In-Depth Post #1
To be honest, I haven’t really been giving this project much thought recently, but after taking a short look back at my In-Depth posts from last year, and listening some jazz piano recordings of myself, I have reminded myself of the exciting adventures waiting to be found in this project. This year, for my project, I am going to learn the art of singing!
Florence Foster Jenkins (as portrayed by Meryl Streep), a notable singer I aspire to be unlike.
It took me much less deliberation than last year to choose my skill; although I had jotted down no less than 20 ideas throughout the summer and fall, I’ve come to realize how valuable singing can be for me and my future endeavors. First of all, I want to become a better overall musician, and learning how to sing can possibly change the way I approach playing piano – I can understand how to play a melody in a more ‘song-like’ manner, and shape phrases accordingly. Also, as I am starting to perform at Gleneagle events and other venues such as senior homes, learning how to sing will help me in those areas. Currently, I have no knowledge about how to actually sing – of course, I sometimes belt out Billy Joel tunes at home (much to the chagrin of my family), and sang a duet from La La Land with Melissa (her blog is here) at Coffee House 2017. I listen to opera occasionally if it’s on the radio, and listen a wide variety of vocal music (from John Lennon to Frank Sinatra to Ed Sheeran)!
Here are a few of my goals I want to achieve and learn by the end of the project:
- Proper posture and breath support
- Tuning and intonation
- Diction (pronunciation of syllables)
- Stage presence (maintaining proper tuning/breathing on stage)
My search for a mentor has been fairly exhaustive; I contacted three different vocal coaches to discuss times that they were available, but two were unavailable. So, although I am still in the process of deciding a time for mentor sessions, I have found my mentor: Margo LeVae, a voice teacher at the Tri-City School of Music! Below is a section of her biography:
Margo’s past operatic roles include Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (2008), Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte (2009), The Mother in Hansel and Gretel (2010), Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi (2010), and Lady Billows in Albert Herring (2011) all with the UBC Opera Ensemble. In 2011, Margo appeared as Gianetta for The Vancouver Island Opera Society’s production of L’Elisir d’amore and as the Brothel Keeper in the world premiere of Shadow Catch—a newly commissioned chamber opera for The City of Vancouver’s 125thAnniversary Celebration.
Margo was a winner in the 2010 Vancouver Women’s Musical Society Vocal Competition and finalist in the 2009 UBC School of Music Concerto Competition. She holds a Master of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia where her studies were made possible by a University Graduate Fellowship.
I’ve done some research on my own about singing, and am planning a trip to the public library tomorrow to find some books. Here is one great source I found about singing:
The resource has a large variety of techniques that I’ve already started to try for myself, and I’m excited to see all the new adventures I’ll embark upon for this rendition of In-Depth!
The only thing better than singing is more singing.