It’s the end of a fantastic year and as we head into the holiday season, let’s make some time to reflect on our vocal health and what changes we can make for 2020! Join the discussion! Please let us know your questions ahead of time, or jump on the live chat with us! Click here to watch our facebook live at the Surrey Voice Clinic alongside Sherri Zelazny, Surrey Voice Clinic Clinical Director.
I have been teaching for a decade and I can always tell when a client comes into their lesson having practiced. It makes a HUGE difference to their progress and their vocal strength. Many of you sing everyday, are consistent with your practice, and you can already tell how much you’re progressing. Since you only come for a lesson once a week, or once every two weeks, it’s so important to have a structured practice regime outside of your training sessions.
This is the beauty of having your lesson recording. When listening back, try not to focus on how you sound in the lesson recording, and focus more on what the exercises feel like as you sing along. If you like to take notes, jot down some of the coaching tips I give you as you’re singing. Or make a mental note of what coaching points are always repeated, chances are those are habitual patterns that need to be worked on.
Here are some tips to help get you started on a more regular focused practice.
1) Pick 3-5 days at the start of your week and schedule in your practice times (no less than 3 days per week) – yes actually type or write this into your schedule, the time in which you are going to be practicing
2) Aim for 20-45 minutes of practice – with periods of rest – this may increase to one hour as you advance – always make time for short increments of vocal rest during your practice – straw work and sips of water etc.
3) Don’t go straight to your songs without working through the scales – scales are going to help you progress better in the songs
4) Listen and sing along with the recorded sequence of exercises:
5) Listen to the song(s) you are learning – active listening is paying close attention to the melody, follow along with the sheet music or lyrics, what is the singer doing, where does the song go?
6) Practice along with the singer – if you don’t have the correct melody, go back and listen to it again, if there is a riff that you need to learn, practice it slower – do you have precision and clarity on each melody note (approach notes and ‘not so important notes’ too!)
7) Having trouble on that one note? – take out the lyrics, and practice along with the vowel consonant combinations assigned (more details will be given in the application portion of the lesson)
8) Practice phrase by phrase, slowly – over and over again (3-5 minute increments)
9) Write down what came up for you that was challenging and bring that into your next session (you can also bring your practice journal in to share your progress)
10) Remember to have fun! The process of training is exciting and should be enlightening! Your voice will get stronger and more balanced and you will be able to sing more challenging material. Do not rush the process. Aim for progress vs perfection!
11) Change is good – if it doesn’t feel different from what you’re used to doing, chances are you aren’t making progress. Use this practice time to build better habits and better muscle memory which is going to feel different from how you approached singing before.
Thank you to all who attended our Singing After Vocal Injury webinar!
Thanks again to Sherri Zelazny from the Surrey Voice Clinic for co-presenting with me on such an interesting topic.
Thank you to all who attended our Vocal Health for Professional Voice Users webinar. I was happy to host this as Sherri Zelazny presented on a topic I am so passionate about. Here is the replay in case you missed it! Lots of great information on vocal anatomy, understanding your instrument and how it works, plus vocal pathologies. My personal favourite was when Sherri covered voice myth busters!
Thanks again to Sherri Zelazny from the Surrey Voice Clinic for her wonderful insightful presentation!
Please join us for a free and informative webinar on vocal health. Learn the latest and greatest info on voice therapy, and innovative vocal health strategies from Sherri Zelazny. If you are a voice user or voice professional don’t miss this free opportunity to learn more about your instrument. Bring questions if you have them!
Sherri Zelazny is a Registered Speech Language Pathologist with more than 30 years of experience. She pursued advanced clinical expertise in the area of Voice and Laryngeal Airway Disorders at the University of Wisconsin Madison Voice and Swallow Clinics. Her areas of special interest include voice evaluation and treatment, paradoxical vocal fold motion, voice therapy for Parkinson Disease, and community education.
Alida Annicchiarico is a vocal consultant has been a private voice instructor for over 12 years, based in Vancouver, Canada. A graduate of UBC, a Certified Vocal Mentor Instructor as well a member in good standing with NATS, she has worked with some of the world’s top groundbreaking voice instructors as well as vocal health professionals. She is passionate about helping singers and performers to understand their instrument better and train so they can avoid vocal fatigue or injury.
Click here to register.
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Are you a professional singer that has experienced vocal fatigue or vocal health issues in the past?
Alida Vocal Studio is pleased to offer 30 minute Vocal Rebalancing Sessions.
From July 9th to the 23rd receive $20.00 off using the promo code: SUMMER18
*offer valid for new clients only
Don’t miss this opportunity to tune up your voice and get it back into shape!
Sessions are held in person or online via Zoom.
In her best selling book Mindset – The new Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck outlines the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is the belief that what you are capable of is a fixed trait, like eye colour, you’re born with it and you can’t change it. Whereas a growth mindset is like a muscle, when you put in the hard work and effort, your abilities can grow and flourish.
Singing is an activity that is notoriously known for being either you have “it” or you don’t. In other words, the genius singers were singing from the moment they were born.
Yeah right, nothing can be further from the truth. Btw, check out this great diagram:
Getting back to singers….take any genius singer and Wikipedia them and find out about how long they have been singing for and their training and background….
And even if they and “talent” (whatever that means) they were most likely brought up in an environment that encouraged singing daily (whether at home church or school)
(Ps…parents don’t ever discourage your kids from singing even if you think it sounds bad….children need to be encouraged to use their voices….more on that in a later blog)
When it comes to growing as a singer here are some SHIFTS that need to happen:
1) train – work with a qualified singing and voice professional weekly or bi-weekly
2) learn from the constructive feedback that you’ve been given – record your lessons so you can practice daily -find out what you need to improve on
3) embrace the vocal challenges – it’s not always going to be easy, keep going, keep working – the challenges are what make you stronger as a singer
4) keep going…did I mention keep going?
5) view other’s success as inspiring – don’t worry, there’s room for everyone!
6) When you hear a good singer, L I S T E N! Get inspired!
7) One more thing…ignore the haters….and only work with people who offer you constructive feedback and effective tools!
Alida is a vocal coach and singer/performer based in Vancouver, Canada and has been teaching private voice lessons for 10 years. A graduate of UBC School of Music, Alida is also a Level 5 Certified IVA Voice Teacher.
What if there was a miracle cure for all of your vocal troubles? Well there kind of already is…
The number one game changer for singers is vocal technique, that’s right, you’ve heard it before, technique technique, technique….
As much as we try to avoid it, we may be bored by it, confused by it, don’t want to bother with it, wanna warm-up and go straight to songs, have better things to do like scroll through insta feeds….
The truth is: your voice needs a daily workout.
-When we avoid technique, we’re avoiding the problematic areas that will show up for us in the songs…so you will always ‘miss the mark’ if you just keep practicing the song only.
-Technique prepares you for the challenges you face in the song!
-Also, it helps prevent vocal fatigue and injury…it makes singing easier!
Wanna game plan?
book your next voice lesson
record your vocal technique exercises with your phone during your lesson
practice those tools daily BEFORE you hit the songs
THEN…wait for my next blog….it’s coming soon….
in the meantime keep do steps 1-3
Alida is a vocal coach based in Vancouver, Canada and has been teaching voice to singers for 10 years. A graduate of UBC School of Music, Alida is also a certified Advanced IVA Voice Teacher.