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Learning to Sing with Understanding

            You are about to embark on actually making sounds with your own instrument: your voice.  Whatever it sounds like, don’t be bashful about using it.  Some people were born singing, but they are few.  If you are one of those folks to whom singing does not come naturally, or whose music teacher gave them a quarter not to sing, here are some ideas and suggestions:

            Good singing is mostly good thinking.  Find a time to practice when you are not too tuckered out mentally or physically to do the work required.

            Sit or stand so that your abdomen is relaxed, not tucked in.  Correct breathing makes your tummy go out to make room for the air that has to come into your lungs.

            Vocal cords are only as big as the wrinkle of skin over your index finger’s knuckle.  Abdominal muscles are far larger and stronger.  Because of this, use your abdominal muscles to make and support your sound and keep the cords working on pitch.

            You may not be accustomed to hearing yourself and comparing your sound to what you hear, but do try to sing in that order.  Make the sound first, and then compare it to the example, not the other way around.  If you have trouble with hearing your own voice, try closing off your left ear or using a clean vacuum cleaner hose from your lips to your right ear to carry your sound. 

            A singing voice is different from a talking, whispering or shouting voice.  To find your singing voice, hold your nose as you sing.  Find the place where the sound is nasal only on the m, n, and ng consonants.  There’s your singing voice.

            There you have the fundamental tools to read music at sight.  As Oscar Hammerstein III wrote: “Once you have these notes in your head you can sing a million different tunes by mixing them up.”  This is what we will be doing in the next chapters. 

--excerpt from page eight, Learning to Sing with Understanding

Learning to Sing with Understanding (book) $9.95.  Click here for ordering:

Book on CD, with sung examples (compact disk) $15.95 .  Click here for ordering:

This page was last edited on November 08, 2010
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