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4 Things You Overlook That Affect Your Singing Voice

4 Things You Overlook That Affect Your Singing Voice

After months of months of study and practice you are ready for your performance. Music learned and you are ready to be an expressive performer. Here are four things that you can do to give you that extra edge that you might have not focused on: 

  1.   Your Diet

We all know the adage, “You are what you eat,” but when you are a vocalist, “you sing what you eat.” There are foods you shouldn’t eat as a performer. Dependent upon how your body reacts to food, some examples could be fried foods, spicy foods, dairy, and food related to fats. Some can increase phlegm, upset stomach, cause heartburn, aggravate acid reflux, or even cause inflammation on your vocal folds. Any of these can throw you off peak performance level! 

  1.   Sleep

How many hours of sleep are you getting at night? If you are not getting enough sleep, you stand the risk of straining and damaging your vocals. Sleep is a special time for the body to relax, recharge and even repair. If you sing while you’re under vocal fatigue, you will end up damaging the quality of your voice, leading to loss of volume, lack of clarity, and poor tonal output. 

  1.   Coffee

Sorry! Coffee include caffeine—a nice way of spicing up your day. But did you know caffeine is a diuretic? That means it will dehydrate you, possibly leaving you with dry and irritated vocal cords. While it might be challenging for you to give up your daily Starbucks, it is one sacrifice we recommend if you are to perform well. But if you cannot give it up; then make sure you consume plenty of water to compensate for every cup of coffee you take.

  1.   Exercise 

One thing some of our voice teachers do at Cadenza is to start a workout session. The workout routine at home could include extensive aerobic exercises like swimming, running, or biking. Such exercises build and strengthen the heart and improve blood circulation. They also help in expanding the capacity of the lungs, keeping the airway clear as well. Since your lungs play an important role in your singing, increasing their function is always a wise choice. Being fit is always helpful to a performer!

Two Important Techniques to Enhance Vocal Ability

Two Important Techniques to Enhance Vocal Ability

Our voice, literally and figuratively, is one of our most powerful tools. This God-given gift we possess still needs to be nurtured and taken care of. Announcers, singers, DJs, actors, and more all undergo extensive training to enhance and develop their voice. Your voice is the foundation of your musical career! 

The voice is highly adaptable and extremely flexible. If you’re a great singer, or you aspire to become one, have no fear! Professional singers and teachers have designed many ways to improve the beautiful voice within us. Here at Cadenza, we’re happy to help from formal voice lessons to just a few tips. Here are three techniques to help you! 

Posture. Visualize your stance in front of a mirror. You might be reminded of your mom always telling you not to slouch. Our posture can sometimes represent, and even effect, self-esteem and level of confidence. But posture absolutely effects the voice. The body is your instrument – you must have good posture. So, standing up straight, shoulder blades back, sternum raised and rib cage expanded are very important.  

It’s very important to warm-up your voice through breathing exercises. Breathing is natural, of course, but it also can be made more efficient. Breathing and relaxing the muscles in your body helps you release tension. Although it’s a very natural process, we must learn how to control it when we sing. The best place to learn breathing exercises is a private voice teacher, but here is one: Breath in for 4 counts (remembering posture) and breathing out on an “s” sound for increasing amount (4, 8, then 12, then 16, etc.). Remember not to collapse your posture and don’t push! Stay relaxed.    

This is just the beginning to being a better singer and performer. Come experience the next steps at Cadenza! 

How to Overcome Challenges as an Adult Music Learner

How to Overcome Challenges as an Adult Music Learner

Too late to start music lessons? NO!

It is popular for parents to have their children focus on their musical talents while they’re young. But we also think everyone can agree that music knows no age. If you’re already an adult and you’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, it’s not too late. You can discover, develop and enhance that hidden talent that you know is there! It has been found that adults are actually better “students” because they have the ability to learn independently, requiring less supervision compared to teaching kids. Everyone knows the saying, “it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks”, as it has some basis in fact. However, that is not the end of the story and any good dog trainer know this is not true – so it certainly is not true for humans. We at Cadenza know the proper techniques that adults need to learn to play the piano.

The first thought that comes to mind for most adults is “I should have started to learn this when I was a kid”. As you grow older, a lot of demands are placed upon you. Family, work and social life, require a huge amount of our time and there are always things that take priority and our immediate attention. However, we sometimes forget to spend time with ourselves and give time to what we’re passionate about. For many, that is music. These commitments or real-life distractions aren’t considered absolutely negative, but certainly can hinder your pursuit of music. One should learn the sense of balancing and time management. If you’re working and studying at the same time, then you’re just one of the heroes of balance and focus.  Music learners should develop that skill and to play your instrument despite those many commitments or activities in your calendar. Make it routine to allot ample time and energy to learn playing that instrument anytime of the day.

Aside from the lack of time, mindset can be a huge setback for a new adult music learner. Embarking something new can trigger self-doubts. Adult music learners tend to recognize limits and struggles when mastering an instrument. When you learn to step out of your comfort zone, you’ll learn to accept that mistakes and failures will happen. You need to ignite that motivation and self-trust that boosts your self-confidence. Seek something that you can consider as an inspiration. Create a bucket-list of musical things you want to do then make daily goals to attain them. You can watch online musical courses or play along with your friends.

Money could also be an issue and could be harder to deal with. Since studying music requires investment, one must learn to be practical and find courses that are suitable for the set budget. If you wish to pursue your musical career in detail, you have just come in the right place.  Here in Cadenza we value your music learning more than anything else. Sign up and you’ll get the support you deserve as an adult music learner.

Peak Performance: Overcoming Musical Plateaus

Peak Performance: Overcoming Musical Plateaus

When we learn and start to acquire a new skill, just like playing a new instrument, everything seems to be exciting and fun at the beginning! We enjoy the sense of stepping up, trying something new, and are easily satisfied with our progress. Getting better at something we’re good at makes us feel smart, talented and feel like fast learners. But as the process continues the progress seems to slow down. It is easy to become unmotivated, impatient, frustrated.  There are certain times we wonder why we can’t just get better at that beautiful piano piece or sing that new song the way we want to. Self-doubts start to come in and you question your level of intelligence because you can’t keep up with the early pace of growth. Well, you just hit that “musical plateau” which can be the toughest part of your music journey.

But, believe it or not, it’s normal to feel like you’re getting nowhere. It is part of the learning curve. You may think that masters have not undergone that “musical plateau” when they started to learn playing music but they most certainly did. Musical plateaus commonly happen during the intermediate stages of learning. Some even experience it in their advanced learning stage. It can certainly be frustrating but with determination being stronger, you should be able to overcome the musical plateaus that are in your way towards acquiring a new skill or in playing your favorite instrument.

How to overcome musical plateaus? Most of us prefer our comfort zones. But comfort zones in no way contribute to the success of learning. You cannot just repeatedly play an instrument you’re already good at or sing that same beautiful song again and again. You cannot get better if you never try. Constant discovery of new things is one way to overcome a musical plateau. Try to move away from things that are easy for you. Move away from things that are comfortable. Explore a new genre or try to play a complicated piano piece and you’ll see you’re getting that same excitement back as when you first learned a new instrument.

Learning music doesn’t require you to be fast. One must be patient and flexible. It’s fine to slow down and understand that we all go through fluctuating levels of progress. Become a part of Cadenza and we’ll teach you some other helpful techniques to overcome that “musical plateau” you’re going through so you can deal with it in the future. Cadenza is willing to help you pursue that passion and your drive to musical discovery.

Listening to Classical Music – Music Therapy for Children

Listening to Classical Music – Music Therapy for Children

In today’s world, where everything is fast-paced and on-demand leads to plenty of distractions. Remaining focused, especially for children, could be difficult. Dependent on circumstances at home and school, those challenges can be even more pronounced.

 

There are numerous studies that show a meditation program combined with classical music can help these children focus. These mindful music moments could be done in different activities whether it be just listening to music or trying to align your breath, to feel and understand tension, or to relax muscles and calm the nerves.

 

These “mindful music moments” could be a great way to start the day as it re-centers everyone. Having kids listen to classical music every morning would allow them to take a deep breath, so they would not be in a frantically hyper mode at the start of the day.

 

Piano music is great for children with aggressive behaviors. Parents can play the soothings sound produced by a piano to help reduce aggressive tendencies. There are studies that shows that calm and respectful behavior also helps improve relationships with other children.

 

There are plenty of research studies that documented the effectiveness of music that could improve learning outcomes and enhance brain development. There is no school, no part of life, that is immune from stress and anxiety. That is why adding an orchestral or keyboard music to a morning announcement is one strategy to make school less stressful. The world will not be changing anytime soon, so we need to help children learn to cope with an increasingly frantic world.

 

We feel this should become a permanent program that schools could use every day, not just to start the day beautiful and relaxed, but so that these children will feel good and ready to learn throughout the day. We at Cadenza feel you can start this program at home now! Contact us for listening samples, setlists, artists and more!

 

4 Ways to Take Care of Your Voice

4 Ways to Take Care of Your Voice

Singing is a beautiful talent. It knows no age nor gender and transcends cultures and regions. The best part is that it can be developed by anyone. It is part of what makes us human. Singing is also socially beneficial since we can do it with our circle of friends and our family. It relieves stress and helps prevent many forms of depression. Singing simply lightens your hectic day.

Many people think that singing is only for a selected few, but we at Cadenza know they’re wrong. But, it does require some training and developing good habits to take care of your voice is part of that training. We cannot sing or talk without our voice, obviously. Even speaking with a hoarse voice sounds unpleasant to all who hear it. Imagine trying to sing! There are various ways we can take good care of our voice. We’ve narrowed it down to 4 ways to take care of your voice.

  1. Good breathing is essential. It regulates the different functions of your body. Relax and breath naturally. Pressure or heavy breathing dries out your vocal folds and can cause damage.
  2. Nothing beats taking home remedies (warm water with lemon, or ginger, honey, etc.) but the best among them is simply drinking room-temperature water. Hot water is not necessary and cold water is constricting to the vocal folds. Adequate hydration is a form of voice therapy. Avoid drinking coffee, or soda (or alcoholic drinks for adults) since there are tendencies it would cause a detrimental change in the quality of your voice.
  3. You are what you eat. It is vital that we follow a proper diet. Eating veggies and fruits, as they’re high in water content, lubricates your voice and keeps you healthy. Have you seen singers eating ice cream before a stage performance? Probably not. Eating and drinking food that is too cold or hot or sweets can wear out, dry, or increase phlegm on your vocal cords.
  4. Avoid misuse and overuse of voice. It’s best not to shout, scream or sing too loudly as it strains your vocal cords. Then, you end up with a hoarse voice and swelling. There are no nerve endings in your voice box so it doesn’t hurt to yell. You just wake up the next day and your voice is gone! Speak calmly with a moderate voice. You don’t need to forcibly sing if you still can’t. Rest is sometimes necessary.

We must follow these tips and keep them in mind to stay vocally healthy. It helps to eliminate the tension in our voice and benefits our overall health at the same time. And now that we’re aware of the benefits we can get, being consistency is the key. Now you are ready for a stage performance or singing that beautiful song in karaoke with your friends!