Basic Vocal and Choral Techniques

BA (Hons) Vocal and Choral Studies

Questions and Answers

In order to be a successful music composer, is it necessary to be a professional level pianist?

Or maybe the question is better worded what is required to be a successful music compser? In terms of absolute essential skills. Is grade 8 theory and ABRSM/AMEB (australian system) enough foundation training in order for one to focus solely on composition learning?

Posted by Em
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It all depends on the stuff you compose. If you only compose choral works, not at all. Being a professional pianist can even be an obstacle cause it can srew up your linear/vocal thinking. Same for drum compositions. You gotta know the piano though cause you permanently need it. That means that you must of course know how to play a bach fugue and a chopin prelude even though you wouldnt get a prize for it. The times in which composers were identical with outstanding pianists and vice versa (eg liszt) are over. The most important basic skills for a composer are thorough understanding of the history of music and the techniques from the notre dame school to modern schools of all sorts plus a lot of originality.

Why British singers dont have British accent when they're singing?

Posted by BlueAries
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As well, singers need to have the ambition and drive to continually study and improve, because the process of studying singing does not end after an initial diploma or degree is finished-even decades after finishing their initial training, professional singers continue to seek out vocal coaching to hone their skills, extend their range, and learn new styles. As well, aspiring singers need to gain specialized skills in the vocal techniques used to interpret songs, learn about the vocal literature from their chosen style of music, and gain skills in choral music techniques, sight singing and memorizing songs, and basic skills at the piano, to aid in learning new songs and in ear training or vocal exercises.”

I really do not know why but my guess is most successful singers are trained phonetically to make sure listeners clearly hear the words. But why they chose an American accent as a standard, who knows. Maybe they are catering to a mostly American audience.

I do remember listening to early “Who” songs and I can detect some British accents in the words.

Additional Comment: Good point McDoom, there is no such thing as a "no accent". Every language has a phonetic standard – meaning every lanuage has an accent

hoped this helped you :-D.

How do I access my head voice?

I've tried various exercises and they just don't seem to work. The closest I've gotten to head voice is when I use falsetto. Can anyone give me the specifics? How and where should you feel vibrations? Should you force it? It's very frustrating for me since I'm apparently a baritone and I can't sing the higher notes that I want to since my range is limited.

Posted by xxpwnhahaxx
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This is a pretty decent article:

How to Use Your Head – Voice to Sing Higher

The key to singing higher is mastering what is known as the head voice. The notes on the higher end of the scale are sometimes called the head voice because those tones resonate in noise and head.

The head voice is the tone of voice used by opera singers who have some of the best voices in the world. It's also one of the tones of voice used by the ever popular Susan Boyle. The head voice is often used in choir and choral songs performed in churches and other houses of worship.

The head voice is distinguished from the chest voice which is the voice that most people sing in. When you use the chest voice, the sound you generate resonates in the chest cavity. Most people use the chest voice when they talk and it is the voice that you naturally use. This is why classically trained singers need years of vocal coaching to develop their voices. They have to learn how to generate sing and speak in a way that is unnatural for most people.

The best professional singers use what is called the mixed voice that is they can easily switch between the head voice and the mixed voice. Developing a mixed voice must be your goal if you want to be a successful professional singer who can hit a wide range of notes.

A mixed voice can be a very bad thing because it can hurt your vocal cords. Some singers actually develop cysts and nodules on their vocal cords. This can be very painful and might require surgery to fix. The vocal cords are harmed because the singer doesn't know the proper techniques for developing a mixed voice and forces it. They literally pull the chest which can produce a head voice but harms the vocal cords with strain.

The way to develop your head voice and sing higher, without putting too much strain on your vocal cords, is to train yourself to go up and down the scales without pulling your chest. This can be done if you relax when you practice try doing this when you are in a very relaxed state. This will feel odd at first but after awhile you'll get used to it and you'll be going into mixed voice and head without strain.

This requires a great deal of practice, but if you can keep up the practice you can master it and give yourself a head voice that comes without strain. You'll have control over your vocal cords and you'll be able to sing higher. Singing higher without pulling your chest will make singing more and more relaxed. Pulling the chest makes singing into a painful chore that you'll want to avoid.

One of the keys to this technique is relaxation, you must be relaxed when you are doing this or you will strain your vocal chords. So never force yourself do it slowly and methodically. This is why it is so important for singers to develop relaxation techniques through yoga and other methods. Teaching yourself a few basic relaxation techniques can get ready for these vocal exercises.

Mastering this technique will enable you to take advantage of the power of chest voice and sing higher with the ease of head voice. It will enable you to increase your range and sing like a pro.

Article by:
Sammie Stoyson, Jr

I have a YouTube video that explains the process in more detail:

Happy Singing!!

Eric Bruner Vocal Studios

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Youth Choral Project starting – Wicked Local Concord

Youth Choral Project startingWicked Local ConcordThis new choral program is designed to provide an after-school group singing opportunity for singers from Concord, Acton, Lincoln, Lexington and surrounding communities. Students will receive training in vocal technique and musicianship, while …and more »

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D.C. Community calendar, June 12-19, 2014

An American Soldier,” children’s music and Mr. Gabe, Dog Catcher book, tango lessons, Cathedra sings.

YOUniversity Vocal Club: A New Children's Choir in Bethlehem, PA!…