Early Morning Voice Warmup

Such a beautiful day, the autumn air here in Oxley on the south side of Brisbane is soft and cool.  The sky is totally blue from every angle, and the birds are taking turns at singing its praises. So I thought, why not join in?  Here’s a podcast I created to share with you. I am doing my early morning vocal warmup, just to get some blood flowing to the larynx, warming up the vocal folds so that I can give them a bit of a gentle stretch.  It’s a fun way to bring your voice from that scratchy, croaking sound it tends to have first thing in the morning to a more full-bodied sound that you can take into …

Doing it anyway, in the face of fear

Just watched a very disturbing Ted Talk, in which the speaker proposes that if we all lose our fear of failure we can change the world – and that’s all you have to do. She’s speaking from the position of working with one of the world’s best funded Defence research institutions, where the failure concerned doesn’t seem to have any personal consequences other than the odd night of disturbed sleep. As for the rest of us, especially performers, fear of failure generally involves more than that. First and foremost there is the fear of looking like an idiot in front of an audience. There’s the financial cost, the time and energy lost as well as the disappointment that can be …

The Ending is just the Beginning

My thanks to The Living End for the headline above. I adore their latest cd, it keeps me bopping in the car (when I’m not listening to podcasts from the BBC World Service). So, The Voice Class 2012 Term 1 has concluded.  This was quite a stunningly eclectic class, with students from very different walks of life, and different directions for their vocal needs.  Live theatre, voice overs, seminar presentation and choral singing – our common ground the unique and wonderful voice of each individual. Preparation are now in hand for Term 2, which begins on April 16th.  As I explained to the students last night, we will return to basic principles, the foundational work for developing and caring for …

It’s hard work, so it had better be fun

The Voice Class has just passed the half-way mark.  We’ve established the basic principles of good posture, self-awareness as against self-consciousness, the physics of sound and the relationship between breath and voice.  We’ve learned the mini-vocal warmup, and begun the process of expanding it into the vocal maintenance program. A week ago, I introduced the students to my full vocal warmup, the one that was originally developed in Scotland by the members of the Golden Age Theatre ensemble. And we really were an ensemble, sharing ideas, energies, skills, experience to make theatre together.  The warm up began as a purely physical warmup, but I have developed it over the years to be a total, all-in-one program that serves as training …

You’re the Voice! Try and Understand That

Yes, I’m quoting John Farnham. Actually, I’m quoting Chris Thompson, Andy Quanta, Keith Reid and Maggie Ryder   – the people who wrote the lyrics. You’re the voice, try and understand it Make a noise and make it clear Oh-o-o-o, whoa-o-o-o! We’re not gonna sit in silence We’re not gonna live with fear Oh-o-o-o, whoa-o-o-o! (repeat until end of song) (courtesy of LyricsFreak) I was reminded of this, yet again, by a recent discussion on VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers of America) about the way some people can learn an accent (in the USA, this is referred to as dialect), for a role in a play, do it perfectly in rehearsal, but then slip up in performance. Changing the way we …