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Singing in a concert - misgivings

GUEST 19 Oct 06 - 08:55 AM
greg stephens 19 Oct 06 - 08:59 AM
John Routledge 19 Oct 06 - 09:06 AM
Mo the caller 19 Oct 06 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Betsy. 19 Oct 06 - 09:10 AM
John Routledge 19 Oct 06 - 09:15 AM
Deckman 19 Oct 06 - 09:33 AM
jacqui.c 19 Oct 06 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,Neovo 19 Oct 06 - 10:11 AM
breezy 19 Oct 06 - 02:40 PM
SussexCarole 19 Oct 06 - 07:32 PM
Bobert 19 Oct 06 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 20 Oct 06 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,Northerner 20 Oct 06 - 08:09 AM
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Subject: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 08:55 AM

I sing folk songs as well as telling stories. Didn't sing for a very long time because of illness. Found it difficult to restart singing again but eventually went on a beginner's singing course last year. A bit of a mixed experience - didn't like the material and the key the teacher set the songs in was always too high for me (I'm a contralto). Anyway, started singing at the folk clubs again this year and the audiences love my voice - I get lots of compliments.

Thought I'd like to continue trying to improve my singing so enrolled on a different singing course this year. Teachers (male and female), like teacher last autumn, are basically classically trained but willing to teach any style of singing.

Nice, friendly class. Nice, friendly teachers. Vocal warm-ups are great for my voice (now to find the discipline to make up my own programme). The songs we sing together are basically enjoyable (mostly musical theatre). Downside is we are having a small concert at the end of this term. Well now, that would be good experience for me.

Problem is finding suitable material and singing it in a way I am comfortable with. I prefer singing unaccompanied, and also tend to learn songs by ear and set my own key. If I learn from a song book I have the rigmarole of transposing every single song because I sing in a low register. This isn't working out with the teacher, nor is my choice of material. Teacher likes songs like "Early one morning" which I loathe. Her knowledge of folk songs is small. She would prefer to "support" me with a piano accompaniment but I find it difficult to adjust to it and sound unsure. She doesn't know any of the songs that I sing. I am also not keen on piano accompaniment of folk songs; the songs I sing are generally quite sensitive and I don't think that piano sounds right with them.

I am wondering if I should simply opt out of the concert. I am benefiting from the vocal warm-up exercises so I am not wasting time or money by going to class.

I really, really do want to improve my singing. Looking forward to improving my singing of ballad, which would go splendidly with my storytelling.

Any advice anyone?


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 08:59 AM

Definitely sing at the concert. And politely and firmly sing a song of your choice with the accompaniment of your choice(none). I am sure that woldn't create a problem. You'll enjoy it more, and the audience will enjoy it more.


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: John Routledge
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 09:06 AM

Without doubt the best advice ever given on Mudcat!!


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: Mo the caller
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 09:08 AM

You don't want to seem to be critisising the class but should not sing in a way you are not comfortable with.
Explain to the teacher how you have benifitted from the class, tell her what you would like to sing and how, and ask if this will fit in with her concert. If she is doubtful say that you'd prefer not to sing solo but will join in the group arrangements.


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: GUEST,Betsy.
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 09:10 AM

The way you write , your teacher might have a crush on you .
If she doesn't know any of the songs you sing - get rid. Go to the nearest folk club and find some suitable accompaniment - they'll be crying out to help you.


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: John Routledge
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 09:15 AM

The audience might welcome the opportunity to hear a more natural performance of slightly different material.

If they don't perhaps it's their loss.


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: Deckman
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 09:33 AM

Interesting question, and answers. In my younger years, I studied voice very seriously for several years. If you "connect" with a teacher, part of that "connection" seems to be a willingness on the student's part to give up a fair amount of controll of your voice over to that teacher. This can be positive, and also negitive.

My first formal voice teacher was an operatic tenor. he decided that I should be one also. My nexr teacher was a "Basso Profundo", and yes, he decided that my bass register needed some work. The result of this today, is that I really have an incredible vocal range! Funny, but true.

In between those two teachers, I also had a lot of voice coaching from other teachers who did let me have my own way with "my" material: traditional folk songs.

So, bottom line for me, DO the concert, but as someone else already said, insist on having YOUR way with your music. As I look back on those earlier experiences, I know that I learned a great deal from each of them. Best of luck, CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: jacqui.c
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 09:47 AM

I have the same problem with having to transpose songs into a lower register and learn all mine by ear as I don't read music.

I agree with the above advice - sing what you feel comfortable with and in the way you prefer. There is so much good folk music out there, if your teacher's knowledge is small then you can help her expand that knowledge by doing something she doesn't know.

Singing should be a pleasurable thing - if you're not getting paid for it why sing something that you don't like or that doesn't suit you?


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: GUEST,Neovo
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 10:11 AM

Absolutely agree with all of the above. Do it your way and enjoy.


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: breezy
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 02:40 PM

heres what yuo do


Agree to sing early one Morning

sort out your prefered key so you are comfortable and can sing all the notes, fit it into your range

on the night, smile, and sing the Miles Wootton version

'Early one morning, just as the pubs were opening

bout 4 verses, straight face and smile at the end, bow gracefully, and leave with head held high

btw wheres your nearest folk club ?

go for it


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: SussexCarole
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 07:32 PM

Don't be constricted by singing to a piano or any other instrument if you prefer unaccompanied. The strict tempo that some accompanists play often ruin the feel of a song. If you are leading the song the musician needs to learn to play to your singing style and rythmn AND play in the key that you sing.

Don't be bullied, sing loud & proud! Carole


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 09:04 PM

Hey, I'm a bluesman so maybe my opionion don't count but...

...it's danged folk music... It ain't like yer singing friggin' opera here...

No piano!!! Do what you want in whatever key you want...

Then, quit enrollin' in these dumb singin' classes, hit the local clubs an' so yer thing, Baby!!!

Heck, sometimes I just start into some 12 bar thing on guitar and don't even know what song I'm gonna make out of it... That's waht folk music is about...

You wanta be a classical musican then go be one but...

...if ya wanta be a folk singer, then be a folk singer... Ain't no rules in folks singin'...

MO, of course...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 12:09 AM

an old mate who was a good strong natural raw untrained singer
in a pub rock covers band
decided to pay for a course of lessons..

and it was a definite improvement in the quality of his singing..

but once he felt cocky enough to pack in the lessons..


he soon enough lost the extra edge that regular contact with the teacher
helped him with..

me.. i've never had the confidence to sing in public
cuz i have an appalling memory for lyrics and melodies..

but in mid-life i'm feeling i might still have the potential
to chance some lessions
just to get the right techniques for breathing, pitch, and projection sorted out..

f@ck it!! why not!!?? nothin to lose..

but at my age i'd make it clear to any voice coach
that it'd be a big mistake to try and impose
any song genre or style on me i dont like or care about..

..unless the tutor could convince me positively
that it would be a worthwhile challenging excercise to help improve my voice..


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Subject: RE: Singing in a concert - misgivings
From: GUEST,Northerner
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 08:09 AM

Hello again! Thank you for some great advice. I will stick with the teacher for improving my voice as it is a lot "looser" and comfortable by having singing lessons. I do also sing at local folk clubs (the Cutty Wren, Skelton and the Sun Inn, Stockton mainly) and get really good support. Thanks John Taylor and Ron Angel!!

I will stick with the folk song material that I prefer but do enjoy the group singing and am happy to take part in the concert doing that. As for a solo - well, I will not sing with a piano unless I am ready and comfortable doing it. And I do not think I would have adjusted by November. I think the singing teacher will have to adjust to my singing unaccompanied...

Thank you all!!!


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