Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Monday, November 20, 2006

Every Child a Singer: Techniques for Assisting Developing Singers by Janice Smith

Humans sing to express emotions beyond mere words. Singing is obviously an important subject to Smith. In this article, ideas for teaching students and guidelines by which the teacher should follow are discussed. She first tells possibilities of why some children need help singing. Some of these reasons could be lack of confidence, auditory processing difficulties which result in inaccurate singing, hearing impairments, and other physical impairments such as a chronically hoarse voice. The article also discusses different things to practice with students such as posture and breathing. Warm-ups are essential and vocal health is vital. Asking a student to continuously sing louder can damage their vocal chords. She also presses on vocal exploration. Helping a child to reach both ends of their vocal range and to switch from range to range quickly is a good goal to work for. She talks about how the teacher should know what he is doing and be able to sing in order to teach the student to sing.

Professor Spiegelberg, I'm so sorry this is late. I did all my comments earlier and set out to find a good article to do my abstract with. I wrote an abstract and my internet stalled and I lost my it. Please accept this, I know I completely forgot about the whole thing last week.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Conscious Voluntary Movement Excercise

Created by the fouders of the Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor psychotherapy, CVME is an excercise that helps one maximize their awareness of their bodily control, energy expenditure, and of the placement in space of the portions of the body. In order to teach, it is broken up into four stages: decision-making, planning, implementation, and verification. It is a standing-up excercise that requires first the arm to move back and forward slowly, then other parts of the body, depending upon their field of performance (music, dance). The goal of this technique is to make one completely aware of their movements and thus provide for a perfect performance, as there are no more nervous movements. This technique, so to speak, eliminates nervousness.

This investigation set out to prove whether fourth and fifth garders could audibly recognize the difference between blues melodies and blues improvisation. The students were split into three equally sized groups. The first group memorized and sang a blues melody, the second group was taught how to play a blued melody on the recorder, and the third group was given very little instruction about playing or singing any blues melody. The groups that were taught melodies were able to discern between improv and melody at a much higher rate than the third group.

"Why Your Music Program Needs a Web Site"

"Why Your Music Program Needs a Web Site"
By David R. Marowitz
Teaching Music October 2006 issue Page 54-57

Providing your community with a website provides better means of communication, it provides your ensemble or group with a public "face," and can unify your students. When creating a website remember to first get the administrations approval. Developing a purpose statement can help you decide who, what, size, and how much information you want to include on your site. Allowing individual students or groups of students who can be considered "techies" help maintain the website and report to you, the website manager, before making changes or deleting old information. The last part of the article includes tips about finding a web site provider appropriate to your group.

"Speeding Up Vibrato"

The article discusses how the faster vibrato is, the narrower it must be. The author then goes on to explain the difference between hand and arm vibrato, hand vibrato is generated from the wrist and arm vibrato comes from the elbow. It is then said that vibrato should be sped up by using a metronome and playing multiple rhythms. The last section of the article states that many students start vibrato by tightening the arm, but this should not be the case. The student should start in a relaxed state and gradually add muscle.

Vocal and Aural Perceptions of Young Singers Aged Ten to Twenty-One

by Susan Yarnall, from the Journal of Singing Sept/Oct 2006 issue, pages 81-85.


As they progress through adolescence, many singers encounter physical, mental, emotional and psychological changes. By studying how and when each change occurs, teachers can better predict problems and assist students through this volatile period. The following article presents findings from two studies on the process of vocal maturity. In the first study, the author notes five stages of development: between ages 11-12, 12-13, 13-14, 14-15, and 16-18. In each stage, physical, emotional and psychological development are taken into consideration, as well as vocal maturity. The second study made use of recording equipment to examine students' perceptions of their own sound. Many of the subjects were surprised by what they heard. The author concludes with a list of tips for teachers to better instruct and support their adolescent students.

"Playing without Pain: Strategies for the Developing Instrumentalist"

This articles deals with the realization that not just elder musicians end up with injuries, but that younger musicians are just as susceptible. It states that there are three important factors, proper diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The six focuses that the article looks at are causes, types of difficulties, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The causes of must young musicians injuries are overuse, misuse, and hypermobility. Of course the primary symptom is pain, and the next step is acknowledging that pain means there is something wrong. One suggestion was to take your musical instrument with you when you go to the doctor to be diagnosed. The primary treatment for any injury is rest. The article is mostly informative because in order to prevent the injuries students must know ways in which to do so.

"Playing without Pain: Strategies ofr the Developing Instrumentalist"
By William J. Dawson
Music Educators Journal-November 2006
pg. 36-41

"Taking Aim at Good Intonation"

"Taking Aim at Good Intonation" International Society of Bassists Volume 30, Number 1 - p. 25

This article looks at the steps bassists should take to have good intonation. The ability to play in tune depends on three things: an understanding of the harmonic series and temperaments, ear training, and ability to apply these skills in both practice and performance. The article explains how the intervals are all derived by mathematical ratios, and goes into detail about harmonics and temperaments on the bass using specific examples. It states what a bass player needs to have a good ear and good tone, and includes and exercise to practice to help with both. The last section outlines what the bass player's job is while playing in a group, specifiacally and orchestra, and tips to help with many aspects of playing bass.

"Teaching Music Traders a Lesson"

The Berklee College of Music is known as one of the best and most prestigious contemporary music conservatories in the world. The school hosts a wealth of knowledge ranging from lessons in the traditional jazz technique to the freedom of new, innovative composition. However, Berklee does not wish to hold this abundance of information hostage. In fact, Berklee is encouraging it's students to share lessons, music files, songs, and other musical genius online. This article explores the pros and cons of sharing collegiate information online, and how this new technology will affect music students of the future. In "Teaching Music Traders a Lesson," the author challenges her audience to enter a world where the digital age and the historic age of music collaborate to make a place where it is easy, and accepted, for students to learn through downloading and surfing the web.

Wired News:"Teaching Music Traders a Lesson" by Katie Dean

And now Mr. Terfel will be singing Free Bird

Voice teachers and pretty much all classical musicians have had a bias about popular music, but a few musicians are building a bridge to bring all stlyes of music together. Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) books are now being published to aid in these contemporary styles. These new vocalising books are being published so that young singers can experience pop, jazz, rock, and all contemporary music. The books take the singers through the necessary steps to sing correctly in these different stlyes. One of the advantages of these books is that no one has found a way of teaching these styles or at least has not made them well known. It also gives musicians a new understanding of how these different musical aspects work so that all musicians can better understand the different styles of music, rather than saying one is better than another.