*A Musician’s Note…*
*Understanding Your Voice.*
Voice is the sounds produced through the mouth by speaking or singing. The voice is an instrument like a trumpet or a violin. It possesses an extra ability because it can frame words and pronounce them simultaneously with the tones.
Conventionally, there are four (4) Categories of Voices. They are as follows:
1). Soprano: The highest female voice. The normal range of the soprano is about two octaves with its lowest note at middle C.
2). Contralto: The lowest female voice. Its lowest note is from F below middle C.
3). Tenor: The highest natural adult male voice starting usually at C below middle C
4). Bass: The deepest or lowest male singing voice. The range is about two octaves with the lowest note usually an octave and a 6th below middle C.
Other Sub – division are:
Mezzo Soprano : The term mezzo soprano is used for a female voice that has a range between the Soparano and Contralto.
CASTRATO : In olden days male sopranos who were castrated as boys in order to keep their soprano voices were known as CASTRATI.
FALSETTO : This is the voice normally cultivated by male. Light voice above the normal tenor range. Their normal pitch sounds like an unbroken voice. Tenor with a very high range. Also known as counter tenor or male alto.
BARITONE: This lies in between TENOR & BASS.
*Question of note:* Is it right for a lady to say her voice is tenor or bass? Or for a man to claim that his voice is Soprano?
When you combine your PITCH LEVEL (PL) and your VOICE QUALITY (VQ), you arrived at your VOICE TEXTURE & RANGE.(PL +VQ =VT &VR). As a singer, knowing your voice Texture (VT) and Vocal Range (VR) is of paramount importance because it becomes easy for you to know the song you will be able to deliver excellently and you will stop trying to be like every other singer you listen to or otherwise. Know that it is not every song you hear that you will be able to deliver excellently or exactly. Your VT and VR may be different from that of original singer. Voice Specialist believes that no two voices could exactly sound alike since no two people may have exactly the same size or shape of vocal cords and resonators. Your tonal quality may be dependent on the shape and condition of the resonators.
*Things to AVOID as a SINGER*
1). Don’t Sing out of your range. Save the high notes for when you can sing them because you can end up damaging your voice.
2). Don’t eat heavy meal or avoid prior to performance because it can make it harder to control breathing and projection.
3). Avoid shouting.
4). Rest your voice when ill.
5). Severe Coughing can injure the vocal cord.
6). Avoid tea, Coffee and alcohol before singing as these can have a dehydrating effects.
7). Avoid extremely cold water.
8). Listen to singers with good voices on a daily basis.
9). Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and voice lubricated.
10). Rest – Have a sound sleep naturally.
SOME KEYS TO PRESENTING A GOOD PERFORMANCE…
A good performer appears to fill the stage. Many singers captivate their audience by using movement and facial expressions. This draws the audience to focus on the performer.
This is the term used to explain feelings in your voice. Use your natural emotions to enhance the way you perform your songs. You can achieve a bright sound in your voice just by smiling.
Use of Audience Participation –
Create a room for audience participation. Get your audience involved in singing, clapping, dancing, waving and shouting with you. Walk among the audience, talk to them and sense their response to your music. Remember, worship is a participatory activity.
Sing With Confidence –
The most difficult part is getting up to sing in front of an audience for the first time. Once you have achieved this, the subsequent ones will be easier.
Stage Fright –
If you know the song really well but still nervous of performing in the front of a crowd, then focus on an object slightly above the audience instead of their faces. If you also find yourself shaking when you are singing, move around a bit and smile. It will help you to forget your nerves and make you look confident. Peradventure, you forget the melody, lyrics or sing out of tune or beat, do not fluster or stop, continue and smile as if nothing happened. Be Courageous.
Dictionary describes CHARISMA as a personal attractiveness that enables you to influence others.
Do I have charisma?
Everyone has Charisma to varying degrees. For instance, an individual who is normally considered quiet may come alive on stage to produce an exciting performance.
First impressions count. How you look and carry yourself both on stage and off stage may be the first thing that the audience sees. Wear clothing (Costumes) that is comfortable and enhances your appearance.
Talk to your audience. Introduce your song, this gives you instant rapport with your audience and builds your confidence.
*Points to Remember When USING Microphone*:
1). Pointing the MIC towards a speaker when you are too close causes a high pitched noise called FEEDBACK.
2). Avoid having the volume too high.
3). Do not hold the MIC too close or too far from your mouth. Although, distance is dependent on the individual’s natural power.
Rejoice always & keep singing a new song!
*Shared by COLLS Music Academy_the music hub, Liberty Stadium, Gate J- Main Bowl Manual Scoreboard Building, Ibadan-Nigeria (The World class Music Academy & best Live Room for Band Rehearsals down town).*
We are going to do a study on this
Music Director move your team from the level of teaching songs at rehearsals to a level where everyone coming for any rehearsal have mastered their arts before arriving. Now, I’m talking effective and efficient rehearsal here. If you still want to keep your choir or team at mediocre level, then keep teaching songs line by line every time. Keep telling them repeat after me, “All Things Are Working for my good” 1,2,3 gooooo…
Keep doing “oya”repeat after me”. You will be successful at raising a team that will not be self-dependent. They will sing the songs but will not know anything about music. They will always need the MD to be around.
That kind of Choir will never be *global.* You can’t raise music giants that way. Your singers can’t develop great singers and instrumentalists that way. You don’t raise professionals and music icons that way. Only lazy singers will give 1 million excuses for not scoring the song and for every excuse u give u are excluding ursef from the next level u desire. Never say, ” Just teach us what to sing and we will sing it”. *No I will not.*Stop spoon feeding your team. Teach them to be like you. To be able to stand on their own like you. You didn’t become good by waiting for someone. You took the bull by the horn,stayed awake did all you had to until you *handled it*
Some instrumentalists just believe they are good and no song is difficult so they wait till they get to rehearsal before listening. They now start approximating and playing the chords of “Olori Oko” to “He Turned It”. They call it ” IMPROVISING” in the name of being creative. Wehdone sir, Mr Crazetivity. *Hear me!!* You be lazy man sir…
Every music director must insist on certain things. First teach your members how to score music on their own. _Train them_.
Make it a rule that no one appears at rehearsal without knowing the song. What are they coming to do in the first place? To eat yam???
It may take awhile depending on several factors for your team members to master scoring songs on their own, let them still do it. It may be plenty work but _don’t listen to those who complain or give excuses_.Did it take longer yes, was it work… Yes more work but I’m particular about building people not just singing well or rehearsing “sharp sharp” Listen! there are no short cuts to being a Professional. if you are professional you are professional if a are an amateur u are an amateur. There’s no middle ground.
You may have a separate rehearsal for instrumentalists and for singers then bring everyone together to do the song. While rehearsing please let everyone understand the groove of that song, the body gestures needed and how to interpret it. Some people have only 2 dance steps in all their life. Its either they are moving left and right or up and down. Rehearsal is not just for singing. Perfect your dance as well. Get the best body movement or dance for each song when necessary.
Make your rehearsals effective by being deliberate about all you do. No one should be jobless at rehearsal. You must be adding value and doing something.
*Rehearsal actually begins at home and in your mind before you come into the team meeting.*