Who’s Ready to Sing?

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Not only did I participate in my first Idle Tuesdays’ livestream tutorial video this past week, but I also led it!

A few weeks ago, I was scheduled to lead this live video tutorial on vocal warm ups. Since voice is my primary instrument, and I have given private vocal lessons before, I know that I did not have any reason to be nervous. Surprise!

I was extremely nervous. Every vocal coach I have studied with has taught me a variety of vocal exercises which I have benefited from, and I should have been thrilled that I had this opportunity to impart my knowledge to others on a subject I am fiercely passionate about. However, to go live on the internet is basically testing me to see if I actually know what I am talking about, and if I mess up, there is no turning back.

Ready in 3, 2, 1…Stop.

When all of the interns arrived at the studio, we gathered the equipment we needed and worked together to set up the studio room for the live video. When we were ready to go, we did a straight run through to make sure I knew what I was talking about, to fix any glitches, and figure out what kind of shots we wanted capture with the cameras.

During the run through, I kept stuttering, blanking out, and playing the wrong notes on the keyboard. It only made me feel worse about myself. However, with the support and encouragement from Emily and my fellow interns, I felt more confident about myself and my abilities as a singer. I was also relieved that Julia and Connor were also going to be on camera with me as my “students.” We had a problem with the Wi-Fi connection that resulted in a few false starts, but that did not stop us.

My team doesn’t run away from problems, but we work together to solve them.

After everything was fixed, we finally went live. I started off the video by introducing myself and the projects that the team has been working on, and then I introduced Julia and Connor. Julia explained that she was vocally trained through private lessons, and Connor explained that he does sing, but he is not vocally trained. This allowed me to think of exercises that would be beneficial to both the trained and untrained vocalists.

First, I led them through a few easy and simple exercises that would warm up the vocal cords lightly, such as humming, sirens, and lip trills. Then, we started incorporating vowels into our warmups and worked on forward placement with our voices. I expected the video to be boring because of my inability to be a funny person, but it turned out to be quite fun. We were all being goofy and we were enjoying the overall process!

What’s the big deal about vocal warmups?

Similar to how athletes stretch their muscles before a game or competition, vocalists should warm up for about 15 – 20 minutes before a performance, so that we don’t strain our vocal cords. Instrumentalists can easily repair or replace their instrument, but singers only have one voice, and once it’s damaged, it’s gone.

It is crucial to take care and maintain a healthy voice. Vocal warmups vary depending on what you want to work on, such as strengthening your tone, controlling your breath support, expanding your range, and reducing tension and vocal fatigue. It’s easy to skip the warmups, but you reap what you sow, and if you take the time and discipline to train your vocal cords, you will definitely reap the benefits.

As an aspiring studio singer and vocal coach, this tutorial video really helped solidify my goal to pursue a Masters in Music Education to equip me in becoming an inspiring teacher in the future, as opposed to a mediocre teacher.


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On March 5, 2018
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