Running Commentary
48 Work on technique in exercises, not repertoire
If there's something that needs fixing, take it out of the song, make it into an exercise, work on it and then try the song again. Exercises are for technique, repertoire is for heart and soul. Trust the process.
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47 Unleash your Creative Thinking
What is happening in the brain when we take a break from our desk and go for a walk
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46 Words Matter: be kind or say nothing
We don't need to draw attention to a problem by mentioning it, we can present solutions without an explanation; the body will learn without negative labels.
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45 The aggregate of small gains
Making a series of small changes may be easier and more effective that one big shift.
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44 Thinking and Doing
The steps we take to embedding implicit learning in the body, using breath management as an example.
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43 Analysis Paralysis
Why is it that thinking about what we're doing may inhibit our performance, this includes listening to ourselves while we sing and trying to make changes as we go along.
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42 Nurturing Positivity
Compassion and self-talk for managing our inner realities
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38 The Cold
A quick summary of what to do in the cold weather
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37 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?
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36 Words Matter - Posture
What does this word 'posture' mean for us, what are the pitfalls and what might be the answers.
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35 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?
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34 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?
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33 Effective practice and retaining change
Practice makes perfect and then sleep on it!
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32 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.
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31 how do muscles work?
A brief introduction to the three types of contraction - isometric, isotonic and eccentric, and what this means in singing.
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30 Using incremental changes for bigger achievements
Press-ups - a progressive build. Just like singing.
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29 Stamina and pacing
Why do we struggle with returning to our normal workload after a break?
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28 Tension and release
Nobody needs unnecessary tension, but what's the best way to go about letting go of it?
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27 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.
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26 Pieces, Patterns and Purpose
When we learn about the anatomy of the voice, how much does this help us to sing better? Should we be thinking of the meaning and purpose or the parts and pieces?
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25 Breathing - ribs or abdomen?
What is the most efficient way to manage the flow of air with our torso as we are singing? Some tips from science as well as assessing what it feels like.
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24 What can sport teach us?
We've learnt a great deal from the sports research that has gone into motor learning theory, and physical function. We can also learn about how to practise, why injuries occur, and how to keep going when it gets tough.
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23 Buzzes, straws and pigeons
Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract exercises - what they are, why they help and some variations on a theme.
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22 Vocal fatigue and pacing
What are the main contributing factors for vocal fatigue, and what simple steps can we take to mitigate this?
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21 New sensations - how do we know what's good or not?
When we learn new ways of working with our voice, how can we evaluate what is useful, safe, repeatable and sustainable?
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20 Health in body, mind and voice
In order to maintain a healthy voice, there are simple steps we can take to improve our overall health and wellbeing that will have a significant impact on our vocal health.
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19 Talking of tongues...
Three steps for disassociation and re-linking the activity of the tongue for singers.
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18 Tongue Taming
Why do we pull the tongue back and down in our throat? It's such a common problem with singers, here are some useful exercises for taming that tongue.
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17 Turrets and trapdoors
Internal mapping of what moves and what remains stable; the head is the roof of the turret and the trapdoors can release for inhalation and dropping the jaw.
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16 Performance anxiety and grounding
A few thoughts about how we deal with performance anxiety; re-framing our thoughts and feelings and some grounding techniques.
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15 Problems or solutions?
We can deal with a problem by focussing on what we are good at instead of trying to fix the problem. The solution will become evident in the process, and the whole experience is a happier one.
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14 Singing in Groups
Singing in Groups is a fundamental human need for our social bonding and survival, how can we achieve something close to this when we are all in isolation?
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13 The link between anxiety and voice problems
Even perfectly normal everyday anxieties can have an impact on our finely-balanced singing system. Understanding this and knowing how to be kind to ourselves is important for every singer.
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12 Everything is connected
With the spectacular backdrop of the marshes at Snape Maltings, Jenevora explores the noticeable effect on efficient body function of small changes in alignment.
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11 Keep it moving!
A follow-up to JRC number 1, this time looking at how we can focus and direct the excessively fidgety student and why moving, walking, and of course running, can help us to sing and to learn.
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10 Balanced function and tipping points
Looking at similarities between sports injuries and vocal problems, how incremental changes over time can result in malfunction. Achieving balanced function may become easier after we've gone beyond the tipping point and learned more about our own limits.
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9 What does singing with an 'open throat' feel like?
Singers all want to try hard, they want to feel as if they are making a positive effort with their singing. Is that effort really helping the singer?
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8 Effort, Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness
We all want our lives to be a bit easier, reducing effort levels in our singing will lead to a more efficient technique and reduce unnecessary tension in the system.
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7 Eat, drink and be merry!
In the season of parties and celebrations, Jenevora gives some thought to what we should and shouldn't eat or drink if we are thinking about our voices. The news is better than you may think!
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6 Process or outcome?
A look into how the brain learns to perform complex physical tasks. What are the best ways to make the intended sound, and how then can we embed that learning into our habits.
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5 Who needs so much pressure?
We all tend to work harder than we need to - this is a re-think of air pressure and how to manage that over a sung phrase. It may be easier than you think.
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4 Is rest always best?
What is the best way to recover from vocal fatigue? Is resting the voice the best option or are there other things we can consider?
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3 Stay cool up front
Tongue-taming: why might we be getting our tongue position wrong? With thanks to Kenneth Bozeman: Practical Vocal Acoustics
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2 Positivity and Learning
Why does being happy and positive help us to learn better? How to stay positive with your students and enjoys the happy hormone bath in the brain.
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1 Do less and wiggle it
Minimising effort with gentle movement
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41 Language: Metaphor and Imagery
How can we effectively communicate changes to a singer without using any functional descriptions or singer-specific terminology?
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40 Onsets
How do we start the sound? What is happening with a glottal, aspirate and simultaneous onset, and when might it be more difficult?
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39 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.
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© 2024 Jenevora Williams