Published July 1st, 2015 by Brad Jenks
Cornell MacNeil: "Let us take a word commonly used by singers – support. What does it mean? To some people it means absolute rigidity, which will destroy them!" Jerome Hines: "Support is usually equated with you Italian word appoggio." C. MacNeil: "Appoggio… Which means setting upon… something completely different from support. We think of support […]Read Post Oh, Blow It Out Your Sing-Hole....
Published May 22nd, 2015 by Brad Jenks
Following on the train of thought from my last posting (The Cricothyroid Rosary), I have been reflecting on the issue of style-appropriate sound. This is a common theme in pedagogical circles these days, and even in the voice sciences where observers seek to ascertain what physical changes occur when switching from style to style. This […]Read Post The Sound Of Style - Basses Need Not Apply....
Published February 7th, 2015 by Brad Jenks
Over the last year I have had a handful of conversations with colleagues on the subject of “technical” content in vocal instruction. Some are strong proponents of in-depth technical instruction. Many find great success with their students teaching largely through sensory imagery. And there is certainly no shortage of strong opinion on which is more […]Read Post Funny You Should Ask..... I Have No Idea
Published December 18th, 2014 by Brad Jenks
A little unintentional yodeling around the holidays, anyone? A few days back, my student load was mostly beginners. Throughout the day, this particular crop were shuddering any time their voices wiggled or cracked. Encouraging them to be bold in spite of this, I began to think about the degree of anxiety they demonstrated over cracking. […]Read Post A Crackin’ Good Time!
Published August 12th, 2014 by Brad Jenks
The following thoughts are a sort of addendum to a previous post (Loud-louder-loudest!) I was recently watching the video below and was astonished at how quietly, yet audibly, Ms. Bartoli sang through some of the latter portion of her aria. And yet, though not terribly loud, it was neither out of character, nor unsuitable. It […]Read Post Speak up, yes.... but speak.
Published February 14th, 2014 by Brad Jenks
Over the years I have found myself using the term "technique" less and less. When I was a younger man and starting out to learn about how singing was done, I was obsessed with "technique". Often, as a result I was vocally ineffective, and I was boring. Older now, and hopefully a little wiser, I […]Read Post When Technique Lacks Technique....
Published October 9th, 2013 by Brad Jenks
I have a demonstration of which I am fond, which regularly makes an appearance in my studio. I tuck my chin down and sustain a pitch. Sounding very baritonal indeed, I then lift my head, nose slightly above the horizon. The sound thins out unpleasantly, the student looks wary... Then I begin to move my […]Read Post Take This Chin And Shove It!
Published September 21st, 2013 by Brad Jenks
Resonance is a necessary quality in vocalism, or at the very least in unamplified vocalism. It is one of the primary factors in the acoustic effect of the voice “carrying”. However, resonance is not always about maximum space, but about appropriate space. Streamlining is an undervalued concept when it comes to space in the resonating […]Read Post Yawning Is Contagious.....
Published August 1st, 2013 by Brad Jenks
There is a place in this world for the serious noisemakers, the Mario Del Monacos, the Birgit Nilssons, the Dolora Zajicks, the Cornell MacNeils, the Ethel Mermans.... And Lord knows we love the noises they make! Especially the high screamy bits!! It’s thrilling. Everyone loves a loud high note. But there is a great quote […]Read Post Loud, Louder, Loudest!!