Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Beautiful Singing

I'm taking a class called Group Voice this semester, with a teacher named Dr. Clayne Robison. This guy is absolutely amazing. My roommate Haylea took this class last semester, and is taking it again with me now. She really encouraged me to take it, because of the results she had. I can already tell my singing voice is so much better.

Clayne Robison was the director of BYU's opera program for about 30 years. He held singing boot camps at BYU. The DVD's of his former students are amazing to watch. He can make people who can't sing find their voice, and improve even professional singers. He wrote, Beautiful Singing: Mind Warp Moments. composed a piece of music that was used for the dedication services of the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden in Jerusalem.The best part is he's retired, and is just volunteering his time here at SVU. He is one of the best teachers I've ever had. He doesn't criticize or compliment you (which he says can almost be as damaging as criticizing). He just tells me what to do, and then asks me and the other students if I noticed a difference in my voice. So with just some tips from him, I'm basically teaching myself.

The main key is posture. I haven't ever had the best posture in the world anyways, especially when I'm singing. But you lift you ribs upward, creating more room to breathe. You want your shoulder blades to be touching, without puffing your chest out too much. Then you push your chin down, almost like you're trying to give yourself a double chin. The tendency is to lift our chins up when we're singing - even Broadway and Pop singers do it. And you can still sing doing that, and even have a vibrato, but the tone isn't as rich or resonating. Then you lower your jaw, push your lips out, and try to pinch your nose with your lips. You breathe really low, a lot lower than you think. It's hard to explain without showing you in person, but it's pretty ugly. I've had to get over it and my voice sounds so much rich and mature now, with a natural vibrato. And I still have almost 3 months left to go. Each class, we get recorded on a DVD and well get it at the end of the semester to see how we progressed. I'm so excited.

Here's a quote I found from him:
"I'm not claiming to be inventing voice teaching; there are many beautiful singers in the world and many successful voice teachers. Instead, I'm drawing together insights from physics to trigger the basic beauty available in everyone's singing voice."
This guy is the coolest. I wish all teachers were like him. And I wish everyone could have the chance to learn singing under him. The best part is, it's like private voice lessons that I don't have to pay for, and I get college credit for it. He has all these statistics to show how learning voice lessons in a group is so much more productive because we learn from each other, and I can attest to that. I love singing so much, and my voice-confidence is getting boosted in this class. I LOVE IT!

Here's some links:
Deseret News. August 20, 2006

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