Saturday, November 29, 2008

performance anxiety

So, I am doing quite a bit of research right now about performance anxiety among musicians and I read a chapter in a fairly noteworthy book today describing performance anxiety as a type of social phobia, i.e., the fear of public humiliation. This makes sense to me logically although I had not thought of it in those terms before. I will have to think about the implications of this further.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

IPA Source

I just discovered a wonderful source for IPA translations for singers, IPA Source. And they have a free page with some free sample pieces in IPA each month.

IPA Source has the song in its original language, in IPA, a word by word translation and an ideomatic translation. It is a great source for singers and teachers alike.

Look for

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Forming Intention

I feel that one of the most critical things that I can impart to students is help them form clear intentions in their singing. Singing with intentionality informs technique, interpretation, and performance. Too often, I find that singers simply start singing without forming a clear intention beforehand. This leads to confusion, anxiety, and often, a poor performance.

At the beginning of study, it is important to allow the student enough emotional room to experiment and to notice what feels better, what sounds better. After a time, it becomes important to "ask" for certain sensations in the body that will allow the singer to produce the sounds that they desire.

The conscious "asking" is what I hope to instill in singers. A simple, non-technical exercise will help the student to understand the value of "asking" before singing.

Try this exercise. Write down a number of "intentions" onto separate 3x5 cards, using one intention per card. States of mind such as: "playful," cajoling," anxious," timid," etc. will suffice.

Select a number of cards for the student to work with. Have the student start with one intention, and begin singing either a vocalise or a song with that intention. Switch the intention several times during the vocalization.

Upon completion of the exercise, discuss with the student how the intentions helped, or hampered their abilities to sing, their feelings about singing, and their energy level during singing.

The student will come to an understanding of how much their intentions can affect them in their singing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 21, 2008 My first blog ever!

This is my first blog ever! Why blog? Why me? And do I really have something to say? I am a singer, a voice teacher, a recovering attorney, and a soon-to-be licensed psychotherapist (I hope!) Sounds like a lot when I write it down. Sounds like a lot in my brain, and in my schedule as well. These days, I teach voice mostly. Although, the other professions have a place in my life as well. I still research and write, for other attorneys mostly. And I will soon be taking the final exam for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist as well.

I am looking for a way to integrate my training as a psychotherapist into my work as a voice teacher. And though we voice teachers all laughingly state that all voice teachers really are therapists as well, I do believe that there is something to the psychology of singing. And psychology is a part of what goes on in the voice studio. This will be an area of exploration for this blog.

I live and work in the San Francisco Bay area and love it here. I often take my dog for walks down by the water. Alameda has a bird sanctuary and a nice trail for with lookout points for viewing. Both are just a few blocks from the house.