Jenevora’s Running Commentaries

This is an ongoing series of short films in which Jenevora Williams explores ideas on singing and teaching singing.

Click here to watch on Youtube

Language: Metaphor and Imagery
How can we effectively communicate changes to a singer without using any functional descriptions or singer-specific terminology?

Onsets
How do we start the sound? What is happening with a glottal, aspirate and simultaneous onset, and when might it be more difficult?

Teaching breathing the best way for the individual
Every singer has a nuanced somatic awareness of their own breathing process, so there can’t be a one-size-fits-all way to work with them. Know the person so you can optimise their existing systems.

The Cold
A quick summary of what to do in the cold weather

The Chicken and Egg dilemma
Thinking about cause and effect when looking at unnecessary tension and anxiety. Which one comes first, and how can we break the cycle?

Words matter – Posture
What does this word ‘posture’ mean for us, what are the pitfalls and what might be the answers.

Words matter – Tension
What do we mean when we use the word tension? Do we mean excess tension, do we mean residual tension or are we confusing it with emotional tension?

Words matter – Support
What do we mean when we use this word? Can we define it easily and do our students understand the same meaning that we imply?

Effective practice and retaining change
Practice makes perfect and then sleep on it!

When is it useful to know what you’re doing?
Most of the time, we perform implicit skills more effectively without conscious knowledge; here are a couple of examples of when that knowledge can help us to perform more effectively.

How do muscles work?
A brief introduction to the three types of contraction – isometric, isotonic and eccentric, and what this means in singing.

Using incremental changes for bigger achievements
Press-ups – a progressive build. Just like singing.

Stamina and Pacing
Why do we struggle with returning to our normal workload after a break?

Tension and release
Nobody needs unnecessary tension, but what’s the best way to go about letting go of it?

Order from Chaos
If we are to establish a new way to function, it helps to shake up the old habits to allow the new ones to re-form.