Music with in-depth learning of singing technique and masterclass
With the main focus on vocals, it was an exciting week for the students when student Ingrid took them on a journey through singing technique and getting better contact with their own body.
How does our voice work?
I have had the pleasure of being placed as an internship student at Elverum Folkehøyskole for five weeks. The last week I wanted to complete a vocal project over two days. I wanted to give the students an insight into how our voice works - both in theory, but also in practice. The project days started with a lecture on the physiological. We looked at pictures and discussed how the air in our lungs contributes to vibrations in the vocal cords in the larynx, which then become sound in the various cavities our face and neck have. We played with making sound without using air, feeling the difference between whispering and talking, and tried out different sounds we can make with mouth, nose and throat.
To get the body going, we performed a good and thorough body warm-up. Together we did breathing exercises in different positions and positions. Students were challenged to know how important breathing is, how our breathing works best, and where in our body the air we breathe is located. We did exercises to get all the muscles and joints relaxed, including the tongue and jaw. A relaxed face and relaxed muscles provide the best starting point for a healthy use of our singing voice, and the students got to experience and test this for themselves. After warming up the body, we did various exercises with the voice to give the vocal cords a soft entrance to a long day of masterclass. We felt our jaws and larynx as we sang, and did piano exercises to keep our vocal cords warm.
The second day consisted of a masterclass for all students. Each student had a singing lesson with me in front of the rest of the class. The students sang a song of their choice, and I gave them feedback afterwards. We worked on these feedbacks, and together we did various exercises to make it easier for the students to sing. The biggest challenge for many was how to use support from the stomach to get a clearer sound. At the same time, the proper use of support will make it easier and more comfortable for students to sing. One exercise that had a lot of effect was having a dragon fight with me. I held a chair that the student pulled in while they sang. Here, many were surprised at how much effect it had on the singing voice, and especially the students who observed had some aha-experiences when they heard the difference in the performance with and without the chair and the support.
I had a lot of fun these days with the students, and noticed a steep learning curve in each student. They acquired a lot of knowledge in just two days, and now have many good tools that they can take with them further in their music.