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Aug. 17th, 2004

I had another lesson with Carole tonight. It was both interesting and productive.

One of the first things she asked was if I was tired. When I answered in the affirmative, I asked if it was noticeable. "I can feel it," she said. I didn't sleep well on Saturday night, and those sorts of things usually hit me two days later. Anyhow, she made me sit for the lesson instead of stand.

When I started singing, she immediately remarked that I sound better. She asked if I had been doing the exercises she gave me. I had. She remarked that the tone sounded more balanced and free.

We did a lot of very detailed work. She believes in making sure the singer understands the physiology involved in singing. She constantly calls my attention to the position of my tongue, larynx, glottis, ribs, neck, etc. As a result, when I get something right, I have a better idea of what I did to get it.

We did a lot of work on the pasaggio. I have a tendency to flip the high notes high and back, as that is what Ellie teaches. As a result, the larynx tends to rise and the throat tighten up on high notes. And I tend to drive the sound. Carole worked on getting me to keep my throat open and my larynx naturally low and to float the sound. It took a while to get it, but the notes felt (and no doubt sounded) so much better when I finally got it.

She continues to be adamant that I need to work with David Pollard. I asked if she was sure he'd be interested. She told me, "I would not send you to London, to spend all that money, if I wasn't convinced he'd be interested." She realizes this will be an expensive proposition for me -- she figures, with airfare, lodging, and lessons, that it will run me about $2000 -- but she seems convinced that with a year of study with David I could be singing professionally (although she feels I should enroll at Guildhall). She gave me Pollard's phone number and told me to call him and e-mail him until I get a response.

Carole is pleased with how quickly I pick up concepts. She says I am weak in the chest area, though, and need to build that up. She advises that I spend as much time as I can in sport. She specifically told me I should take up martial arts, kung fu or tae kwan do, to strengthen my midsection, posture, and coordination, and should practice it at least three times a week. (I guess I'll have to talk to Bri and danger_chick about tae kwan do.) "Make sure you show up to London in shape," she said.

In addition to exercise and arranging to sing for Pollard, her other homework for me is to read Richard Miller's The Structure of Singing, especially the first four chapters, so that I can become more familiar with the mechanics of singing.

I have my work cut out for me in the next few months!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 18th, 2004 12:33 pm (UTC)
My school is good and has locations in Cambridge and Boston. There is also Boston TKD and CW in Cambridge that I see around in competitions. You should be aware that TKD is by far not cheap at about $70-$110 a month.
Aug. 19th, 2004 12:22 am (UTC)
My strange visual sense of humor just kicked in. I pictured you singing opera while going through the movements of your choice of Oriental combat practice.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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