Singing Lessons: During #2

This week’s singing lesson has brought on many new challenges for me to face. First of all, the song I ended up choosing to sing was Snap Out of It by the Arctic Monkeys, seen below. The reason I didn’t use a Regina Spektor tune was because there are almost no karaoke versions of her songs to be found on YouTube, and this was needed for the class. However, Snap Out of It is one of my favourite songs from the band’s new album, and my teacher told me it matched my voice nicely, so I’m quite happy with my decision.

The class started out with an anatomy lesson in which we learned how the vocal cords, lungs and diaphragm work together to create sound. It was incredibly interesting, and it made me think about just how complex the human body is.

Next, the teacher taught us some breathing exercises which, to be honest, I really need to practise before next week. They consisted on filling our rib region, chest and diaphragm with air in that order. When you got it right, you felt like a balloon that was about to explode. However, I failed quite a few times before getting it right once or twice. He told us that we would have to master this technique in order to store the maximum amount of air possible inside us and, thus, sing more powerfully.

We were then taught a new exercise to warm up our voice, which consisted of humming a few notes in different tones. Then, after humming them, we would have to sing them out loud. This worked surprisingly well, and I did feel my vocal cords relax after the exercise.

Finally, we had some time to sing. One of the girls who attends class with me was absent, so we were only two that day. I went first and sang the first verse and chorus of the song I had chosen. The teacher then stopped me and congratulated me on singing well. He then made me try to sing the song with more power or, in other words, made me try to sing from my abdomen. I was off-key a couple of times when doing this, but he told me I did just fine. After that, he asked me to try to sing everything by linking the notes one to another. That did not go well, as it was quite difficult to do with the song I had chosen. Unfortunately, our time ran out and my classmate got to sing the song she had chosen.

For next class, I will have to practise singing from my abdomen and linking the song’s notes together. Of course, this will be a challenge, but my teacher’s positive reinforcement and trust in my abilities make me excited to try, even if I fail.

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