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HI, I'M JORGELINA
WHERE ARE YOU AT IN SINGING
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Singing, like any discipline, is a constant work in progress. I am amazed at the wealth of singing resources available for us that can make us better singers just by tweaking a couple of things here and there. As a singing teacher, vocal coach, and professional singer myself, I am constantly looking for more tools to improve my singing in different areas. So today I want to share with you 5 singing tools I used in 2021 🙂 – Looking forward to discover lots of new singing tools in 2022!
In 2021 I dedicated some time to research the topic of high-performance training in singing. High-performance training in singing is quite a new concept that the singing world has borrowed from athletic training.
Committing to high-performance training in singing has a lot of benefits for your voice and also for other areas of your life.
One of them is helping you build endurance, resilience, and resistance with your voice. This will allow you to become a stronger singer, being able to sing at a high level when vocal requirements are higher: touring, long shows, etc.
It is also beneficial to those who have to move a lot on stage, such as musical theatre artists.
Another benefit of high-performance training is that it helps you regulate your anxiety levels if you suffer from anxiety on stage. It will help you regulate your tolerance to CO2, which allows you to have better management in case of hyperventilation – which occurs when your system tells you that you are in front of a threat. Something that our system often tells us (subconsciously) when we are singing for a small or big crowd.
High-performance level in singing is at the beginning of its development. You can find some material on YouTube, such as this video of Miley Cyrus training for an important show:
Now, my fitness levels are not that impressive so I decided to start small. This year I committed to doing a daily power walk no matter how busy I am. After not a long time I could tell the difference in how much easier air support got naturally.
So, if you are like I was some months ago and prioritize work and practice before fitness, let me tell you that it is worth changing the equation. Higher cardio levels will make your singing training more effective and efficient. AND it will help you in many other areas of your life!
As I said before, researching high-performance training in singing was something I explored during 2021. I already mentioned the benefits of increasing tolerance to CO2. And I already mentioned that building up cardio training is an important part of it.
But other exercises can help you with that as well. Particularly, those exercises that work on your breathing, but not in the conventional way you might have trained your breathing for singing.
This year I was introduced to this little device called the oximeter. I mean, I knew it existed but I never thought about using it as a singing training helper!
The oximeter helps you measure the oxygen saturation levels in your blood.
How is that helpful for singing? Well, firstly it helps you to check how prone you are to hyperventilation at the moment – which will give you an idea of what you have to work on in your high-performance training for singing. For me particularly, I have been using it as a way to track my stress levels and make sure I don’t get too stressed and anxious during busy times. Which of course, affects my singing AND many other areas of my life.
Since I was a little kid I have been dealing with scoliosis. Is quite mild on me thankfully but sometimes it affects me quite a bit. Especially during 2021, which has been a very busy year in which I haven’t done nearly as much exercise as I usually do (except for the daily cardio!).
So this year it wasn’t a good year for my spine – which in turn, of course, affected my breathing and my singing.
At the end of the year, I decided to take the time to visit an osteopath to see if it could be of any help. He mentioned that my diaphragm was tense on the “shorter” side of my body – due to my scoliosis. He helped me free up and balance my body again, and my breathing muscles were suddenly much freer. My voice became much easier to project. And I decided to never procrastinate in my scoliosis management again!
Another thing that I explored during 2022 is the Let’s Sing game from Nintendo! When it comes to singing it is very important to never stop enjoying it. It is a balance between discipline and fun!
So my students and I students have been having some fun with that game on some of our singing nights.
For me, it is a game that allows me to learn a lot of popular songs that I didn’t know! Because I am not usually completely aware of the last hits in music. So for me, it has been a fun way to get to know new music while singing it at the same time.
“Let’s sing” plays the video of very popular songs, while showing you the notes on the screen. It doesn’t show you the actual notes but it does show notes going up and down, and how your voice is matching or missing them. So it is also a great way to predict what comes next in the melody. But it is also great for those singers who don’t read music at all! It is a gentle way to start connecting the relationship between the notes you are singing. A good introduction to pre- sight-reading!
Finally, it is a great way for those singers who struggle with pitch accuracy to get much better at that!
So there you go – 5 singing tools I used in 2021!! What were some of yours?
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