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Voice Journal Spring 2017 April 18-24

April 18

Power outage was a surprise! But we had the lesson anyway, warmed up really well. I always sing better in the lesson than anywhere else and I think it's the warm-up... maybe also the time of day. Abigail said to do a light warm up early every day and see if it makes a difference, since warming up after you talk a lot isn't always as effective.

April 19
Warmed up early. Made a difference. Later I sang through the troublesome part a few times, starting from "Nursie."

April 20
Well I'll be darned. My ears ring on the G harmonic. The top note is always G6 or G7. There's a D in there somewhere but I haven't tracked it down yet. Now I know why I can only sight-sing well in one key! And if my teachers will allow me that, I'll make it through.

Remembered to do the gentle warm-up this morning. It seems to help.

April 21
A little warming up, not much. Meant to get to AL and just didn't have the time or energy, but I did sing Swing Low as I worked on arranging it. I still have easy access to that F above middle C which is amazing and wonderful.

April 22
Okay, that was a mistake. I didn't mean to sing at all, but I was listening to Swing Low and I came to the part where I do the improv so I did it, and from that point I was singing. But knowing I meant to do some serious work today, I aimed my voice for the resonance spot and tried to get a lot of support--and that's when everything started falling apart. I lost my range, I lost my volume and my throat's real tight and tense now. I even have a headache, which I never got yesterday even though I was singing loudly. Clearly my body does not like this singing properly business. Dunno what to do about it. I have a feeling trying to warm up now will be less than fruitful. *sigh*

Took a break and came back to it--throat is still tight. I do have to learn this melody, both the improv and the inner parts that I'm singing. The house is getting noticeably chilled and I suspect that doesn't help my throat at all. Might be time for some Throat Coat tea.

Interesting, the tea helped even though it's the one without slippery elm. But my throat is sore and scratchy still.

Was outside in the cold so doing the warm-ups. Remembered Abigail said to aim the sound out through the bridge of my nose. Took me a couple minutes to remember tongue against the teeth. Seem to have the range. Really felt the passaggio--have just realized that's what always stopped me in the past, but if I keep going I get past it--and am getting a headache and a tired jaw, but I feel so much better about my voice now! I have to do the sight-singing and it's extensive. Think I'll start with the interval practice.... oh man it's nice to sing that high without having to go to half-voice! I stayed pretty well in tune, too!

April 23
Warming up and man am I tense, throat muscles are like concrete and jaw is quite sore. Keep having to take breaks. Headache was intense but went away with massage and a break, trying to come back now. I have good range today but am really feeling the passaggio and have some frogginess the more I sing--must be making my sinuses drain. Keep having to clear my throat, although much more gently than in the past. Going to take advantage of the range to work on AL.

Oh my gosh after the first time through I rubbed my neck and the pain radiated to the top of my head. This is really all tension brought on by anxiety about singing the right notes. I admit, I forgot I was supposed to start in half-voice. Will do that this time.

Much better. Am working on getting the support down low, and pushing down as I sing up.

Gave it more, mostly okay. Getting easier to sing as I remember that pushing down/lengthening thing.

MAN, I sing better with someone playing the melody. Sheesh. But I made it through without that crutch. Still at 3/4 speed, still having trouble remembering the words--get first and second verse mixed up--but I made it through. Wasn't able to push down once I tensed up. Will try that again.

Getting worse now--actually missed the B on the first "Nursie"--although I knew I was in the wrong place and corrected it by "raise." Going to see if warming up again will loosen these muscles.... wow, this technique allowed me to hit notes that usually don't sound for me in the warm-up!

Tried it at full speed--got through the phrases better but wow, that piano is LOUD and I get messed up if I try to sing louder.

Went back to the slow speed but oh my gosh, losing it. Didn't even get through it--voice started unmistakably wobbling and bobbling on the bridge party. Guess I'm tired now. Need to stop. On the whole it was a good rehearsal. I'm really glad I finally figured out that pushing down thing--the tampon image is what worked. Six and a half times through all told, plus one and half warm-ups. That's a lot of singing for me.

Well isn't THAT something! I was doing Aural skills work, scales, and got easily to F#6!! Managed to get through all the sight-singing plus scales and scale degrees. It was a LOT of singing... and then I had to sing my Aural Skills final project repeatedly to get a take on verse-improv-verse. It's done, not well, because as you might image, I am tired! But it's done and can be turned in.

April 24
 Light warm-up this morning before music lit.

Warming up before supper, Working on getting support way low, but am so tired that I tighten up ridiculously and the hahahahaha warm up is badly disconnected. Not doing so well on Ah Ey Oh either; my voice went away at the top. Back to humming and my face and throat are so tight. I'll take the hint, because it hurts more and more. I'm just too tired to work. Not surprised, really. I fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon writing a paper.

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