Ariella's Vocal Notes - Blog

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We all know how it can go: you sing in front of the mirror beautifully just before you walk out of the house to your audition, (whether it be for your school musical, singing the solo at graduation, or American Idol). Your turn is up to show them what you've got and you don't even recognize yourself.

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Hello singers! We all can get into those slumps by the end of the year with ourselves, whether it be our exercise, good eating, organization, or even our regular singing routine.

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I hope you have some wonderful singing oportunities this season! I know how busy this time of year can be. I am deep in it with all of you. Try and continue warming-up and training your singing voice whenever possible. Look for new situations to sing.

Let new people know you sing, it is such a wonderful gift to have and share.

Hug your families tight and bring music into the world. Peace to you all.

Ariella Vaccarino

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When you are sick, *don't* do what is natural.

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It is so easy for us when we are feeling yucky, to speak poorly. Our throats hurt, we are congested, our chords might be a bit swollen, so it really feels so natural for us to speak "heavy and sick sounding". I say nay!

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In this festive time of year, your ears may come across Dicken's Carolers in the mall, or at an event. They are usually strolling in quartets (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), wearing old fashioned garb. One usually has a pitch pipe and they take your holiday requests.

I sang as a Dicken's Caroler for many years through college and after. It was a great source of income for me as a singer, and an interesting seasonal job. When you see these singers, I just want to point a few things out about them so that you take a moment to realize how hard-working they really are.

Most often the singers are given a full book of Carols that they have to learn their own melody for and memorize. That is a lot of melody and lyric. The songs all have their ow...

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We all know someone who loves to sing.

Here are 25 thoughtful musical ideas for the singers in your life:

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Gobble, Gobble to you all. How many of you have had a mouth full of food at the holiday table and been asked to sing?

Your dear relative or friend says, "You know, XXX is a fantastic singer, you have to hear him/her.- XXX why don't you sing that song that you did at the XXX?"

This has happened to me so many times. Usually, I am mid chewing some food. People who don't sing have no idea that we actually need to prepare for these things; warm-up our voices, bring our music for lyrics, guitar, piano, or a recording for accompaniment...

No they just want to hear you sing. And they want to hear you sing at that moment, no excuses. You can tell them you were up all night, haven't memorized, haven't sung in weeks, are getting over a cold. They w...

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How to get paying jobs as a singer- 13 Ideas!

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Don’t wait for your singing to be perfect, nothing ever is.

October 21st, 2014

I was corresponding this morning with someone who recently purchased a Vocal Assessment from me. (A service I provide where people send me recordings of their voice with their questions for my opinion). She wrote me to say that she was working on a piece to prepare to record for me and she was hoping to send it next week.

I responded, “Looking forward to hearing you. Don’t wait for it to be perfect”.

And it got me thinking. Over the years so many people have purchased Vocal Assessments from me and sometimes, they never even sent in recordings for me to do the Assessment, even though they paid me for it.

But I get it. Everyone is always waiting for that perfect recording. In life we wait for things to be perfect before we feel we can move forward on things. The perfect song, perfect teacher, perfect head shot, perfect demo, perfect outfit…

But life goes on, time goes on, auditions get done, record deals get signed, shows get booked, whether or not you are feeling perfect…

Someone could steal your chance if you don’t show up. Perfect or not.

How many times have you heard from someone that they got the part, or gig, when they weren’t ever expecting it?- “I wasn’t even ON at that audition…and they called me”. The opposite is true, I know how many killer auditions I did in my life when I didn’t win the end prize.

Now that I am older, (than I once was ;), I know more than ever, that perfect never, or absolutely rarely ever happens. There is always room to be better.

In singing perfect is NOT Necessary for something to still be FANTASTIC!!!-

Take that in singers out there. We judge ourselves so harshly, constantly self-critiquing of what we could have done better. Singing is about the journey of singing. How do you sing right now, not at your perfect moment?

If you wait for perfection, you may miss all your opportunities.

So whether you are putting together a recording to get a Vocal Assessment from me, or prepping for a huge audition, show or recording, enjoy where your voice is right now. Celebrate it. Be proud of it. Don’t wait for perfect. You can always record, perform, audition again.

Always strive for more in your training, but enjoy your exact moment and level that you are in.

Sing well!
Ariella Vaccarino

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12 Tips to prevent or recover from a tired, overused singing voice

October 15th, 2014

Today is the official release of my CD Voice Lessons To Go- Vocal Repair.

In honor of the tired, overused or recovering voice, I have put together a list of

12 Tips to prevent or recover from a tired, overused singing voice.

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For the tired, overused,

or recovering voice.

12 Tips to prevent or recover from a tired, overused singing voice.

1. Silence is golden- It is THE BEST thing to do, and will give you the fastest results. Of course silence is not always practical in life.

2. Vocal Rest- This is the second best choice. There are of course many levels of this; not singing, not yelling, not excessively chatting on the phone or with friends. Any rest you can give your vocal chords, will help their recovery.

3. Gentle speaking and singing- Keep everything light. Take the pressure off of your sound and speak gently. Do not whisper (which is bad for you), speak in a relaxed easy, light tone. You should not feel any pressing down in your larynx when you speak or sing.

4. Keep hydrated- Coffee, and non-herbal tea can actually strip your vocal chords of their natural moisture, so watch those things. Drink water and herbal tea with honey to keep your chords in good shape. There is a tea called Throat Coat which is an excellent aid for your voice.

5. Don’t sing full-out on every take and practice- Learn to save your voice for what really counts. If you are rehearsing a show, or song over and over, you can use a gentle voice to “mark” the song instead of blasting each performance like it is opening night.

6. No peer pressure, it’s your voice- If you are feeling sick, or vocally tired, ease off. Don’t feel pressured by others to keep pushing yourself. It will be you on that stage or recording that will have to be accountable for the sound you make when it really counts. Learn to stand up for yourself. If you are tired, let people know that you will be “marking”. It’s probably where we get the term “diva”, and it is spot on and necessary. If a singer does not protect himself, no one will. Be nice about it of course, but always stand up for your voice.

7. If your nose is stuffy sing away, but if your throat hurts when you speak or sing, don’t make a sound!- Pain and hoarseness in the voice when sick usually means swollen chords. Try and sing on those and you can cause vocal nodules (blisters) that can cause long-lasting damage. Shut down your sound and wait for a full recovery before you start back to singing on this one.

8. Sing in the range that suits your voice- Don’t “push and strain” to hit notes. Notes need proper support. If the support is not there, then the wrong muscles get involved which causes strain. People are born with their own range of notes that works. Stick to your range. Of course you can work on extending notes up and down, but do this in your training. Once you master 1 note out of your comfort zone, then go for the next. Also, singing in the right range is not just regarding the high or low notes of a piece. It is also important where the whole piece lays in your voice, this is called the “tessitura”. A full song should feel comfortable in your total range.

9. Sing in the genre that suits your voice- If you have a pretty gentle folk voice, don’t take the part of the belting broadway singer. A soubrette, should not sing dramatic, a crooner should not blast out a big aria. Being able to sing something once through does not mean it suits you. Can you sing that style over and over without strain? That is the test.

11. Warm up your voice before you sing and train your voice!!!!- Singing is like a sport. You would never just run a marathon. You must stretch and ease into a race. Singing is like a race. All your muscles need to be warmed-up so that everything is working to support your sound. Warm-up regularly and train to increase stamina and range. You can use any of my first 4 Voice Lessons To Go CDs to help you with this.

12. When you are vocally tired, EASE back into singing with gentle steps. – You can’t go from 1-100. You can use Voice Lessons To Go-Vocal Repair to help you transition from a recovering voice to a healthy one. Having some sort of organized light program is a great tool to get you on track to healthy singing.

Sing well!

Ariella Vaccarino

http://www.youtube.com/voicelessonstogo

http://www.facebook.com/voicelessonstogo

http://www.twitter.com/voicelessons2go

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Voice Lessons To Go-

The Box Set (v.1-4)