Blog

A Season of Gratitude Nov 23, 2022

There's an old saying that I think about a lot in my teaching and music making. I didn't come up with it, and I'm not sure who did, but it goes:

We teach best what we most need to learn.

It's simple and straightforward, and consequently can be applied in many ways.

As a teacher, I get to work...

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Vocal Health During the Winter Months Nov 03, 2022

Prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to our voices. Here are some friendly reminders and thoughts as the northern hemisphere heads into cold and flu season.

Wash Your Hands Frequently

I know, right. Didn't we just hear this, yet it's true for vocalists all the time. I might add to...

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Two Tips to Level Up Your Singing Oct 19, 2022

Simply put, separate the subjective from the objective in your practice and performances.

The unspoken third tip is to be very specific.

What does this mean?

Subjective elements are matters of opinion. Some folks will love Bob Dylan's voice. Some will not. Both are correct, as far as their own...

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Vowel Alignment Sep 11, 2022

I've said it before, but something this important bears repeating.

Vowels Phonate.

They are what 'carry the tune', the actual notes that we sing. Focusing on them makes it possible for us to sculpt our phrases in the many ways that we hear them sung.

Part of focusing on the vowels is also...

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Want to Beat Stage Fright? Aug 26, 2022

Beating stage fright is one of the most individual practices I regularly teach. The process varies from person to person because the roots of it are sunk into our individual life experiences. This is where two terms are important.

Performance Anxiety

That is the term that is more commonly used...

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How to Sound Better Singing Aug 14, 2022

Vowels phonate.

This is by definition:

1 to provide (a sound source, and hence the pitch) for a given voiced continuant or vowel, through rapid, periodic glottal action.

2 to vocalize

Vowels are literally what carry the tune when we sing. Yes, we need consonants in order to understand what...

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These Three Things Will Kill Your Voice Jul 29, 2022

But thankfully, we can manage them, or at least aspects of them.

1. Sleep/Fatigue

I often refer to this as an insidious effect. I, for one, did not used to think about it very much, and mostly discounted feeling tired as just being an excuse. The more we learn about sleep the more we seem to find...

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The Key to Success Jul 11, 2022

When you quit, you really have lost at that point.

Facing defeats, real or perceived, can be hard though. It can seem as if that audition, or that part was THE ONLY PART EVER!!!! Having not gotten it, one might think that they've come to the end of the road. From one perspective, you have. That...

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Bearer of Bad News Jun 27, 2022

Let's get straight to it, shall we?

You have to learn to count beats in music.

There, I said it. Disagree? Leave a comment below.

Now, let's be clear here, I didn't say you have to learn all the numbers and names of the subdivisions, though it would help. You just have to count, or perhaps...

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The Hardest Practice Jun 10, 2022

There’s one thing that’s harder to practice than anything else. Master it, and everything that you’re working for becomes more possible. Fail to understand it, and your struggle can be magnified to the point that you give up.

We might think that it’s something fundamental,...

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Bottom Line Up Front May 27, 2022

BLUF

Bottom Line Up Front

I'm not sure where this phrase originates, but musicians have been doing it for as long as I can remember. It's a way to make sure that when we finally come to the end of our piece or song, we're not caught by surprise.

It really isn't any more complicated than that, but...

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How do I stop straining at my throat? May 26, 2022

Join my 'Breathing for Singing' Course!

https://www.jeffrolka.com/breathing-for-singing

Use the code: NEWWEBSITESALE

In the checkout to get the sale price.

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