to me. That is just my taste but I do appreciate the advice given by the coach or teacher and I could tell listening to the singer when something was "Off". And I could tell when the singer would finally understand the instruction and why it was suggested.

I understand that in this structure there is a "Voice Type" preselected for the song and these singers have already spent at least the school year working on these songs before singing before the Coach. So in effect what is being corrected or worked on is more or less the "Icing" not the foundation.

Still it would be interesting to have someone like Robert, Ken Tamplin, or Seth Riggs to have a few singers of various stages present a song and see what happens with some of their suggestions on interpretation or technique.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have watched several of these. To be honest the sounds themselves are at times not appealing to me. That is just my taste but I do appreciate the advice given by the coach or teacher and I could tell listening to the singer when something was "Off". And I could tell when the singer would finally understand the instruction and why it was suggested.

I understand that in this structure there is a "Voice Type" preselected for the song and these singers have already spent at least the school year working on these songs before singing before the Coach. So in effect what is being corrected or worked on is more or less the "Icing" not the foundation.

Still it would be interesting to have someone like Robert, Ken Tamplin, or Seth Riggs to have a few singers of various stages present a song and see what happens with some of their suggestions on interpretation or technique.

If you watched the classical Master classes, they aren't so much about technique as they are about interpretation. When you watch some of Ken Tamplin's videos where he is working with one of his students and gives feedback and coaching to the student, it really is the same type of thing. I think with the modern way of giving voice lessons, via Skype, it would be hard to get everyone to the same physical venue to do a live masterclass. Maybe this is the modern version of a masterclass:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess the closest thing we are going to get to a Rock masterclass is either a youtube training session or a Google Hangout given by one of the modern coaches.

I have listened in on some of kens online "Lessons" also some of Jaime Venderas' hangout sessions.

Felipe is correct in the fact that they turn into debates on "Proper terms" or who is correct on the proper way to support......

But what ever information does come through is almost always easier to understand than written word. Sometimes the gestures that the coach gives are easier to follow than the words used.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds cool, Daniel. I can't think of anything except how to locate a pink cowboy hat. :P

I have a straw cowboy hat and a black 10 - gal stetson. And I do have cowboy boots but they are normal color for cowboy boots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey MDEW I'm thinking about doing a masterclass online. What are something's you want covered? I was thinking of just doing question and answer(demonstrate ) for 2 hours. What do you think?

What I thought was neat about these masterclass videos was that even though the singers sounded awesome to begin with, there were a few things that stuck out.

On one video the inflection was in the wrong place. The coach/teacher/first class opera singer, Asked the singer to repeat the phrase in speach the way they would in a real situation. After getting the student to understand the Meaning behind the words and the way the words were stressed in the wrong place and where they should be stressed the song took on a whole new life.

Another video the singer had her tongue too far in her throat and was muffling the sound. After the teacher had her sing with a more foreward tongue position the sound jumped in expression and clarity.

I realise that these are things that may have helped just that particular person, But too often we do not realise the small inconsistancies that we have.

If you really want to be original, you could have some of your students (or whoever shows up for this masterclass) sing a line or two of a song they have certain problems with and work through some adjustments.

I have seen a couple of Jaime Vendera and Ken Tamplins' on line lesson/hangouts where students will ask questions or they have a preset lesson/talk planned. The questions were answered and they did do a very good job but the students themselves never demonstrated their particular problem or had a chance to work through the problem.

Seeing a problem worked out live is easier to comprehend than written or stated words.

Getting back to the Opera Masterclass, sometimes the coach could not think of a word to describe what they were looking for from the student. So there were a few odd hand gestures and facial expressions followed by the teacher asking "You know what I mean?" and somehow the student got the message and "Magic" happened.

The magic I am speaking of is the comprehension of an unspoken thought. Not the so called Magic Pill that fixes singing problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes it does need to said to the student "You are not ready for that yet" "until you are ready do this".

Or maybe give them something that is close but more in their ability range.

In another Video that I watched there was a girl/woman who always sang in the head/falsetto voice. The coach was trying to get her to sing in modal voice to give her voice more body. After about 10 minutes of trying to get her to use "Speaking voice" and failing She said "I could just imitate a man singing", and nailed it. The coach screamed "That's it! That's it! you did it." She said "Why didn't you just tell me that in the first place?"

The point is, no matter how well a person thinks they are explaining something things can still be confusing to someone else. Watching someone else work through problems that you are also having can be more informative than having someone just tell you what to do or even show you what to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

nice!

this is what i've been trying to explain, explained differently yet. but this kind of support she's asking of him is initially very physically demanding. she's alluding to the transfer of tension.

if i had a person in front of me, i could explain that same concept. but to explain it in words alone ....?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joyce DiDonato is Awesome. Sometimes it is just the look in her eye and the waving of her hands that brings out the point she is trying to make. Then you have that AHA moment.

I am not that much fond of opera or this syle of singing but I really enjoy watching these masterclasses with Joyce.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

totally man...that's why i read book after book and watch video after video, to get those core concepts down six ways to sunday in all their perspectives, all the different ways....

not to confuse but to broaden my understanding, or substantiate my understanding or validate my understanding.

thanks for turning me on to her.

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...