Join the Resistance (at least singing-wise)

No, this is not a political statement. Unless you want it to be. That’s up to you.

But with all that’s going on right now, I was thinking about the term “resistance” and how it can be interpreted:

Negatively, as Seth Godin says in The Practice, referring to Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. He specifies the negative elements as:

  • Focusing obsessively on bad outcomes to distract you from what you have to do
  • Undermining our confidence while simultaneously pushing us to seek it

Positively, as in the definition of resistance training

“a form of physical activity that is designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a muscle or a muscle group against external resistance.”

Reasons we do resistance training are to develop:

  1. Strength
  2. Power
  3. Hypertrophy
  4. Endurance

While this usually pertains to getting a six-pack or a great set of guns, it also applies to the development of your singing voice. The resistance that occurs in the application of appoggioAs singers, we are working to create strength and power in the form of resonance, and endurance in the form of breath management.

As far as hypertrophy, be aware that if you put some serious effort into vocal training, you are going to get a larger rib cage. I had a concert gown for my grad school recital in 1994 that I wanted to wear for a competition in 1998. I took the gown with me to Savannah, and discovered when I put it on that I could zip it with no problem until I got to my ribs. And then it would not go. I had to find a seamstress in town to let it out at the seams an inch so that I could get into it. (Joke was on me because I didn’t make it to the final round….)

This past weekend I put on a Vocal Boot Camp, and to make it seem like an actual bootcamp, I decided to try a sort of interval training in the way of vocalizing, where we alternated breath management exercises with exercises for resonance, articulation, and phonation. I’ve been exploring this with my students over the past week – my caveat is, that like physical exercise, these must be done with good form rather than plowing through them for the sake of getting them done. But it’s been an interesting perspective, and I plan to include them on my next Warm-up Wednesday on IGTV and YouTube.

Which resistance are you experiencing? The positive of improving your vocal and physical fitness or the negative that’s keeping you from doing so?


Want to introduce vocal strength training into your regime? Mezzoid Voice Studio has a few spots open.
I’ll be offering a 15% discount on Vocal Discovery Sessions through the end of January.
More details on that in Saturday’s post or you can contact me for more information.

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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