Adult's Singing Lesson 3: Finding the Space, Keeping the Buzz | English Touring Opera
Hello. I'm. Jenny Stafford, and I'm, a soprano I was working. With English touring, opera this year, as. Despina, in. Mozart's. Cosi Fan Tutte and as, sister, Jenny or one of the soprano, soloists. In the. Box and, John passion. Sadly. As you, well, know the. Performances. Were. Cut, short because. Of the coronavirus. And I. Just. Want to say that I will be forever grateful, to. English. Touring opera who. Have. Paid all of our fees all of the artists fees, for. Each of the cancelled shows I. It's. Such, an unbelievably. Generous thing. To do and, as. I said I will always be. So grateful for it. This. Is, but. This is a way of, expressing. My, thanks. I suppose this is a singing. Lesson with bird singing. Lesson in the series. That English touring opera are, putting, on there is also. Series. For children. And. Today. Would have been a, cosy. Performance. Actually so I would be preparing, myself for, that. So, it seems quite apt that, I, dedicate. This to, all of, my friends, and, colleagues. In. The. Cast, and, the. Creative. Team the, wonderful, directors. And conductors, the. Orchestra. The. Company. Management and. Technical. Team, and also the administrator. Team who all, came, together to, produce that three. Fantastic. Shows, as well as the children's. Opera, this, year, I hope. We all see, each other again soon, and they're able to perform these wonderful, productions. And, so. I'd like to, start, by thanking, Stefan. August, the wonderful. Baritone, and teacher. Um, who. Who. Did the first two lessons. I watched. Them, and I sang along with him and I've. Done my homework. So. This is the. The, homework that you set for. The. Or, that he said for, the. Second. Lesson, so. It started with puffing. Out the, cheeks on a. Which. Incidentally. Is an exercise I do myself. In. Learning. A piece and in warming, up, so. I I love this one. So. It was, two silent, noon, my slightly. Higher key because, I'm a soprano. So. I pop, out the cheeks and I'm going to explain a bit about how. It feels. Now as I said I love. That, exercise. I really, feel I said. I'm. Feelin. Your head here and I, always like to think of that as a. You. Feel it in a sneeze deep place. Just. Before you sneeze you go everything, sort of goes into that sort of up. And above the nasal, this. Is nasal, cavity, here oh we always, have, to think higher, and further back. Then. Is that, there's actually possible. And. I really, feel, that buzz, doing. The puffing out cheeks, and. There's. No way, of getting around the, legato in that situation, if you keep. The. Study. Strong. But. Flexible. Support. From below it. Automatically. Will, will, ring. Throughout, now. The. Stefan. Talked a lot, about the, the breath, and I. Just want to say how, important. But I, will. Everyone, think that is and. He. Said that he, said it in such a great way that I don't need to explain it again but it it.
If. You don't have the support from below from all around and, really. Into the back that's something I think about a lot, really. Using, these muscles and thinking about the really deep, breath. Then. Other. Muscles, if you don't have that other muscles, will, come, in to support the voice and that can, cause a lot of problems, it usually comes in the form of jaw. Tension or, tongue. Tension. And. Well. That's a constant. Struggle for me so I. I'm sure that, I'm hoping, that that's going to be ringing ringing. A bell for for. Some other people too. So. I'd like to continue. Stefan's. Talk. On the procedure but. Thinking. More about. Mine. So. As, a soprano, I have, to. And. They. Each. Of them, take. Some different. Negotiation, to get over these sort of slightly, tricky. Areas. In the voice where, this is sort. Of seems like a gear change so, we've, got the lower. End which, sort of is around just. Above, middle c d, e. Area. And then. The. Higher, end which is an, octave, above and, just slightly higher from. Things. So that between. Them is the middle, voice and, the. Low is the. Darker. Chest. Voice, and then was the higher heady space when, you get above. That that, top. Top. Essential, so. When. I'm negotiating these. Areas. It's. It's. All about, thinking. About the basics, so. Everything. Comes, back to, that, proper. Deep breath, and the, support from the lower abdomen, and the. The, back, this. I. Can't. Talk more, about how, important. That is. But. On so, we've got that as the sort of like driving, force. And then. Then. You have everything. Here, at the top of the column, that Stefan. Was explaining. About. You. Want as much space. Here. For. The. Sound, to resonate, so. I. I. Like to think of as. Yawn for, this for this lower, throat, space there's a you, want a width, here. Sort. Of a physical width, so you standing. Proud but also a. Thinking. Of the float is wide as possible so is it it, adds, a little bit of depth, as you can tell it to the voiceover if, I were singing without that. It. Would be. And. With. That with thinking about that anchoring, down and. Widening. Here, it, becomes. So. It has that it. You've. Got a lot that this the, extra space gives, you more, frequencies. To play, with this, tiny. Noise that's, made gets. To shoot, into all of the all. Of this space, that you've made and. Resonates. Even more. Then. So does that that's, the breath. The. Throat. Widening. The throat and then thinking. About this just, behind. The nasal, cavity, space you want to make as much, space. As possible so. It's. The same. Thing. So, it's it's, just making as much space, without, using. Any muscles. And. So and and. That hopefully, will, just make it shoot into that buzzy, space that. We that. Means that the the sound will carry because, it's resonating so much. When. I go higher, I. That. I have to think more about, grounding. My, body down so. You. So. You don't end up with this with only the higher, frequencies. So, there's an exercise that I want. To do and. This. I'm. Going to start with the puffy cheeks as. I said I love it so. In. Order to. Get. The the. Puffy cheeks will give you the will make you find the buzz and then we want to try and keep that, to go onto the earth so, just remember the feeling. And where. That is. Do. That without the. This. Width. So. You. May find that as you go up so I was using this I, was, singing in the at. The beginning for the top, of that fifth that's the sort of beginning of my, transition, area. So. Find your. Find, your own transition, area and use, that as the, top. Of the fifth and then. We, just go up and if. You feel like the bus isn't, in it isn't staying in the, same, place so if it's not if you just can't hear it anymore or feel it. That's. When you need to ground more into, this proper. Breath, support so yeah. We're just gonna go. Higher. And higher I'm afraid. I'm. Starting, to feel that when I get to this the top, note here, the. Bus. Slim's. Down it. Feels more intense. And. Smaller. Somehow. And. Again. It's just about, support, it doesn't it's not necessarily. More breadth it's just more of. A feeling of grounding. So. Unhinged. But. As. You go higher, the. Jaw. Will, naturally. Open. Open, up more in, a relaxed, way everything, should be so relaxed, here. So. Yes that's how I sort, of go, around my. That's. Trixie, area and really. Any area in the, voice. It's it's. All about going. Back to the basics and really. Supporting, I. Know that singing high is often. Quite, a scary, prospect, and, sometimes it's just knowing that you're going hide that means that you. You're. Terrified. And you think you're not going to be able to sing it but, my. Advice would be just to. Go. For. It so use, all of these the, the, basics.
That We've. Been talking about and. See. What happens you. Don't don't, be afraid of making a noise often if you're scared, of it these. Muscles. That, as it will tense, up and you'll lose. The support from below and. It'll. Turn into a bit of a scream not. That that's a problem I just say, have. A go and then. You can you can hold it gradually, and do. What whatever's, comfortable, and. The bus will, get as I said more intense, as you get higher up and. That. Is so. Exciting. So sometimes, in the the. Especially. Up put that in the B C. C, sharp area, I can, pretty, much only hear buzz but it's such a it's, such an experience. So. Have. A little fun with it. And the. Next thing I want to talk a little bit about is. Vowels. So. I want. To make the vowels as bright, as possible, in order for them to go. To that heady fuzzy. Space, and, we. Want them all to be in this resonating. In the same place. Easier. Said than done but. It's, where we go. All. Of these exercises, they. They. Take a little time to sink. In and, maybe. Sometimes you slip, out of the, quite. What you were supposed to do but doesn't. Matter no one's listening and no, one's judging, so. With. These I go. For a lot. Of people do very. Italian, at vowels. So, it's, it's, as bright and pure as possible so we've got I don't know whether you can tell I've got a bit of a Yorkshire, accent which, is not, entirely useful, for singing. But. If, you. Sing. These bright bowels and try to, feel. Them in the same place as you, feel that burden. That's. That's. The aim that's. Doing. What we all want to do, so. We. Again. The basics, of. Really. Breathing, deeply and, supporting, from, this. Whole. 360. Degrees. No. Abdominal. Area. And. And. Then keeping. The jaw. Unhinged. So what I usually. Do is sort of cradle the jaw just. To. Stop well so that I can feel when I'm trying, to use it often. But, once it wants to come in for English because I think on an e. Because. We, we. Do that a sort of wallace. And gromit yeah. But. You can make these vowels without. Using, the jaw with, only using a little bit of. Necessary. Tongue. Tongue. Muscle. Activity. That's. The aim we're, just going to do it on one note and to, find the space I'm going to do the, puffy, out mmm. Find. A note that's, a, comfortable. Note in your middle range, that's. A G for me and. So. I'm gonna cradle, it and. Just. Go on i. Without. We're trying not to move the jaw. You, may, find that some vowels are more difficult than others and sometimes your unruly, jaw would have come in without. You realizing, it was going to. It's always fun.
Experience. To realize what your body is doing without you knowing. But. We want the vowels to be as even. Throughout. As, possible. Exactly. The same as each other and we. Want, the sound to be as even, throughout as possible, so that's. The first exercise and, then I, would. Go, up. So. The. This exercise, you're, going in step and on, each vowel and you may want to take, a breath just. Take it take a breath wherever, you want, so. It's starting. On more and moving. Instead. And. So, you want to feel all of the the support sometimes the. There, is flexibility, in it and as you get higher you, may, remember. To think that this grounded. Thought. And. Yes. That's, what we're just aiming for an, even. Sound. Quality, throughout. Moving. On to homework. For this session I want. To apply a. Lot, of these things. That have been talking about to a song. So. Choose. Your favorite song and I. Am. Going to go, for Sally. Garden, stick with the English, song. My. Favorite song changes, day to day or hour, to hour so this. This. Is just what I want right now. So. This. For. This I'm going to use the the puffy cheeks to, get the legato, that. So. It's Stefan's. Homework. From last, last. Session, so I'm trying to build on that. But. So. Do, the first phrase puppy cheeks then try to do, just. The, vowels, of the, first phrase of your piece, so for, me, down. By the Sally Gardens my love and I did meet, the. The bowels, are. I. I. Realize. It's a bit of a strange request but I do, have reason for it and. This. Is to, try so we do the puffy cheeks to get the legato and we want the same legato, and to be finding that same buzzy space for, all of these vowels and to keep them as even, in the, voice and as, even as each other as possible. So. And. If I'm honest I would keep. To. That and not put. Consonants. On yet, if it were just me but I realized, that, that. All of these technical, things are a little bit. Frustrating. And a little bit clinical. And really, it's, nice to sing a whole, phrase of a song, so if, you. Want to do that I haven't. Talked about consonants, at all today but it. Would be a. Using. The jaw, and jaw. As little, as possible only when, it's needed, and. The. Tongue in the, tongue, tension in the same way or tongue. Activity. In the same way, just. To try and make this column. As free. As possible. So. I. Hope. You enjoyed that and. I I. Realized. That singing. Is a. It's. An expression of feeling, and text, and what we're doing right now is all. Of the, Technic. Just, going to very, technical. Things and not, really doing. Much. That's. But. Building. This technique is a way, of. Getting. The foundations, to, sing, and demote through. That, technique. So what we're wanting is. To. Find that space like whenever I really, feel emotional. Whether, it's sadness. Or extremely. Happy, I feel. It down, in, my. Low, I've got like my laughs, my proper belly laugh comes, from right down there and that's what we want that's where this breath.
Support. Comes. From and so. We want that so effectively, they, will marry together eventually it's just a, little. Bit of, frustrating. And long, process, in order to get, that. Stage. And be, able to express, through the technique. And. Also if you're finding that. Some of these exercises are working, or if the. But. You don't quite understand what we're talking about that's. Also, fine we've all been there and. We. Just. Don't be too hard. On yourself don't get annoyed just be, kind to yourself and do what, feels right and. Enjoy. It that's, that's. What thinking's about. So. That, is it from, me I. Know. That my lovely, friend Freddie, Frederick long, will, be giving. The next lesson so that's something to look forward to. And. If you, if. You are enjoying. This and there and. You are interested in looking, up the other exciting, things. That English, touring upper is doing, to try and bring, music. And inspiration. To you in this, very, difficult, time. That we're going through during, this pandemic, then. Please do visit their website which is. As happy. As you can and, look. After yourself thanks, very much.