How are you all going out there?
For me it has been and continues to be an incredibly difficult and lonely time, as it would be for many others who are far worse off than I. For those who have lost their jobs, find it difficult to put food on the table, have lost a loved one to this terrible virus, have lost a loved one due to any other cause but who cannot attend their funeral or feel doubly grieved in these stressful times, those who suffer from anxiety or depression, for all the faithful who cannot attend Mass, those who are single and isolated, the elderly, parents educating children at home, and so on – my heart goes out to you.
We keep hearing about how these are “unprecedented times” and how we must be strong and resilient. Yes, we must. But we also need a shoulder to cry on and a pillow to scream into when we feel broken.
Being in “the lucky country” down under we have indeed been one of the most fortunate in comparison to many countries overseas. Our curve has flattened and the death toll low. We are now ever so gingerly beginning to emerge from our cocoons and dipping our toes into the water of “normality” again. But how can things truly ever be normal again?
Continue reading “When Returning Is Harder Than Leaving”
I believe that every singer has a little rebel living
inside them. In fact, I would encourage
every singer to find that little rebel as soon as they possibly can. Why?
Well let me first explain who that little rebel
is. Rebels generally have a bad
reputation – think James Dean, surly, possibly chain-smoking (please, please do not ever smoke or give up
if you do – it kills!), reckless, anti-social, maverick, and
unorthodox. But the music rebel I am referring to can actually be a great asset for
singers and musicians.
Continue reading “Be a (Music) Rebel – A Cure for Singer’s Blah”
All singers, whether you are a professional, hobbyist, or volunteer, will encounter times when creating music just won’t come easily for various reasons. The most obvious reason will be because of an emotional event that has happened to us or someone we know. This has happened a few times for me when asked to sing at funerals or weddings (yes, weddings – a happy event, but one filled with high expectations!).
The most challenging time was when I was asked to sing
at the funeral of a woman I had known at church for many years. She was an amazing lady who struggled with
health issues all of her life, but was as sharp as a tack and lived her life
with wit, humour, and determination.
When her family asked that I and another person sing at her funeral, I
knew that of course I had to do it, even though my guts were churning. You see, that was the first time I had to
sing at a funeral – ever.
Continue reading “How to Sing When You Don’t Feel Like It (or Can’t)”
As singers we have many
reasons and personal purposes for singing.
But essentially our ‘mission’ is to deliver a message to our listeners
based on the composer’s lyrics. We want
to impart this message with feeling, dynamics, and emotion. We also want to articulate the words well, so
that people will understand what we are saying and feel that we have touched
their hearts and minds. Clarity,
enunciation, and articulation are important.
Most singers are accompanied by instrumentalists – whether they are piano, guitar, organ, violins, brass, a complete orchestra, or other types of instruments. Together we must work as a team, blend, and share the same aims in producing a seamless and beautiful sound.
Continue reading “Instrumentalists: don’t drown your singers!”
Firstly, please don’t be put off by the title of this book – Master Your Voice by Freya Casey.
if you do not sing or are not a musician, there is so much to learn from this
We all have a voice for speaking as well as singing, so loving it and taking care of it is important for everyone. Even if for some reason you ‘do not have a singing voice’ (which, by the way, I believe is not true – anyone can sing if they are prepared to take the time to work at it) you can still take away many things from this book.
Continue reading “Book review: ‘Master Your Voice’ by Freya Casey”
When you sing, do you think about why you are doing
it? It could be just because we love to
make a joyful noise, or that we want to improve our technique, we want to hit a
particular note as accurately as possible, or just because we are happy to be
alive. We don’t want to overthink our
singing, but we do want to ensure that we have a purpose.
More often than not singers don’t even think about
purpose, but are too busy judging their own sound rather than enjoying the
moment and the music. Many singers find
it difficult to get past the psychological battle going on in their heads – negative
self-talk is a hard wall to get over.
Understanding why we sing or finding a purpose to sing is impossible if
we keep telling ourselves that our voices are terrible, we keep comparing
ourselves to others, or we think that people are either born singers or
not. You may want to sing with a greater
purpose but find yourself stuck in this frame of mind.
Continue reading “Singers, you must have a purpose”
Everyone is musical and can be a singer. We all have music in us – to some it just comes more easily, strongly,
and naturally, while others have to work harder to find it, but it is there as
part of our souls – that is what I believe.
And you don’t have to be ‘on stage’ to qualify. If we don’t block the ears of our hearts and
minds with the worries of life, all of us can hear music right here and now in
some form. I am not just talking about
the music we hear blaring out of the radio, CDs, or through other devices, but noticing
how real music feels in the rhythms of life around us. This is the type of music that gets deep into
our bodies and spirits. We may find
ourselves casually tapping our fingers to what we hear and start humming a tune,
or sing a random song. When we were
babies and children we made noises and didn’t care who was watching or
listening. Did you know that these small
things are the start of something wonderful?
Stop reading this post right now and take a moment to just
listen to the sounds around you for a
Continue reading “Singer beginner? Start with your head!”
I recently saw Mary Poppins Returns and while today’s post will not specifically review this movie in too much detail (hint: go and see it for yourself!), the cast and lead characters are wonderful – particularly Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack the lamplighter.
From the opening scene you have the feeling of being taken right back to a simpler (albeit difficult) time in history – it is set in the 1930s during the ‘Great Slump’. I also found that this initial reaction extended to how the movie itself looked and was made – first impressions count, right? The cast and crew have done a grand job of pulling you into a now-lost world of lightness, whimsy, and the sweet innocence of old-time musicals from the 1950s. The music, rich orchestral sounds, costumes, artwork, details, and more are to be absorbed in all their enchantment.
Continue reading “Spit spot! Why a Mary Poppins perspective positively pleases”
I love singing. I’ve been singing since babyhood. How do I know this? Because my mother told me. Singing comes naturally to babies, doesn’t it? They gurgle, coo, scream, and are not afraid to make the most hilarious noises. What happens to us as we grow older? Why can’t we continue to use our voices in speech and song, even in the privacy of our own homes, to make the weirdest noises we can? This is good for the voice and for our creative exploration!
Continue reading “Why music and singing are important”
Hello, and welcome to the very first post by The MuSinGer!
Every approaching New Year brings opportunities to start afresh. I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while, but with the proliferation (or saturation) of blogs out there, it was always an idea that was pushed away.
Continue reading “Welcome to The MuSinGer”