It was five years ago that I completed my PhD on the Perception of the Singing Voice and one of the major findings from my research interviewing singers across all ages and expertise up to professional level was that those with advanced performance skills spoke about their perceptions of singing in terms of space and movement. This might seem obvious to any singers reading this but we tend not to focus on that when we teach. If I have learnt anything from this summer’s experiences with LeoSings, Eurovox in Riga, PEVOC in Firenze it is that we need to teach our students to feel and think in more effective ways when they sing.
I am going to work on a programme where I focus on specific vowel sounds and consonants to encourage the singers to be consciously aware of the internal space in the pharyngeal area as well as the acoustic feed back they are getting from the internal feedback, bone and fluid conduction etc. and the external acoustic space as well. And link it to their whole body sensations in terms of balance as the inner ear and balance mechanisms are so fundamental to our well being and optimum performance.
I have become very aware of this trying to teach French song to my University students as the complexity of vowel colours in French is so rich and diverse and gives the singer such opportunities for exploring levels of timbre in the sound. We have been exploring Rimbaud’s poem Voyelles, in French and English and it is really helping them think and feel what vowels are all about!
More of this later!