Adventures in Singing, Chapter 2
Undergraduate, Non-major level
To provide students with a general understanding of basic techniques necessary to begin voice study.
To provide students with tools to evaluate posture.
To provide students with appropriate warm-ups/vocal exercises to begin individual study.
To assess students' understanding of the vocal process and introduce the mechanics of the voice.
Procedure (40-56 minutes)
Ask students to sit comfortably and close eyes. Walk them through "breath focus." Students should take deep abdominal breaths, focusing on quieting their minds and releasing stressors. After 2 minutes of deep breathing, guide students through a "body scan" to prepare for posture work. Starting from the crown of the head, ask students to take mental note of any tensions in the body and release them, moving from crown of the head down to the feet.
Students take out a piece of paper and pen and write everything they know about how the voice works in three minutes. When the timer is up, students will share their ideas. Record these ideas on white board in a thought web. If students struggle to understand what to write, have them answer these questions to the best of their ability: How does the voice work? What is the body's role in the singing, and how do different parts of the body contribute? Why is breath important? How does air help to produce sound? Etc.
Introduce the five steps of the vocal process, using pp. 6-7 of Clifton Ware's "Adventures in SInging" (2nd ed). Answer student questions. Show videos of vocal folds on youtube.
Group discussion: How is speech related to singing? Why is it important to find the voice's natural, comfortable, and efficient speaking-pitch range? Complete exercises 2-2, 2-4, 2-5, 2-7, and 2-8 on pp. 8-9 of Ware text.
Ask students to stand near the piano. Guide them through basic stretching to ensure correct posture, including exercise 2-15 (rag doll stretch). Explain that we should establish a healthy basis of vocal technique and awareness of respiration, phonation, and resonance. Complete exercise 2-16 and group-sing lip trills (5-4-3-2-1) to practice proper respiration. Group sighs and sirens for phonation. Ng exercise to develop resonance.
Check journal entry assignment for completion. Ask students to share the basics of their journal entries with a partner. Return to WG and have students share their partner's vocal history.
Review homework assignment with students. Students should read chapter 3 and complete two of the writing prompts on pp. 24-25 in their journals by the next class. Additionally, students should find two songs they would like to study this semester and submit for teacher approval.