SOME USEFUL IDIOMS

THIS SUMMER, FOLLOWING MY SERIES OF MASTER CLASSES  AT  “SUMMERFEST” (CURTIS INSTITUTE  OF MUSIC) & “LA MUSICA LIRICA” (NOVAFELTRIA, ITALY), SEVERAL SINGERS  ASKED IF I COULD SET DOWN  SOME OF THE  “IDIOMS”  I  USED IN THESE CLASSES.

AND SO I AM HAPPY TO INCLUDE A FEW IF THESE FOR MY  “END OF SUMMER” BLOG:

 

  “STAY AT THE PARTY WITHT THE VOWEL YOU CAME WITH BUT FLIRT WITH ANOTHER  – PREFERABLY HER ROUNDER SISTER”  (Vowel Modification )

 “TOP DOWN/BOTTOM UP”  –  (blending the registers)

“LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP”   (preparing mentally)

“A VOWEL IS LIKE A BAD HOUSE GUEST – COMES EARLY AND STAYS LATE”  (maintaining the pure vowel)

“LET THE TONGUE DO  THE WALKING”  – (vowel harmonization)

 ‘DON’T TRY — ALLOW”  (mental preparation)

“LESS EFFORT – MORE ENERGY”  (developing the tools intelligently)

 “FIND THE GESTURE IN EVERY PHRASE” (legato energy)

“THE INHALE IS THE UPBEAT TO EACH PHRASE”  (Prepare the whole instrument in advance of the first tone)

‘INHALE – INHALE”   (Thomas Hampson)  (balances breath management)

“SING THE WORDS AS IF YOU HAVE NEVER SAID THEM BEFORE”  (strong intent & honest expression)

“ALWAYS HAVE A POINT OF VIEW”  (mental preparation vocally and expressively)

“HOLY TRINITY – BUT ONLY ONE GOD “  (register balancing)

“YAWN UP”   (allow resonators to do the work)

“HEAR YOURSELF BEFORE YOU SING – NOT WHILE YOU SING) (developing the inner ear)

“KEEP THE BRAIN AHEAD OF THE VOICE”  (Benita Valente)

“ALLOW THE DOME TO SING ”    (Resonance)

“FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD”  (awareness of the vocal tract)

“STOP – LOOK – LISTEN”  (using the imagination – inner ear & eye)

“THE INFINITIVE OF LEGATO (‘LEGARE) IS AN ACTIVE VERB – NOT A PASSIVE VERB”  (legato energy)

“LET THE CONSONANTS DO THEIR JOB”   (articulation)

“THE LARGER THE HALL THE LESS YOU TRY”   resist tendency to push outward in larger halls)

And these are the three quotes with which  every Master Class begins: 

“A VOICE TEACHER’S RESPONSIBILITY IS TO HELP A SINGER WHO HAS SOMETHING TO SAY, SAY IT MORE EASILY”  (DIETRICH FISHER DISKEAU)

“IT IS NOT DIFFICULT TO SING WELL, AS LONG AS YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO” (Joan Sutherland)

  And the one that seems to be enjoyed the most:   “ALWAYS FOCUS ON ‘BEL CANTO’ – NOT ‘CAN BELTO’ “

THERE ARE MANY MORE IDIOMS WRITTEN OR SAID BY GREAT SINGERS AND PEDAGOGUES WHICH I WILL INCLUDE IN A FUTURE BLOG.   

AS ALWAYS I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS.   JPY