Month: January 2016

I’m A Teenager Again!

I’ve decided to submit myself for the #musicaltube video contest. Sponsored by newmusicaltheatre.com and The Accompanist, each singer must choose 1 of the 10 songs listed (5 for girls and 5 for boys) and record a video! As a singer and a voice teacher, I utilize newmusicaltheatre.com all the time for brainstorming and researching new material. I have recommended that students check out this website several times this week alone. I find their website easy to navigate and so helpful with breaking down what you’re looking for based on voice type, genre, and style.

There is one thing that the songs listed for women all have in common: they’re all written for teens (or an early 20s actress who can still play a teenager) to sing! While I can no longer play 16, I love sharing these songs with my students and thought I would take a go at singing them myself. I had a blast recording these!

Check out newmusicaltheatre.com and see if you can find a song that is awesome for you right now. I bet you can!

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Grease Is The Word

Hearing music from Grease immediately brings back memories of singing in the ensemble during my sophomore year of high school. I was featured in Beauty School Dropout :-). Of course, I’d first seen the original movie in my early teens, even saw Grease 2 at some point, and had the hand jive down before I even  started at Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, NJ.

On Sunday night at 7pm, I was all set to watch Grease: LIVE! on Fox. Following the trend to bring musical theatre to audiences nationwide with a live taping usually featuring big names, Grease did not disappoint. There was a lot of energy emanating from the cast throughout the entire show and the live audience really added to the production. They brought to life the movie (more so than the stage production) that many remember from their childhood and I was singing along to almost every number!

So for my vocal students, my thoughts today are about what to sing if you’re auditioning for Grease. The first word that comes to mind when I think of this show is FUN. Finding a song with lots of character and bringing energy into the audition room is key. My top repertoire suggestion is actual 50s pop/rock music.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, Google it and find some tunes. Artists that I think of in this era are Bill Haley and The Comets (fond memories of singing Rock Around The Clock with my parents), Elvis, Debbie Reynolds, Connie Francis, Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino.

If you’d rather choose or are asked to choose a song from a musical, I would find a show in a similar style to Grease! Cry-Baby is a great example. It was written as a movie in 1990 and made into a Broadway musical in 2007, but it’s set in the 1950s and has music that reflects that time period. All Shook Up is another great example. In fact, jukebox musicals are a great resource for finding pop and rock music. Then all you have to do is be confident and rock the audition!

Check out http://www.fox.com/grease-live for more information on the live broadcast!

Here is a short video with 2 possible audition song selections for Grease:

 

 

Singin’ In The Snow

It’s that time of year again. January: when it seems that snow is everywhere and students have more school days off than on. If you’re missing rehearsal, choir, lessons, and more due to the weather, what will you do? One word: PRACTICE.

I cannot emphasize the importance of practice. Singing for even 10 minutes a day is a great way to keep those muscles working to build good technique and healthy daily routine. I start every single lesson with a hum followed by a lip trill. Warming up the voice is key to building our technique. Scales, arpeggios, and simple open vowel exercises while focusing on breath, pitch, and resonation all help one to develop their voice.

While I am a mezzo with a strong belt and mix voice, I am also the biggest advocate for learning legit singing. Utilizing your head voice at any age (young child through professional adult) is key for healthy vocal development. It also can help to make you a versatile singer, which is always a big positive in the extremely competitive and sometimes brutal performing arts career path.

This video highlights a very standard warm-up that is used by voice teachers around the world, including myself. Enjoy!