TOP VOCAL TIPS – Number one!
To produce a better sound you need to ensure you do certain things.
Vocal Tip # 1: Posture
I am always saying to my own young children – Don’t lean, stand up straight!
My own parents and grandparent always said to me as a child, “STAND UP STRAIGHT don’t SLOUCH!”
For performers the truth is…….it makes you a better singer.
It’s vitally important to align your body parts and prepare them to support your sound, while eliminating tension. Tension not only makes you feel uncomfortable and affects your mood, but can greatly restrict air flow, making singing a chore rather than pure enjoyment.
Exercise: Find a wall and stand with your back to it. Place your head to the wall so that your chin is parallel to the floor. Open your shoulders and roll them back to the wall. Without allowing your spine to touch, slowly move your back towards the wall to straighten. Arms to your sides. Feet shoulder width apart, find your balance. Try to relax. The only tension you create should be in your abdominal muscles that are supporting your singing. It is more effective if you do this in front of a mirror. This can especially help you to visualize your stance after you see and feel proper posture!
So what two things can we focus on to enable your child to increase their confidence?
In Little Voices lessons one of our main aims is to instil and develop confidence into our pupils right from day one. This is done through structured lessons and informal activities such as games.
But how can you also help build and develop your child’s confidence?
1) Encouragement and Compliments are key to a child’s confidence in any subject. By focussing on what they do really well, they will start to believe. Once a child starts to believe in themselves they will start to achieve. This is why in the notebooks we have ‘www’ it stands for ‘what went well’ – this is key to a child’s confidence and all round development not just in drama and singing. In many ways at Little Voices drama and singing is the fun, educational vehicle used to help this fundamental life skill!
2) Focusing on the ‘Glass half Full’ is so crucial to a child believing in themselves and achieving. Concentrate on all the things that a child does really well. So for instance if we have a child who is playing ‘Oliver’ in the musical by the same name and he can’t do a Cockney accent it is not the end of the world. We need to concentrate and accentuate all the things that he does well when playing this character; his natural swagger, body language, characterisation, interaction with his other characters, well executed sung vocal solos with accurate diction, articulation, breathing and projection.
“What to look out for this Christmas when our children, or indeed we, put on a show”
We have all done it or been at a relative’s house when their children have done it or indeed we have got involved and……… “put on a show!”
The obligatory dressing up box, high heels, microphone, piano, keyboard, guitar and the important ingredient……… that all important …….. audience!
Even in your twenties, thirties, forties and beyond it is fun to have a jamming session or impromptu sing along with friends and family after a meal.
Wherever you are this Christmas, whether it is you, your 4 year old, your teenage son or friends make sure that you encourage that performance, give lots of praise and at the same time secretly watch!
Look out for the:
· Projection of their speaking or singing voice
· Confidence to sing or act alone
· Excellent breath control
· Creative imagination as they improvise songs or scenes
· Impressively crisp diction
· Natural musicality, rhythm, timing and intonation
· Innate Comedy
· Ability to rise to the occasion
· Spatial awareness and appropriate use of movement
These are all important aspects of performance and practise makes perfect. Performances of all types are crucial! Let this holiday season be a fun filled, impromptu performance one!
Well, it is interesting, you have exactly 60 seconds. Just 60 seconds to make a first impression and this is exactly what we were talking about to children in some Little Voices lessons last night. Making a first impression is crucial not just in examinations but in every area of your life.
It is why life skills and confidence is taught so beautifully in the setting of Drama and singing with Little Voices. We talk about exactly how to enter the examination room, how to present yourself in terms of posture, eye contact and energy!
It is statistically proven that over 70% of a first impression is created through one’s body language alone and over 20% by the tone of your voice! So that leaves less than 10% being about the words that you actually say.
Our children are so well prepared for examinations that they are not a ‘scary’ experience but an experience that they can handle with true professionalism (even our gorgeous Mini Voices children as young as 4 years old!)
We talk about ‘first impressions’ with the Voices and Little Voices pupils and explain all about the importance of their body language and delivery of their voice. We talk about being so full of energy and smiley as they walk smartly into the examination room and deliver their poem with the Mini Voices pupils.
There is a huge difference between the first time they practice walking into the examination room in a lesson sometimes dragging their feet or looking sad, to the end of a first impressions lesson!
These skills are easily transversible into a job interview situation or an interview for college or a new school! They never forget the tips given to them to create a first impression within 60 seconds!