01 May Music Touches Our Souls
By: DARIA, Voice Instructor
As a long-time voice instructor and professional singer, my first goal is to teach singing for the joy of it. Music is a universal language that reaches everyone and can touch peoples lives in a deep way, it connects to our souls, especially through the voice, our first instrument.
There’s a range of emotion that is expressed through the voice. For exam- ple, one can experience sadness when listening to Ma Rainie or Billie Holi- day singing the blues, or listening to an aria from Madame Butterfly. On the other side of the spectrum, one can feel joy when listening to Ella Fitzger- ald or King Pleasure.
There are many other aspects of singing that are beneficial for all ages. It develops discipline, it’s good for the brain, it calms and uplifts the spirit, it’s creative, etc. I feel lucky to be able to share my knowledge with young people and see them blossom into their own. That’s the most rewarding part! I can already see the possibilities in my new students and I’m excited to guide them so they can enrich their souls, gain confidence and follow their dreams.
On the first day, one of my students sang a portion of a pop song for me and barely sang out. Most likely she was a bit nervous and shy. The way she held herself showed me that she didn’t have confidence. I asked her to stand straight and breathe from her belly, then speak the words. When she did that the volume of her voice was louder than her singing voice. Then I told her speaking and singing were an extension of one another and had her put her speaking voice into the phrase she was singing and speaking on pitch. I had her take a good breath and told her to imagine there were 300 fans waiting to hear her beautiful voice! When she sang it again, an amazing thing happened. Her voice sounded confident, fuller and she blew herself away (and me too!). She had no idea what was inside of her, waiting to come out! I saw a different girl standing in front of me. Someone that looked more confident and more empowered! That’s 1/2 the battle right there.
Another student sang a bebop tune for me which I was very impressed with. I sang a song to her, called ‘Joy Spring’ by Clifford Brown and she lit up and said she wanted to learn it. This got me all fired up as I’m a jazz vocalist myself and it’s so unusual and wonderful to see a young person inspired to learn this style of music. I know we can inspire each other over the time we work together.
These are just a couple of examples. I hope to inspire and bring out the artist in each of my students!