If you have studied with me or read anything I’ve written over the past 10+ years, you probably know that I have created an acronym for my approach to basic vocal technique. This acronym is
- B – Breath
- R – Resonance
- A – Alignment
- A – Articulation
- P – Phonation
Or – BRAAP™, which my friend Carolina Kipnis says sounds like an extended belch.
So be it. Both singing and belching are done on the exhalation.
Today I read a blogpost by one of my pedagogical heroes, Robert Edwin. He was a clinician at the first NATS summer workshop I attended, and made me feel excited about opening my studio and the work I would be doing with singers. I felt like I COULD DO THIS.
In this blogpost, which was found on another blog site to which I subscribe, Singing in Popular Musics, Mr. Edwin tells us to pay attention to the “Tions.” This is pretty much the same idea as BRAAP for me, but here’s how he breaks it down:
- Body posiTION – what I call Alignment
- RespiraTION – Breath
- AudiaTION – this is something different. This is about listening, both inside your head as you mentally hear the pitches before you sing them and externally as they come out. In other words, singing in tune.
- PhonaTION – same term as I use for creating the sound
- RegistraTION – of course I use this, although not necessarily as a specific term when we’re first starting. I do have Range & Registration vocalises in addition to the basic BRAAP™ ones.
- ResonaTION – another term for Resonance, which I will be focusing on in tomorrow’s “Warm-up Wednesday!”
- ArticulaTION – One of my favorite topics, and one which I covered in the very first Warm-up Wednesday
- EmoTION – This is WHY WE SING (see title of this blog), and while I don’t break it down in vocalises per se, it is a part of every lesson I teach, in the Curiously Stronger Performing component of my studio (studio classes, courses, masterclasses, etc.), and in every performance I give, no matter the genre or venue.
I’d like to work more with the idea of audiation, although I feel as though a lot of pitch problems are the result of their registration being wonky. Perhaps more listening work needs to be done in 2021….
Everything fits together. Nothing exists in a vacuum.
For other interesting POVs, check out Singing in Popular Musics.
You can check out my Warm-up Wednesday series on Instagram (mezzoid) or on YouTube.
Do you agree with my breakdown of technique? Do you agree with Robert Edwin’s? Feel free to expand upon your viewpoints in the comments.