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September 24th, 2008

Sing! Sing sing sing sing sing!!!


My voice just figured out what "support" means in song and I sang my way through one very familiar grandiose-style song with way way more volume and clarity than I ever have before. In my life.

I am so excited!

I have always had a rather small voice, and was struggling with high notes (where that meant the D in the middle of the treble staff, or higher) despite my voice teachers generally dubbing me a mezzo-soprano. I sang alto because it was comfortable but even alto songs were sometimes out of my range (on both ends). A few years ago I picked up a vocal training CD set, and did some of the first practices, but didn't get very far; however it did give me a better body-sense of what singing should feel like. So I kept that in mind all these three years I've been singing at the Grove, as well as my own self-awareness, and also watching other good singers for how they used their bodies and how the sound sounded and how it seemed to come out... modeling off of them, to what extent I could. And for this entire time, I've been telling myself, don't push, just relax into it, let the sound come out on its own, stay loose.

Tonight I did some basic scales as warmups. I noticed that my strong range was about 4 notes higher than before; hitting the C,D,E,F with clarity, and F# and G with a little work. Squawk above that, so I didn't go there. Mostly I concentrated on keeping them clear and easy and strong. I played through several old familiar songs, playing piano and singing along, which is always a bit tricky as it splits my concentration.

Then I hit an easy song (easy to play, anyway, as it's slow) -- Sound of Music, "Climb Every Mountain." I picked out the easiest piano line, and focused on singing. And the sound came! A few lines in, I increased the piano volume and drama and matched it with my voice, and it just came! At least three times the volume I can normally sing; bright and clear, and... well, not easy, but definitely not strained.

The most fascinating part was how it made my belly feel; stretched like a drumhead while I was supporting a note, then open as I relaxed and breathed. I have never felt it in my diaphragm that way before. It never felt like I was yelling or straining; in fact my throat felt really good. And the volume! Oh wow the volume! No more mousy!

I can't repeat it easily yet, and I need a lot of instrumental support for pitch. That will improve with time and practice. But WOW I did it ONCE!! And my body "knows how" when I can get out of its way.

I have been wanting this since I was 12 years old. When I finished the song, I was so giddy from excitement that I was weak at the knees. *giggle* I literally bounced with excitement as I told Daniel what that just meant to me.




Jenny Brown

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