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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!

The Human Voice: Lesson for Kids

The Human Voice: Lesson for Kids

Introduction

Singing is an invaluable skill and something most children love to learn about. Teaching children to sing while they are young can foster a lifelong interest and love of music. Singing lessons not only help your child “carry a tune” or help them prepare for an audition, but it also builds confidence and discipline which can help them in everyday life.
Singing is absolutely a technical skill so it is best to provide professional help in developing your child’s voice. Paired with a little bit of guidance, the warmups and techniques below are great reminders:

The basics: Posture, and relaxed and open breathing.
The first thing you have to do before starting any singing practice is to get your instrument, your body, in the proper position. Posture is important. Think of it like a flute – how good would it sound if it was bent? How good would a violin sound if the string was not at the proper tension. The body is the same way. A teacher will help with getting the proper posture, and help your child to relax. Breathing properly is the next step – proper body awareness, expanded rib cage, open throat, and more are all needed. There should no incorrect tension in the vocal mechanism.

Practice breathing
It is in the overall interest of children to practice proper breathing when singing. The teacher will demonstrate ome breathing exercise for them to understand how to regulate breath whenever they sing.

• Get them to breathe in through their nose and mouth (opening nasal cavity) that elicits
the “cold air in” concept. Then breath out “warm air”, all the while keeping the throat open
and out of the way for proper resonance.
• Encourage your child to begin directing air into their belly instead of their chest.
Encourage them to place their hands on their bellies and ask them to direct air to their
stomach, so it moves. The shoulders should never rise and fall. It is best to practice this lying
down, but you can do it sitting too!
• Get the children to count when they breathe. Let them inhale for the count of 4 and
exhale (perhaps on an “s”) for the count of 4 to 24.

Warm up using a range that is comfortable
Range extension is a natural occurrence from proper technique and practice. The trick is not to push it too soon. Warm up on something like “la” or “loo” with exercises given to you by the teacher is the best way to improve.

Demonstrate tone and pitch through singing
Exposure to singing and music helps a child’s ear and ability to match pitch. If you have a nice singing voice (and ven if you don’t) feel free to sing around your child! Not only have they always felt comforted by your voice, but you can also sing to demonstrate confidence. First, sing songs that you know they love. You can sing your child lullabies each night and sing throughout the day as well.

But, even if you are not a good singer, you can always play to the child songs done by those singers that you enjoy as well. You can ask the voice teacher for suggestions of people with amazing technique to support the proper vocal ideal when you are at home. We recommend popular singers like Julie Andrews, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand, and Frank Sinatra. We also strongly recommend listening to classical singers like Luciano Pavarotti and
Fritz Wunderlich, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Bryn Terfel and Cecilia Bartoli.

Teach children about their Larynx
When you breathe in deeply, you just filled your lungs with air, and as you breathe out, the stored air travels back up across your windpipe (the trachea), which is your throat air passageway. The larynx is a box-shaped area located at the top of your windpipe. It is popularly called the voice box because it secures the part of the body that allows us to speak. In other words, the larynx is the foundation or source of your voice. Your larynx is that small bump that is on your throat’s front and is below your chin. The trick is to not focus on it too much, but also don’t ignore it so it gets too high and causes tension!

Your vocal cords
Inside of the larynx are two very thin, stretched out bands of muscles known as the vocal cords. Whenever you breathe in, these cords open to allow air passage through the larynx, going into the trachea and progressing down to the lungs. The vocal cords close when you breathe out and want to talk. The air from the lungs that are trying to pass over the closed vocal cords starts to vibrate, which create sound.

Just hum a bit of your best melody and touch your larynx. Are you feeling the vibration? Your vocal cords are like having a built-in instrument because just as you use your fingers to move the strings of your guitar to produce sound, so also you make your vocal cords to move to generate words.

Final thought
Cadenza Music Academy is fully committed to teaching and providing the best techniques in singing and piano for kids of all ages. We make it possible to bring the best experience in musical and singing opportunities into the lives of children. This will help you set them up for a lifetime of excellent brain functionality and incredible abilities that will last for the rest of their lives.

Sign up your child for music lessons at Cadenza Music Academy today!

 

Seven Helpful Tips While Practicing Singing

Seven Helpful Tips While Practicing Singing

Overall health along with intelligent practice is essential to improving singing. While singing may seem easy on the surface, it requires hard work and dedication. This article will discuss some tips that will assist beginners in becoming better singers.

1. Eat well before singing
If you plan to enjoy your singing practice session, make sure you consider the type and amount of food you eat. As is normal for overall health, start with the basic of eating healthy foods and drink plenty of water. Being too full or being hungry is not beneficial to energy or simply the
comfort and physical balance of the body. Some singers recommend staying away from foods that cause mucus build-up, meaning milk and such other dairy products, for example.
Absolutely singers should avoid alcohol and smoking. Both of those dry out the vocal mechanism resulting in higher risk of vocal damage.

2. Breathing properly
Breath control is integral to successful singing. Not only used a warm up and a necessity for efficient phonation (making a sound), proper breathing is great for overall health.

3. Range extension
Singers often think extending their range comes from “pushing” their voice. This only does damage and does nothing for extending the notes you can hit. The best practice is to sing through your assigned songs or your vocal exercises that emphasize technique (placement,
vowel modification, etc.) as you move higher or lower. The best practice is to just develop your mid-range and the outer notes will follow. You really should dedicate at least 30 minutes a day of dedicated practice.

4. Opening your mouth!
Many beginning singers don’t realize that by just opening your mouth more when you sing will allow more sound to come out! Beginning singers are so self-conscious that they hesitate to let their voice shine. While we don’t want to open too far, that causes unnecessary tension too!
“Two fingers” is about the distance between your teeth is all that is needed.

5. Keep your chin level with the floor.
Many people wrongly consider high notes as higher in your instrument and therefore “reach up” to them. This is wrong on every level. This usually shows itself with a raising of the chin and straining in the head and neck. This puts stress on the vocal folds, tongue, and all the musculature of the vocal system. Keep your chin parallel with the floor to allow for a more natural sound and much less tension in the sound.

6. Practice emoting
While this may seem silly, you need to practice being emotive during performances. Everyone can tell the difference when someone is singing from the heart compared to when someone is
just repeating the lyrics and melody. Sing in front of a mirror (better yet, even video yourself) to make sure the emotions in your heart are in your face and body. Imagine the audience in front of you and have eye-contact and practice being a performer.

7. Record your performance Recording your voice will allow you to know where you need to improve. Often the most painful part of becoming a better singer is listening to yourself! We are often our worst critic, so just do it, and listen with that critical ear. You will easily be able to tell what is working and what is not usually before everyone else other than your teacher. You can record your voice with your computer or an excellent Smartphone. Some online free recording software (Audacity, for example) also allows you to record your practice. While this may be the toughest one of our seven hints it usually provides the most growth so just do it!

Final thought
Practicing how to sing isn’t as difficult as you may think. However, you have to remember practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent. Perfect practice makes a perfect performance. So, practice well and these steps are a great place to start. At Cadenza Music Academy we can help you achieve your vocal training goals. If you, a family member, or a friend
are searching for singing lessons, Cadenza Music Academy is the place to call.