Alison's 4th Marking Period Classes
Every time I make a new post, I will put the date and time next to it so you know it is the most current information. Newest posts will be on top. I will send recordings of classes if you are absent. However, even if you were present, feel free to request them for your own review if you wish.
FRESHMAN INFORMAL SONG REHEARSALS (Remember to scroll down to stay on track with assignments and notes)
Refer to your email for:
1) A message sent at 3:43pm on Friday, 5/22. Read it carefully and completelye.
2) Messages sent to you individually as I discover any re-shoots or re-recordings we need to do.
I emailed you all the video takes we've done together so far (look for an email from me sent 5/20/20 around 7:15pm). I put timeframes with your names so you can look any takes you did. Keep in mind:
You will have the easiest time determining whether you are starting and stopping at the right times if you take video on your own with a track that includes the piano.
Notes from Wednesday's (5/20) class and instructions for all:
Notes from Monday's (5/18) class and instructions for all:1. Review section recordings (one for sopranos, one for altos, one for tenors, one for basses): I am creating recordings for each harmony part so you can check and make sure, for example, if all of the altos are together and covering every alto note. So far, I have sent the tenors and sopranos recordings of their sections singing the harmony parts together. After listening to these and conversing with each other about any inconsistencies or feedback to be applied, record a more polished version and send it today (Monday, 5/18) or tomorrow (Tuesday, 5/19). Once I have Madeleine's, Cameron's, and Mason's, I'll send your section recordings (and adjust the deadline accordingly).2. Apply specific feedback and re-record: As I review your solo and harmony recordings, I will send each of you an email with anything I need you to try again. I hope to do that for everyone by tonight. Also, those of you who made any recordings during class that you feel improved upon your previous recordings should send them to me.3. Apply and practice notes given in class (whether you were there or not):a. Make sure to finish the words "and" and "find"...most are singing "an" and "fine."b. Sing "stream," not "shtream."c. Flip or British-ize your Rs, especially at the end ("your dream"). No "errs" should be audible.d. The second to last word of the song, "your," has a fermata over it. UPDATED 5/19 AT 1:45PM: Sustain "your" until the piano chord underneath ends.e. Sustain the last word, "dream," until the button, and open up the vowel right away. In fact, I dare ya to sing "yoh dah" instead of "your dream" and see how easy it can be. Add an m and you're done.f. In the word "know" and in the underlined syllable "rain-bow," sustain the sound "ohhhhh." Some of you are singing "rain-bo-wooooo" and "kno-wooooo."g. If you are reading this email carefully, keep it up.h. When making an audio recording, don't sing directly into the mic so that puffs of air from certain sounds don't cause pops. If recording into a phone, you can hold it as if talking on the phone but a few inches away from your ear (like someone on the phone just started yelling).i. Make sure you are singing moun-ten, not moun-tin.j. If you sang the wrong words in an audio or video recording, you need to record it again.k. Make sure there is no white noise in the background when you record, such as a fan, air filter, or air conditioner.4. Review video from class: To make it easier, I've trimmed the video and indexed it so that you can find yourself and see how you looked when filming (I left in a little bit of the take where I muted us, so that the visual feedback I gave right after made sense). You can also use it to warm up or remind yourself of what was said. Basses and sopranos, this is your chance to see what you looked like and film a better take if you so choose. Don't settle--watch yourself and then top it!0 - 28 minutes: Notes on recordings so far;28 minutes: warm-ups;37 minutes: class films video for solo line45 minutes: basses sing together;46 minutes: Cameron bass;49 minutes: Mason bass;51 minutes: Mason solo;54 minutes: Cameron solo58 minutes: Sopranos together1 hour: Phoebe soprano62 minutes: Emmie soprano63 minutes: Bella soprano66 minutes: Phoebe solo69 minutes: Emmie solo71 minutes: Bella solo73 minutes: All- notes and reminders5. Keep wearing black tops to every class with me, and put yourself in front of a blank wall or the blankest possible place.6. If you are reading this website carefully, you rock.DEADLINES:By Friday, 5/15 (or sooner): Send me your best recording of you singing the solo with whichever track makes you most comfortable and most accurate. Listen to the track on headphones so that the recording you send has just your voice and nothing else. Please warm up first, and record several takes so that you can listen to them and send me the best one.By Monday, 5/18 (or sooner): Send me your best recording of you singing your harmony with whichever track makes you most comfortable and most accurate. Listen to the track on headphones so that the recording you send has just your voice and nothing else. Please warm up first, and record several takes so that you can listen to them and send me the best one.From Thursday's class (5/14):Homework for those in my class today (Armani, Natalie, Bella, Kristina, Madeleine, Phoebe, Alaina): Please watch the minute-and-a-half-long video clip I shared with you in google drive from this morning. Watch your faces. Imagine this as the finale to the informal. Don't worry about sound, but send me an email by Monday with your observations about yourself and the group as a whole, along with what we need to do to get our video performance-ready.From Tuesday's class (5/12):
- Label all recordings starting with your first name, "solo" or harmony, and what you recorded. For example, if I'm recording the solo from measures 1-18, I'd label the recording Alison- Solo- m.1-18. If I'm recording the end of the alto part, I could label it Alison- Alto- last "till you find your dream."
- Lip sync videos must be video file formats (mp4, mov, etc.) Recording yourself will fix these issues.
- It is possible for you to have done nothing wrong in the class video, but still need to re-record because perhaps your internet connection was slow, your image froze, or you couldn't hear the recording played on my end.
- Audio recordings must be audio file formats (wav, m4a, mp3).
- Recording in segments is okay, as long as there is silence before and after what you sing.
- Match your expressive audio face to your expressive video face! Your face and BodyVoice must be expressive during AUDIO recording, not just video recording, in order to resonate with your voice and audience.
- Any note you get about your singing needs to be seen on the video, not just heard in the audio. For example, I've asked you all to sustain the "oh" sound of "rainbow," not closing to "oo." Your lips need to be shaped for singing "oh."
- View the video of yourself singing the solo and harmony part, then top it (make sure you look the same and sit in the same spot if you only rerecord part of the song)! When you watch the video of yourself singing, are you engaged? Gazing at someone just over your camera? In sync with the music? Filling the frame from shoulders to top of head in front of a blank background?
- If is easier for you to remember applying feedback to your video if you actually sing, then you can actually sing!
- Warm up before recording, even if the notes are "easy" for you. It removes some white noise, breathiness, and catches in the throat. Runners don't stretch because they can't run without stretching--they do it to run better, more efficiently, and with less risk of injury (or, in our case, vocal fatigue).
- Practice with your head, perform from your heart. Strategies, feedback, exercises, warm-ups, reminders: all of these things can be chosen to help get our VOICES ready for the work of singing the piece accurately. However, if you just read your feedback and go "yeah, okay," without practicing it, you'll have to be in your head in order to apply it. Instead, reread it and practice it until your muscle memory can take over. That way, you can express intention and give voice to emotion.
- Silent breaths = less breathy tone
- Sopranos, altos, and tenors- Sing ahs with a smile, and move from one note to the next smoothly but WITHOUT SLIDING.
- Always watch your videos and listen to your audio recordings before sending. If you are recording and something goes wrong- a pitch wavers, you hiccup, your dog barks, etc.--don't keep recording and waste your time and voice! Start over or redo that segment.
- If you have received feedback from me that you have not yet applied to your audio and video recordings, you need to re-record and submit your files to me by Thursday at 5pm.
- Respond to the email (sent 5/20 at 10:56am) by telling me what you will be sending me by Thursday at 5pm, and how you'll know it is ready to be sent.
Homework part A: Use tape across your forehead or from your sternum to your belly (or ask someone to put it down your back) to monitor whether you are scrunching up your face or collapsing forward -OR- Tie a scarf or belt around your ribs, around your abdomen, or around your shoulders and waist like a backpack to notice what you are doing or not doing when controlling your breath/singing. Try one of these options while you practice singing, and email me by Friday with your observations and how you used that information to discover other choices.
Homework part B: Rehearse your harmony parts on lip trill to make it clearer where you start and stop the sound to breathe.
Notes for all: 1) Do not take more than one beat (or click or piano chord) to breathe. 2) Make sure your recording (solo by Friday, harmony by Monday--earlier is fine) is audio only, that the only thing I hear is your voice (only you should hear the track-- use headphones), and that you let others in the household know when you start and stop your recording session so they know not to interrupt you. Putting your phone on airplane mode will also prevent interruptions, as will setting the screen not to turn off for 5 minutes. 3) Experiment with your various devices this week so that you record yourself with the best quality audio possible.From Friday's class (5/8): Madeleine- please send me an audio recording (or video, if you wish) of yourselves singing the "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" solo line by Tuesday.Please follow the directions below and then review how you'll be graded for this module:-I have only heard from the basses about where they are each going to breathe. Even if you've worked it out with your section (e.g. alto section, soprano section, tenor section, etc.), one of you needs to email me with where everyone plans to breathe. That way, when we're working together, I can help reinforce that plan and know when something is intentional or an accident.-NOTE FOR ALL (5/6)- the last note of the song, "dream," will end on the button. The button is that last "boom" in the piano. If you run out of air before then, breathe and come back in...but plan it so there are no holes!-NOTE FOR ALL (5/8)- finish the words "till" and "find" on the last page of the song by placing their final consonant sounds on the eighth rest while still leaving a space between each word of the phrase.-NOTE FOR ALL (added 5/8 at 5pm)- pronounce the second syllable of the word "moun-tain" as "moun-TEN," NOT "moun-TIN."Here's how I'm grading you in this part of the module:1) Participation: Are you engaged, contributing to discussions, writing down feedback and strategies we learn, reflecting and observing when you make discoveries about your voice, and on task even if it isn't "your turn" to sing? Are you ready to go when called on? Are you addressing technical difficulties before class and between classes to maximize our productivity?2) Applying feedback: Am I giving you the same notes and instructions over and over, or are you applying and practicing them? Are you following the instructions (like the NOTE FOR ALL in the paragraph above this list) and taking notes even on days you don't "see me" in class?3) Practicing on your own: Are you improving each time I hear you sing? Are you practicing mindfully and with a goal? Do you warm up first? Do you ask questions that come up between classes? Do you have a way of self-assessing that doesn't get in your way?4) Technique: Are you using your BodyVoice with awareness and intention? Are you supporting your sound? Are you straining? Are you applying the exercises and warm-ups that we've done to improve any difficult passages in the song?5) Homework: If I've asked you to follow up with me on something specific (like when I say "try___and let me know how it goes,"), are you getting back to me before the next class day (again, even if you aren't scheduled to work with me that day)? Are you meeting deadlines for memorization and submitting recordings? Are you reading to the end of emails or just skimming them? Thanks to those who read this carefully on the email and on this website. Your diligence is reflected in your work, grade, and developing reputation.
HEY! YOU OKAY? If not, here are some resources from school that are still available to you even though we aren't in the building:
Mental Health Counselors: Donna Lenox (firstname.lastname@example.org), Cathy Bladt (email@example.com), and Brandon Kornbluh (firstname.lastname@example.org) can assist students who need additional emotional support and/or referrals for outpatient mental health services. They can speak to students on the phone, via e-mail or Zoom sessions.
Of course, your faculty are still here for support, but these professionals are trained in helping you with your mental health needs.
FRESHMEN VOCAL MUSIC:
1) Plan breaths with your section (sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses) and communicate them to me. Practice breathing where you've planned until you don't need to think about it.
2) Keep track of the notes I've given so I don't have to give them again. These include observing the 8th rests on the last page, stagger breathing (coming back in on the vowel you've been sustaining instead of finishing a syllable with an early consonant), pronouncing "moun-tain" like "moun-ten," and apply warm-ups that make your voice clear and resonant to your practice sessions to avoid breathiness and sing this style more authentically.
3) Get to the point that you can sing your harmony part with the solo recording, or with a recording with somebody else's voice part being played.
4) Memorize the text of the solo so that you can practice standing and singing with an open heart as though on a stage.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SOPHOMORE SOLO REP:
Homework from Day 3 & Day 4 (due in your folder by May 8th): Apply feedback you received on your practice prescreen videos, in-class performances, and comments in assignments to create your final prescreen videos. Upload your final videos, your resume, headshot, and any extra credit materials you wish to include by Thursday, May 8th. You may also update and revise assignments that were due before the 8th by proofreading them and incorporating new ideas and feedback you got from class. I have VIEWED all of your assignments on the due dates, but I will GRADE them May 8th so that you can polish them. If you did not yet submit something on a previous due date, I will accept it for partial credit by May 8th as well.