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Voice Journal Spring 2017 April 25-May 1

April 25
Had a real rough day and was completely exhausted, but I did sing through Candle on the Water (a lot easier than I expected it to be!) and American Lullaby before my lesson. Abigail mostly worked on warm-ups and the lower parts of AL, and let me go a little early.

The thing which surprised me was a breathing exercise to relax my face as I inhaled. I could feel a difference.

April 26
Worked on AL in the practice room when I did my piano practice. Didn't get very far. Still exhausted.

April 27
Oy. Singing is a no-go today. Cannot get my body to relax at all. The face-relaxing inhale does work, but the moment I start singing I tighten up. Had a heck of a time in Aural Skills, did badly on the sight-singing.

April 28
That "relax as I inhale" idea is flowing into other parts of my life and I'm really grateful for it, because it's helping me deal with some serious pain. The only singing I managed today was Sweet Saxophone, because my group met to rehearse. Came home sick with exhaustion and pretty concerned about getting everything done this weekend, So tired. Oy.

April 29
Experimenting. I don't actually need to warm up. It's not like my throat is made of inert metal, all cold. I've been breathing 24/7. I've been eating and drinking. But when I warm up, I pay attention to breath support and where I aim my voice. The trouble is the headache. *sigh* I thought I could psych myself out and avoid it by just singing Candle on the Water, but the moment I thought of breath support and resonance, the headache came back.

Got all the way through this time. Started in half voice. Volume is actually easier than half voice today. Psyching myself out, all right, but not exactly as I intended, sheesh. Nasty headache by the time I finished--but I got three bars on the last note. Sometimes I can relax as I breathe in and sometimes I can't. I guess it just takes practice... well, and it takes time. I just noticed the relaxing starts on two, so if all I have time for is a catch breath that's not gonna happen.

Okay, only partway through the third time. Really struggling to get my voice light and aimed forward. I can see that I'm asking too much of my throat right now. Warming up it is.... oy, it's 9 minutes 45 seconds and by minute 8 I had an intense headache. Stopped, massaged, then finished. Still bad... and this is why I didn't warm up today. My voice is much better but oy, my head hurts. If this is what one goes through to become a professional singer, it's a good thing I'm not interested.

Oh. My. God. That. Was. SO. Bad. And I can't say it was because I wasn't warmed up. I did better before I warmed up. Couldn't even keep my voice from wobbling. The whole thing sounded weird, thin, flattish even though I was in tune. It's the passaggio. Feels like I lost all the progress I've made since midterm. Sheesh.

Half-voice, much better, but of course it demands volume at the end and then I was REALLY bad again. I think I'd best do something else before I sing any more.

Later: The other kind of psych out worked better--I put the music on for AL and told myself I was just gonna hum while I did dishes. Lost track of the number of times I sang it. It was never good, but it was certainly WAY better than Candle on the Water. Don't know if the steam made a difference; maybe? Still pretty tight when I came back to the computer. Sang through twice at tempo without the melody playing. Still not good but at least I did it. Throat's pretty sore now... no sight-singing tonight.

April 30----Warming up. Kinda tight. Doing alright in half-voice. Have a lot of junk on my vocal cords. Have to occasionally clear my throat. Constant struggle to get relaxed. All the way through and back to humming/sliding... okay, enough.

First time through AL with the oboe, did well, remembered all the lyrics. Feels weird on the B-C#-D but I did it. Second time with no oboe. Did pretty well, only flubbed on "close." Third time at tempo; different pianist, managed the high notes but can't quite catch the rhythm. Seems to speed up when the music says ritard. Going back to the other. ...crikey, no breath support but I got through it anyway. Occasional mistake in lyrics. Find I keep singing "donchoo" instead of "don't you" and I know that has to change.

Candle on the Water, my voice feels weird. It feels like it isn't all there, like somehow I'm only singing with part of it. This isn't half-voice--although I am singing in half-voice--it's a weirdness, as if I had a cold or something. It makes me sound quite old and quavery. I have no volume to speak of. Second and third time through both aborted when my mind went blank at the second verse. Fourth time all the way through. Still weird, but I'll take it. Pretty tired now, have to rest.

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