In two days I leave to teach a Yoga For Singers courses and perform with the Redwoods Opera Workshop. It is such a blessing to learn from and be inspired by an amazing faculty and to work with such talented singers each summer. Unfortunately, the program always begins just a few days after my voice studio has its end of the year recital performance, so my own personal practice and memorization time is always severely limited…… that’s why this crazy dance party is absolutely necessary.
I actually learned this technique from a yogi who was working on perfecting her dristi “focus” in balance postures. She would perform the poses while her friends ran around trying to distract her. The point is, if she could maintain her focus through that, she could handle anything. I started taking this idea into my own vocal practice when attempting to memorize quickly. I would stare at myself in the mirror acting as ridiculous as possible and constantly trying to distract myself. If I can keep the words in my head while dancing around the room, then those words are going to be seriously locked in there. It sounds nuts, but it works! It gets me out of “thinking” mode and into muscle memory mode, which is where the real memorization happens. Plus, it’s fun to dance around like no one is watching…. well, except you are watching. Ah well. Enjoy my ridiculousness and try it yourself. It’s fun!
A big thank you to this video of the Watch Duet I found on YouTube to sing along with. In the middle the Rosalinda makes a few sounds which are interesting…… but that way you could hear how the two parts of the duet go together.
This Sunday my vocal studio has their annual recital. 25 of my students, of various ages, styles, and levels, will take the stage to share their progress and their love of music with the community. As their instructor, I am both excited and nervous for them. Performing is such an intense experience. When you’re successful, it can lift you up and make you realize you have a strength and courage that you never thought possible. However, if you’re performance is not as successful as you’d like, it can break you down, make you feel inadequate, and make it difficult to keep the drive to move forward. This week, I am doing everything in my power to prepare my students both technically and emotionally so that they’ll enjoy the process and continue to love singing. In honor of their performance, here’s a silly song I wrote to help my youngest students remember the meanings of various musical terms. Can you figure them all out?
We all have something we struggle with. We all hold hope for something just outside our grasp. We all have wishes and dreams and things that we fight for. We all hope that, maybe this time, things will be different. Hold fast to that hope. Keep dreaming of the impossible. Maybe this time we’ll win.
Maybe This Time
This piece is so adorable. I always find myself humming it for no apparent reason…. maybe it’s because the piece starts out with a hum. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to get this song out of my head. To that end, I hope the catchy tune doesn’t get caught in yours. If it does, you can blame me. Or maybe you should blame the fact that you’re a little bit in love. 😉
A Little Bit In Love
Showboat was one of the first musical theatre productions I ever saw… which is ironic since it was one of the first musical theatre shows ever to be produced. “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” is one of those pieces which gets under your skin and sticks with you for a lifetime. I have loved it ever since that first hearing; and I will likely love it for the rest of my life.
Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man
When I was a little girl, my mom used to play the piano for me as she told me about my great-great-grandfather, the composer Antonin Dvorak. Little did I know I would grow up to sing his complete Gypsy Songs in Czech for my senior vocal recital at USC and to treasure his “Song to the Moon” as one of my favorite arias to perform. In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day, this week’s tune is Dvorak’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me”. Thank you mom for teaching me all those songs during my childhood. It truly shaped the course of my life. Happy Mother’s Day!
Songs My Mother Taught Me
10 years ago I won a local young artist vocal competition at the undergraduate level. The program gave me the opportunity to perform during a gala event along with the winner of the other divisions. When the winner of the high school level took the stage and performed “I Could Have Danced All Night” in her adorable circle skirt and vintage heels, I just knew that this girl and I could be great friends. A few months later, we were thrown together as assistants for the kid’s opera camp for the same company, and the rest, they say, is history. Over these past 10 years, we have become best friends and I couldn’t picture my life without her. I may have won some scholarship money that night, but the real prize was winning a opera-loving, yogi, soul-sister. I love you Miss Katelyn and I am so excited to create new memories with you this weekend and for the rest of our lives…. it’s a darn good thing our fiancés like each other too. Happy Wedding Week!!!!!!!!
Click I Could Have Danced All Night to view.