A new term

I started this week on Monday singing at 3 Anzac day services around Traralgon. I feel this is a real honour and privilege to be able to participate in the ceremonies in this capacity.  A big thank you to Sophie, one of my students, who sang at Tyers.  The crowds were very large this year, which was wonderful to see. Two years ago we were standing out the front of our neighbours house with the last post being played by a family member. I felt very proud to be able to sing the National anthem. Australia is a wonderful country, and we should be grateful for what we do have, in spite of all the turmoil going on in the world. We should also be extremely grateful to those who  have defended and continue to defend our country.

I have absolutely loved being back in the singing studio this week. Students were very enthusiastic to get back to singing, and it is so good to be pretty much back to normal. I love that I get to work on such a variety of songs with my students – whether it be Itty Bitty Kitty Unicorn with my very young students, to Titanium or All of Me, to Time to say Goodbye.  I have an extremely limited number of places available for lessons, so get in quick if you would like to have singing lessons. Whether it be just for fun, or you would like a serious career in music, get in touch with me and we can discuss how I might be able to help you.

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Here are the songs I mentioned in this blog post

Pretty Itty Bitty Kitty Unicorn can be found at the Full Voice Website

Songs for Valentines Day

I hope you have a wonderful Valentines Day

Here are some love songs throughout time that you might enjoy listening to.

Adele Lovesong

composed 2011

At Last

composed 1960

Beyonce sings Ät Last

Tell me the truth about love

composed 1938

Jocelyn Freeman: Tell me the truth about love Benjamin Britten

Loves Philosophy

composed 1905

Dedication (Widmung)

composed 1840

Confidence

Singers need to have confidence.

What is the true meaning of confidence?

Confidence means feeling sure of yourself and your abilities — not in an arrogant way, but in a realistic, secure way. Confidence isn’t about feeling superior to others. It’s a quiet inner knowledge that you’re capable. Confident people: … know they can rely on their skills and strengths to handle whatever comes up.

When people are listening to music or watching a performance, the experience is that the listener is focused on the singer first. That means that the instrumentalists are more in the background.

That means, if we are singing solo, the pressure is on us to perform well.

Singers must remember lyrics and work with an instrument that we don’t always have control of. We don’t get the feedback like you do when you are playing an instrument external to our body.

It is harder for us to sing higher; we have to be in great shape, feeling well. If you want a higher note on a piano, you simply push the key.

The singer is the one who must connect with the audience. We are the ones telling the story.

That is stressful, as it can be difficult to make that connection, especially when we don’t feel fully confident in ourselves.

Confidence is about making sure we are as prepared as we can be before going on stage.

If you are worried about aspects of your singing and don’t have true confidence both technically and expressively, there can be the concern about failure.

True confidence comes with mastering your instrument technically. This means feeling good about what you want to sing on a regular basis, whatever that is.

When the singer makes a mistake, it is noticed. Of course, we will always experience mistakes on stage, it is part of life. No one is perfect. But we need to have the confidence to be on stage, present our songs, and be confident, so that when we have those moments, we can shake it off and keep going.

Confidence is knowing you have the flexibility and versatility to sing what you want to sing.

You need to know your songs well. You don’t want to be struggling to remember lyrics, or not knowing what the melody line is. You need to memorize your songs, so that you don’t have to worry about reading them.

Mental confidence comes from doing something a lot, so much that you have prepared yourself and don’t even have to think about it.  You can’t be worrying about whether the note will be there.

You also must give yourself permission to fail, and you also need to give the audience permission to not like you. Remember that you won’t please everyone. Not everyone will like you.  And you must let go.

There will be some in the audience who will love you, and you need to sing for those people.  Remember its not about you, its about your audience and how you are there to connect with them.  Don’t worry about yourself, connect with the lyrics, the emotion and what you are trying to share.

 

I hope you have experienced the joy of connecting with a singer and being touched by the song they are singing. You are in the moment with them. If there is a wrong note, so be it. They just let it go and keep sharing. That is what is important.

That is what great singing is about.

30DaySinger.com Online Singing Lessons

Sing like Adele: Easy on me

Today we are going to have a look at a very small section of Adele’s song Easy on me.

We are just going to do the very beginning of the chorus:  Go easy on me baby.

There are a couple of things to look at in this small section of the song.

It’s a great song, and if you haven’t listened to the whole song you can click on this link to listen to it on you tube.

The song is in F major, and this phrase begins with the tonic note, which is the beginning not of the scale -F and then you sing up a fifth, or leap up, which is the fifth note of the scale which is C.

You will find fifth intervals in lots of songs. Intervals are important to practice so that when we sing them, we land accurately on them.

Practice on the sound ng, which is the sound at the end of the word sing. The sound is closed (the tongue and soft palate are together) but you can open your mouth when you sing. This aims the sound into the front of the face.

You want to glissando (slide) up and down.  As you go up, think more like you are landing on the note rather than revving up a hill.

 

Onsets

When you are attacking a phrase, especially one that begins with a vowel, there are a number of different ways you can sing it.

  1. Clean onset: the vocal chords come together cleanly with the sound to make a smooth, light and clear sound. To do this, connect the two words go-easy, like one word to keep it smooth.
  2. Aspirate/breathy onset. Air is pushed through the vocal chords to make a breathy, airy sound. Adding a h also makes it even more breathy.
  3. Glottal onset. The vocal chords come together quite hard to make a very strong and hard sound.

 

 

A great book for beginning singers

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30DaySinger.com Online Singing Lessons

Vocal Night 20th May 2021

It is with great excitement that I can announce the first Singing Strong Vocal Night for 2021.

It has been a long time since we have been able to hold an in person concert and I am so looking forward to

hearing everyone sing.  I am sure you are too.

The performance will be on Thursday 20th May at 6.30pm at the VRI hall, 18/20 Queens Parade, Traralgon.

This is a casual evening, where students are given the opportunity to perform in front of an audience.

Tea and coffee will be available.

Bookings are essential and tickets are online at TRYBOOKING. Click here to book your tickets.

Singers, family and friends must all book a ticket as there is a limit on the number of people who can attend.

There will be a COVIDsafe plan in place.

The tickets are free, but I would ask if you are able,  please make a small cash donation at the door to assist with covering costs.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Mary

Singing Strong

5 terrific tips for 2017

From the movie “Sing”

 

 

 

 

 

Hi there!  Only a couple more days to 2017.

Eeeek! I cannot believe how fast this last month has flown and we are almost at the beginning of a new year.

I hope you have all had an absolutely fabulous 2016 and are excited about 2017. I have been doing a lot of thinking recently and am trying to get planned for next year.  I am notorious for just floating along and when I have a great idea I just do it. However this can be a very dangerous way to live as there is always a great rush to get it done, I’m not planned and I often don’t do things as well as I would like. Being prepared and organized helps things to flow better and a lot more can be achieved.

So my first terrific tip is:

1. Plan ahead.

Start thinking ahead now. What would you like to achieve vocally in 2017?  Analyze what it is (make sure you are specific) that you would like to improve/achieve next year.  Write it down, plan it out.  Do you need to work on your breathing?  Would you like to extend your vocal range? By how much? When? What will you need to do to fulfill your dream?

2. Organize a practice time you can stick to every day.

Part of the reason we don’t have the success we would like is that we fail to practice.  There is no getting around this, if you want to succeed you have to put in the work.  Work out a time that you able to set aside each day to work on your skills. Then stick to it.

For some more tips and ideas on better singing practice, click on the link below.

click here for tips on singing practice

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Have singing lessons.

This is important thing to do.  There are many articles and videos on line about how to sing better, but none of these offer something very important. That is feedback. It is vital to have a mentor that can work with you to analyze and then work with you to improve your singing voice.  I know when working with students that I am constantly asking questions and guiding them to hear what a good voice should sound like, tweaking and adjusting constantly. If you don’t have any feedback, how do you know if what you are doing is correct? To have lessons one on one with Mary at Singing Strong  click here to register.

 

4. Listen to lots of music

Make sure you are always listening to good music.  Think about the artists you like and listen to them.  LOTS! There are plenty of ways to listen to music.  You tube, Pandora and spotify are just a couple of examples of places you can listen to your favourite music.  Take some time to analyze what your artists are doing that makes them a good singer.

This is my favourite song at the moment and a song I definitely want to learn.

Think about what styles of music you like and then:

5. Choose repertoire

Decide the songs you would like to learn in 2017.  Think carefully about the style of music and level of difficulty.  Aim to find at least 5 songs you could work on. Plan out the year as to which month each song will be learned by.  Remember it takes time for the body to get used to how you sing a song.  I always say allow 6 months for a song to feel right.

 

Do these 5 things and you are well on your way to singing success in 2017.

 

Want to get 2017 off to a great start?

Singing Strong is offering a Summer Singing Intensive from Monday 9th January to Friday 13th January 2017.

Five days one on one with Mary for an hour each day.  You can do this with Mary in her Traralgon Studio or on line.

There are only a few places left.

Mary Mirtschin

Work on vocal technique, performance skills as well as learn a song in 5 days!

To book click here.

 

 

Newsletter Term 4 2016

singing-strong-is-on-facebook

Can you believe we have reached the last term for 2016??surprised

 

 

 

Singing Strong studio had a huge Term 3.

Students continued working hard during lessons, working on technique and learning new repertoire. This was quite a challenge for some as there were so many activities on this term.

A large number of students were involved in various Eisteddfods achieving great success.

I held a workshop about preparing for Eisteddfods and performing.  This was very well attended and the masterclass that was held was very worthwhile.

We ended the term with a dinner dance held at the Premier Function Centre. This was a terrific end to the term. It was fantastic to see student up on stage performing with a live band. The night was so much fun!

You can read all the details about these events and more by clicking here.

I have been adding some interesting articles on my BLOG.  The latest is about organizing a practice space at home and getting into a practice routine. Good revision before starting a new term.                   You can read it here.

Term 4 will be fast and furious.

1) CD production

I had said last term we would be making a cd. This will be done in term 4.

Last year we made a Christmas cd but this year we will be making a cd of various songs. Students need to choose the song they love to sing and then we will make a recording of it.  It can be any song, but would you please let me know what you would like to sing asap so that I can create a list.

 2) AMEB Examsshop-banner-1

There are a number of students completing AMEB exams at various levels this term and we wish them well with their studies.

3) End of Term Workshop

I will be holding a workshop day on Saturday 10th December.  This will be broken up into 3 sessions, each for one hour.

10am: 1st session will be for all primary school students.

11.15am: 2nd session is for any secondary school students.

12.30pm: 3rd session will be for all adults.

This will be an opportunity for any students who have missed a lesson during the term to make up this time.  For any students who have attended all lessons, this is a bonus session for you.

4) Performance Opportunity

Our major event for the year was held last term, however I would like to do something for the end of the year. I will be organizing some small concerts that will be held at various nursing homes in the community.  I will send out dates and times soon. This will not be a huge commitment. You can choose which one you would like to be part of.  It is not a compulsory activity, but I would like to see as many students participate as possible.

Please note that the last lesson for the year will be the week ending 9th December.december-calendar

Why have a singing teacher?

I have been visiting various singing websites lately and have found many of them to have great ideas and ways to help singers.

One thing I have noticed on a couple of the websites is their claim that you don’t need to have face to face lessons to sing well, just watch my videos and you can become the greatest singer.  For me this is a one way street.

My comment to this is if you don’t know what you are doing wrong, you can never know what you are doing right.

Feedback is integral to good progress.  Feedback is the rocket fuel that propels the acquisition of knowledge and without it, no amount of practice or watching videos is going to get you there.

A singing teacher is not merely there to offer encouragement and assessing levels of concentration, they are also on the lookout for small technical glitches that may have escaped the attention of their student.

You can get the basics from reading material or watching videos, but I would highly recommend you seek out a singing teacher or at least a mentor who can give you appropriate feedback and guide you on your musical journey.

teaching singing

Can anyone sing?

boy singing with mic cartoonThe answer is yes.  If you are able to talk then it is possible to sing.

Singing is a skill that can be taught just like any other instrument or any skill actually.

I have worked with many students who wanted to sing but didn’t have the skills. Over time with study and practice these students became very good singers.  These students wanted to be good singers and they put in the time and effort required to get good at it.

I am an ok dancer. I can move in time to the beat and when I take time to go over a dance routine I can learn it reasonably well.  But I will never be a great dancer.  That is because I like dancing, but not enough to want to do it all the time and take the classes to become really good at it.  My daughter loves dancing, goes to classes, practices a lot at home and is becoming really good.

But I love to sing.  I have had lots of lessons and performed quite a lot and I have developed skills I need to be a good singer.

I will never be great at violin because I don’t have an interest in playing it. I would like to learn cello though.

I love to teach but I would be pretty useless as a nurse as it is something I don’t want to do.

They say it takes around 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.  I think that this is pretty close.  If you were to ask anyone who is an expert at something, they would probably tell you these sorts of hours.  They would be working on their craft every day over a long period of time.

Learning how to sing well is like any instrument.  You can’t expect to become a concert pianist with a weeks worth of practice.

When you look at the lives of some of the famous singers who are really good at their craft –  you would discover that most have been singing since they were young children. They sing all day every day, listening to music and singing along, they probably go to voice lessons and are involved in any performance opportunity they can.

If you would like to be able to sing reasonably well, in tune, yes you can learn.  You probably don’t need to spend 10,000 hours.  Maybe 100 hours would be a great start.

How good you get depends on how much you want it. How much is your desire?  Are you willing to do what it takes to get really good?

 

Here is a video of  Jessie J at 15. You can tell she has been working on her craft for many years already.

Another video of a young Jessie J

A more recent live acoustic performance.

 

Dream!