Tuneful Tuesday Week 11: “Watch Duet” memorization dance party

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.

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Tuneful Tuesday Week 6: Songs My Mother Taught Me 

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

Tuneful Tuesday Week 5: I Could Have Danced All Night 

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. 

Tuneful Tuesday Week 4: Still Hurting

This piece is such a powerful ballad. I’ve sung this piece to myself on so many bad days. We all have those moments when we feel like the weight of the whole world is on our shoulders–like life is spinning out of control and you don’t know where to turn. The pain, grief, and loneliness can consume us and leave us still hurting while everyone else is moving on. But, when those moments come, turning to song and letting out those emotions and thoughts can be so cathartic. Click Still Hurting to view. 

Tuneful Tuesday Week 3: She Used To Be Mine

2016 was one of the hardest years of my life. When Sara Bareilles came out with her album “Waitress,” I would listen to this track over and over again as giant tears rolled down my face. This song spoke to me like no one else could and it reminded me that others shared the same fears, pain, and heartache. It was the balm my aching soul needed at the time. I have a feeling this piece will hold a place in my heart for the rest of my life. 

Click She Used To Be Mine to view.