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Voice Journal Spring 2017 Jan 24-30

Jan 24 2017

Aaaccck!! ALL the feels. Candle on the Water is playing and I figure it'll take me twenty or thirty times singing before I can do it without crying. This song means so much to me, and I always used to be able to sing in the key of Helen Reddy; she's one of my favorites. I get a phrase now and again right now, but I can't do it without crying, so I'm mostly just listening. Maybe after a while I can hum it.

8 Goals for this semester:

1. Learn to sing through strong emotion.
2. Learn to sing through strong emotion without crying.
3. Develop my voice as a unified sound through chest, head, and both passaggios--because that was just doggoned cool when I realized I wasn't noticing them last semester.
4. Work on a capella pitch because my head voice doesn't stay in tune.
5. Learn some warm-ups well enough that I can warm up at the keyboard.
6. Develop better breath support/control.
7. Continue to develop my range.
8. Sing something so beautifully that everyone else cries.

Jan 25

Sang through Candle on the Water twice today without crying. Had to go half-voice but I even managed to get two octave whole notes, although I preferred seven beats and a rest so I could get a good breath for the next phrase. My voice was real shaky and a couple places were iffy but I managed to focus on the music and keep the tears at bay. Also sang through A Change in Me twice. Cried a little, but nothing like yesterday. Musically, I much prefer Candle on the Water. Interesting that the bridge managed a key change simply by changing chords; I write that way a lot, myself.

Both songs are in my range and work the passaggios. I was surprised to notice that I managed to sing the low notes in head voice with no real effort--just decided "this is how I want to sing it" and then did so. Did my best to remember to sing forward and with resonance.
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Jan 26
Tried A Change in Me but just wasn't feeling it. Sang Candle on the Water four times through. Voice still kind of shaky and didn't have the breath support I wanted--maybe because my throat was tense? I'd already done several pages of sight-singing and was tired. Kept massaging my neck and jaw, and worked on getting the melody right and learning the words. I love this song so much!! It sings in my head all the time now.
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Jan 27 Piano day, no singing.
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Jan 28 Soundcloud intervals only.
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Jan 29
Sang the scale degree exercise a couple times through. Started out okay, but G was too high so I moved it down to D. Got fairly tight and tired, so I went to piano practice to let my throat rest before I started the song. Still had trouble with crying while I sang, but the only way through is through, so I kept going. Did a lot of massage between run-throughs. Also discovered that I have to sing in head voice. Started on the C an octave middle C and sang down to the starting note to avoid inadvertently starting in chest voice, because I don't seem to know how to switch out of chest voice if I start there. Used the metronome and was most comfortable at 60 BPM... but sheesh, that makes the end a challenge! Liked the way I sounded; did my best to remember to aim my voice at the most resonant spot. Still needed to play the melody for intonation, but I do know it and  I'm starting to remember more of the words now.
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Jan 30
Soundcloud intervals before school. Doing okay in half voice. It seems like these should be a warm up, but by the end I'm tight, not relaxed, so I guess not.
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Scale Degree Patterns as a warm-up. Did them in head voice and in C, since that's what I need for Candle on the Water. And ow. Head voice hurts. I did some massage during and after, then did some serious piano practice before I tackled the song. Three times through, all head voice, and didn't lose it until the second verse of the third time through, so that's big progress. No metronome, so I dunno how fast I was going, but the third time was faster than the first two. My voice was shaky. I was too stiff and sore to have good breath support, I think, and so my tone quality varied as did my ability to sustain the notes. I sure do love the A-G pattern though; it reminds me of a bell. Did a lot of massage between takes.

When I stopped Candle on the Water I dropped to chest voice for sight-singing practice and it went much better---but oh holy cow was I worn out by the time I finished.

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