My studio suddenly has a handful of younger boys, several with recently-changed voices, and one who is not there yet.
I’m building a list of songs that are appropriate for them, both vocally and temperamentally. I’m looking for texts that are also age-appropriate.
Here goes, with what I’ve taught in the last few months (song, show):
- Just one person, Snoopy
- Giants in the sky, Into the Woods
- Wonderful day like today, Roar of the Greasepaint
- That kind of a day, Sheldon Harnick song book
- Leaning on a lamppost, Me and My Girl
- If I ruled the world, Pickwick
- Love I hear, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
- There’s me, Starlight Express
- If the world only knew, Scott Evan Davis
- Edwina, Edwina
- I’m home, Captains Courageous
- When I get my name in lights, The Boy from Oz
- Just wasn’t meant to happen, Calvin Berger (or any of Calvin’s songs)
- Sara Lee, Kander and Ebb songbook
- Try me, She Loves Me
- Rhyme for Angela, Firebrand of Florence
- It’s not where you start, Seesaw
- The kite, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
- Suppertime, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
- Put on a happy face, Bye Bye Birdie
- All my devices, Stephanie Salzman
My student C. has a weak spot in her voice at E5. She knows it. I know it. We hear it. We feel it.
She’s now a senior, and we need to get this fixed before she leaves college.
So today I gave her a simple isolation exercise, moving over the E5 on five basic vowels. The idea here is to slowly connect over the E5, really feeling the move from one pitch to the next, and deal with this one little corner of the voice the same way an athlete would isolate a particular muscle.
After singing this five times in D-flat, move up a half-step to D for five more reps, then up to E-flat for five more reps.
Sent to my voice students recently:
From an interview I read the other day with an aged opera star…..
Subject: DO THE WORK
Date: August 17, 2017 at 7:34:22 PM CDT
His advice to singers was simple: DO THE WORK
“You don’t know what’s going to happen to you. You have dreams, you have aspirations, but you don’t know what’s going to happen and you can’t control it. But while you’re involved in the process, DO THE WORK. We don’t know where it’s going to lead but you can know with surety that you haven’t wasted your time. You’ve learned lessons that will help you in life no matter what road you end up on. Regardless of the outcomes, DO THE WORK.”
We talked for a while longer—and I’ll share more of his thoughts in later blog posts—but his admonition to DO THE WORK stuck with me. Whether we’re a singer looking for a breakthrough, a teacher trying connect and inspire a struggling student, or a businessman trying to carve a niche in a small and competitive industry, we all face similar challenges. All we can do is do the work. That might not lead to the outcomes we expect or plan for, but as Mr. Shirley assured me, things will work out for the best if we DO THE WORK.
This blog entry is spot on!
And I always offer a trial lesson for those who ask, and I audition every private student who wishes to study with me, just to ensure fit and compatibility.
The Classical Singer site is filled with helpful and informative and interesting articles.
Here’s an important one:
An important read for anyone auditioning for any role, ever.
Thanks, Matt Edwards, for this wonderful primer!!
And how about getting the tongue to the right place?
Here’s a reminder: