This is generally a blog about singing, but my ears have been tuned to speech recently. The past two weeks I have been recovering from surgery and listening to NPR and cable TV more than usual. Something is bothering me. My local NPR station recently got a new morning host, and sometimes her delivery bothers […]
An Allergy Checklist for Singers
An Allergy Checklist for Singers Allergy season is starting early! An allergy is an abnormal response to a normal substance. For singers, it is important to know and treat allergies to keep singing as well as possible. Identify your allergies. Get tested and find out what your true allergies are! There are several basic categories: […]
Ines Leuwen, voice teacher — and mystery woman
Recently I found some photos and information about my undergraduate voice teacher, Ines Leuwen-Beck, known to me as Frau Leuwen (pronounced LOY-ven). She was a singer and later professor at the Music Academy (now the University of the Arts) in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, where I studied with her as a voice major in the […]
Boston Choruses are Auditioning!
Boston’s choral community is vibrant and large. After a couple years of relatively low activity due to the pandemic, choruses are offering complete seasons of performances in 2022-23. I have included below a list of some of the area’s mainstream choral organizations who have listed their audition dates. The Boston Choral Collaborative has information on […]
The “Concert Hall of One:” why do I sound different on a recording?
The “Concert Hall of One:” why do I sound different on a recording? Were you ever shocked when you heard a recording of yourself? Was your reaction, “I don’t sound like that”? I can bet that it was not the recording equipment. “The Concert Hall of One” was my teacher David Blair McClosky’s term for […]
Looking for a Voice Teacher? What to ask….
Looking for Voice lessons? What to ask…. In the United States, there is no certification or licensure to teach singing. Anyone can hang out a shingle and promote themselves as a voice teacher. So the consumer has to wade through the many options and make a choice. Here are some guidelines. Teacher qualifications – Is […]
COVID, The Met, and How Does Opera Go Forward in 2022?
While I wrote a couple weeks ago about choruses singing and rehearsing with and without masks, and one case of the dire consequences of the latter, the largest performing organization in the United States, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, managed to pull off 196 performances in its 2021-2 season without cancelling any. The company’s […]
When Singers Have Allergies
When Singers Have Allergies In the Northeast, this spring seems to be one of the worst for allergies. The singer community, still trying to regain a sense of normalcy from COVID restrictions, has been hit hard. Here are some general observations and recommendations from a long-time allergy sufferer and singer. Before you read on: I […]
What’s all the buzz about Lise Davidsen?
On the cover of Opera News, appearances at the Met and Carnegie hall, in a Lieder recital at the Barbican in London, with reviews in the NY Times, London Evening Standard, and many others, the soprano Lise Davidsen seems to be everywhere and to mostly rave reviews. What is all the buzz about? Lise Davidsen […]
For Singers, COVID is Nowhere Near Over
Things seemed to be coming back to pre-pandemic norms for singers, but here in the Boston area, this month has been disheartening. Unmasked singing: Recently there was a nightmare outbreak of COVID among members of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the resident chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Over 30 people in the chorus and orchestra […]
Connecting Your Breath to Your Sound
Many singers know that the chest and shoulders should not move up and down for breathing. Often I have asked students who are new to me, but who are not beginners, “what happens with breath during the act of singing?” They often have a good idea of how to inhale, but for exhalation, i.e. the […]
Breathing for Singing and Speaking (McClosky Technique)
Why breathe in the McClosky way? As a singer and voice teacher, I think breath is the most important thing to learn and teach. When the breath is working well, many other things work well without much additional attention. This way of breathing goes back several centuries as “appoggio” breathing. I hesitate to use this […]