Save Preloader image

0%

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! 

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!

 

Benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness to Piano Playing

Benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness to Piano Playing

As most people are aware, Yoga has many health benefits. Most of those benefits related the physical health of those that use it. But did you know that Yoga has more than just those physical advantages? There are mental benefits as well!  

Yoga is partially known for being on of the most accessible and effective exercises for the mind. It elicits relaxation resulting in more efficient breathing and increased memory. Yoga is also closely tied to the concept of “mindfulness” which reduces anxiety and stress. Mindfulness and bodily awareness are both crucial skills for a musician. In a course of piano study, many are finding it advantageous to incorporate the concept of mindfulness. If one has an interest in Yoga or Zen meditation, “stillpoint” techniques are particularly relevant and engaging. These techniques create balance between mind and body which is essential to an excellent pianist.

The “stillpoint” concept originated from gentle hands-on therapy where the brain is shifted from a state of alertness to one of “calmness”. There is a sense of inner tranquility and peace where the fight-or-flight responses is set aside. A “stillpoint” technique has a significant role if it is integrated into yoga and meditation. How does all of this tie into piano playing? For some, it may never be a connection, it may even be unnoticeable at first. However, most admit you will come to witness and feel these benefits as you continue your study.

  1. Playing the piano with pure focus can sometimes be tricky. There are a lot of distractions that can arise from anywhere – most especially If you’re waiting for some alert from your phone a few inches away! Yoga can help practice concentration while practicing. You must find a way to support that concentration by setting aside all the possible forms of distraction. You can put your phone to airplane mode or switch it off – or better yet, in another room.
  2. Yoga helps overcome stage fright and nervousness before a stage piano performance. Players tend to be a bit worried about making mistakes – hitting wrong notes or forgetting transitions. Yoga helps you focus on understanding the masterpiece through keyboard patterns. Focus on what you can do, and the rest will come swiftly. It’s all in the mind.
  3. Proper posture is also one of the physical benefits of Yoga. It is extremely helpful because players sitting for too long can cause tension to the upper and lower back part of the body. Stretching the arms prevents tension and cramps in the neck, shoulders, wrists and lower back and are all helpful for pianists.

 

We have discovered that yoga and other relaxation techniques have a profound effect on the body. We strive to eliminate the stress and anxiety we encounter in the outside world when playing the piano. However, these distractions will always exist so it is great to learn techniques to lessen the effect of them. We encourage you, in your studies with Cadenza, to find the techniques that work for you!  

Cell Phone problems? Piano is the solution!

Cell Phone problems? Piano is the solution!

It’s summer and your child is on their vacation, taking a pause from the rigorous school year. But instead of relaxing and playing there are alone most of the time, scrolling through their cell phone in their own room. We of course want them to spend their time doing something they enjoy, but we as parents also want to help guide them and encourage them to do something worthwhile. How about letting them play by the guitar hanging on the wall or that untouched piano in the corner. Playing a musical instrument stimulates the brain and has many health-related benefits and  well-documented psychological effects. Playing music helps develop a person’s social ability. The ability to play an instrument has the power to attract a lot of people creating conversations and friends.

One of the effective ways to enhance the interest in playing the piano is to enroll your child in a music school. With the guidance of a music teacher, your child can begin this journey by taking up lessons in a fun, supportive, learning environment. Learning doesn’t only happen at school, we must also teach our children to continue practicing and learning no matter what they do. It’s also effective to do it at home, watch piano lessons through videos and practice playing by themselves. Allowing them to also learn them at their own pace, and to explore their own creativity, results in growing independence.

Intellectual and Physical Benefits

As a child spends time with his/her peers, they learn to interact thus developing a sense of cooperation and nuances of communication. Piano players are known for being efficient thinkers with higher than average memory and decision making skills. Piano study in particular increases your creativity and has shown significant improvement in a child’s intellect and academic performance.  Studies also reported that playing the piano improves reading comprehension and vocabulary. As anyone can notice, you must understand the notes in a musical piece and translate them to the keys while you play – the eye-hand coordination is impressive!

Mental and Emotional Benefits

Playing the piano promotes creativity that improves imagination which has been shown to reduce stress and depression which is becoming more common in teenagers. Learning to play the piano or any kind of instrument produces endorphins – and we need this hormone to fight the isolation and heaviness of the world around us. The happiness from playing the piano will never change. As your child grows older, both  will cherish this skillset. It can be a source of entertainment for a lifetime and they can then possibly pass on what they learned to their own family and future children. And it all started with you!

Get off the cell phone or the video games and learn an instrument at Cadenza today! Call to set up your first lesson now!

Pin It on Pinterest