This afternoon, I gave my first Vocal Boot Camp (online). 9 people attended (I had room for 10), and we spent the first hour and a half going through the elements of vocal technique (BRAAP™), along with some handy dandy slides I made on Canva – here’s one:
We did some vocal exercises during the presentation, as well as observations about how things work. Then we did a sort of interval training, where we alternated about a minute of breath management vocalises between resonance, articulation, and phonation exercises, each set about 1-2 minutes in length (we did alignment early on). That was the first time I had done something like that – and I’m not sure it’s something I want to do all the time, because it really isn’t mindful practicing; but it was an interesting experiment and one that might be valuable, particularly if you’re in a hurry to practice before a gig and want to cover all the bases.
Following that, we took a break, and then we applied the concepts discussed to repertoire. Specifically, we did the Star-Spangled Banner. Why, you ask, did I choose that piece?
- It has a range of an octave and a half, so there will be register transitions, and everyone will have a different spot where that’s going to happen.
- It has a lot of words and we could explore how best to maintain vowel integrity while also sounding attractive (e.g., “RED GLARE”).
- Everyone knows it!
- I had accompaniment tracks, both orchestral (Ab and A) and piano (Bb). (I’m rather surprised it’s not on Appcompanist.)
- This is a week where I felt like we need to remind ourselves about our country’s ability to stay strong no matter what happens.
- It came to me in the shower, where all my ideas are sourced.
I was very pleased with how it went, and it seemed to get an excellent reception from the participants. I’m hoping to do it again, perhaps next year to kick off 2022, or perhaps for another audience in the next few months.
I have a few ideas for other workshops and courses over the next few months, and I’ll be announcing them as soon as I get all the info together!
What do you think of HIIT-type vocalizing? Would you be interested in a type of warm-up regime like that?
If so, please contact me and we can talk about setting up either a boot camp for your group or to set up your own lessons.