First lesson at uni

3 03 2011

First singing lesson that is, as classes haven’t gone back yet after the earthquake – which was terrifying and each aftershock leaves me full of adrenaline I can’t use!

However, singing lessons have started out at someone’s house (well mansion, as the lady who is letting us use her house is in fact a Lady with a capital ‘L’). I’m going to be learning from Dame MM who is one of NZ’s leading divas, but also seems to be very gracious and down to earth – which is a good start, as I had quite imagined myself quaking in my boots (strappy sandals) before her. I’m determined to take in everything I can, after all, how often will I get this chance?

I and another new voice student had our first lesson together, and we went back to basics, just trying to control our breath and make the right sound. So my exercises for this week are: (let me bore you, but I need to record them somewhere, and why not here!)

  • Hissing tssssssss out through my teeth slowly and controlled three times, ensuring proper release after each one.
  • All on one note – Ngee-eeh-ah-oh-oo
  • Ee up and Ahh down all on one breath: 1-5,5-1, 1-5, 5-1,1-9,9-1, 1-10 with a turn on the end and back down

Other things to remember: chest up, jaw relaxed and open, sniff in the breath through my nose so that the sound is already focused there. Ngee if I’m having trouble getting my sound right.

If it sounds like gobbledegook, don’t worry, I’m sure even musicians would have trouble understanding my shorthand, but I know what I mean which is most important. šŸ™‚ Thanks to my excellent previous teacher I quickly understood all of what I needed to do, which gave me some confidence.

Next lesson is on Thursday next week. I’m picking up the other girl, as we will be sharing lessons for a while – which is fun, and slightly less stressful šŸ™‚

Now, I should probably go eat something as I was too nervous this morning, plus my dearest one called me from Auckland panicking that he didn’t know where his passport was. And thus ensued the great passport hunt of 2011. Eventually successful šŸ™‚









5 responses

3 03 2011

I really need to do some practicing, also to pick a song as I have volunteered to sing at a LARP next month. Any ideas of a good Regency song?

3 03 2011

Hmm, what about one of the classical pieces they sang in Pride and Prejudice – Lizzie sings Voi che Sapete which is a Mozart aria but with some other words (English) set to it, and Mary sang Handel’s ‘Ombra mai fu’ but again with words in English – I think it started ‘Slumber dear maid’.
they’re both pretty songs šŸ™‚ Yay Giffy singing!!

21 03 2011
Laurie Fleming

I started off poorly with my first lesson but now after three I’m getting well warmed up. Hit an Ab above the stave last Saturday, which was quite surprising.

“Ombra mai fu” is from Xerxes, or Serse, by Handel – I hope you got a chance to go along to it. As
Toby Cole sang it, it is a comic aria, translated as:
A shade there never was,
of any plant,
dearer and more lovely,
or more sweet.

It’s usually sung in a contemplative manner, but here it came out as a self-important pillock singing about his love for an ornamental tree!

21 03 2011

I was gutted not to be able to see Xerxes in welly! And I don’t think opera is in too good a state down here, particularly after the quake has tken out some venues, sigh.
It does take a while to get back into the swing of lessons! I’m looking forward to my next one, which will be my fourth – definitely feeling more in the groove now!

26 03 2011

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