Singer since very young, it is twelve months she studies with me. You will hear that she is quite in order but there is a huge difference in bewteen the Dianne Reeves and Alicia Keys’s songs and Withney Houston’s one: this is the diaphragm connection that I long looked for her, not perfect yet in all the passages but connected and so it will be possible to train it and have those passages perfects just by using it and remaining connected. Enjoy!
One of the great questions this. One of the thing I find the most misunderstood is that without sufficient support it will be useless to work on copertura and appoggio. With sustain intending not just a force created by transversus abdominis and diaphragm but jalso the simple posture in tonic relaxed attitude, ready to sing. I generally find too short and need to be developed to work properly with appoggio and copertura. So I will say before sustain, when there is enough to have the correct larynx position we start working with copertura and appoggio with exercises involving also sustain (so to be sure not to lack of it totally).
My first two talks on some fundamental questions of vocale technique, often not so clear in students and singers and not clearly explained through their effects and consequencies so that they remain scary and refused in the first step. Often they are related as the fact that when you cover the sounds you will have in your sound not the effect of copertura but the disclosure of the state of your sustain and appoggio. I mean that not covered sounds have a different kind of pressure from the effective and true sustain (a true sustain always have a copertura effect), so you cover and the vocal folds do not respond anymore to the excess of pressure not correct. You will immediately hear how much the correct and true sustain is developed and the really good news is that with copertura it is safe and not tricky to develop the effective and true sustain. So if you refuse covering you will probably never develop a real and effective sustain, and this just because you were scared by the sound after copertura that was just the first step of the process and not the arriving point of the process. Many things in vocal technique present this two step process, I will try to clarify some of those for you on Istagram in my IGTV.
And the first is on copertura. 🙂
View this post on Instagram
Why you must not be scared by the covering of the sounds, the also called copertura and why if you initially feel of losing your sound it will just be a transitory phase and you will have back your sound but in a safe and healthy way. All the misunderstanding about why the sound get darker and with a lack of stamina in the first step. A series of technical talks on vocal fundamentals. I am a voice teacher specialised in technique and solutions for professional singers and future professionals. I come from a soloist career in classical music interrupted by a long septicaemia. I relate to Italian belcanto technique and some exercises I invented to make a step forward in the possibility of working on voices. I had results also in vocal issues organic and functional, called by their doctor, https://luciacossu.com/cossu-method-program/
One thing is to say that the larynx must be in a low position and another thing is to say that there must be a downward movement of the larynx. In bewteen these two things an entire universe.
When it happens that you ask a young singer on the same word that the song repeat two times one after the other with the same notes to change slightly vocal position, so slightly not to be really clearly perceived in the throat and nearly seeming the dream of changing position, and a change in overtones appears, a light, a light into the word the second time, but not the first. And you have this movement of light that opens totally another consistence and horizon in the audience, as if the light of a precise nebulosa entered the song. And the singer looks at you without words, the same light in her eyes as she was audience. And she is nearly 15 and she hears that, and she understands, and she understands that you understand and hear too. And we both know that those are the reasons they call her to sing, the reasons she sings and thought happened by casualty sometimes, the reasons you made music your life and they can be dreamt and chased and fixed.
* the song was Safe and Sound from Hunger Games and the word was gone in the second Verse. Taylor Swift changed to change the sound, us to just have the same with this overtone that gave a sound into the note. The singer was MariaSofia Ferrante, not yet 15 then.
She did not want to record this. We discussed a lot, her saying it did not represent her and that she wanted to to be represented by other songs, without yet realising that if she was pursuing a professional career it would be normal to sing some things not choosen by her. This scare of some interpreter is valid when they cannot choose nothing, but to have to sing a part of repertoire not choosen refine the interpreter personality and skills to be himself going more in the comprehension and depth of what he is, and also discover sides and shades not suspected. Some says it is the better song of her demo, not sure about this for me that I love her peaks in intensity and energy but it is just subjective this. Enjoy!
When my artists send to me something to hear in which they push intentions and do not find it in the voice. Very often they still think doing something on the moment to produce the note, they still think singing is when heard. Singing is doing some things with your body and your imagination and emotions put into the body, the sound heard will be just in certain moments as a part made heard of this doing and not a pressing all together just in the moment you want to produce a sound. You produce a sound and a phrase and a movement inside and you just make it heard on the outside: sometimes entirely, often just fragments of that.
I am someone who can solve the reason why some people can’t be effective in a vocal technique or style, or when a professional can’t have the full or correct use of its instrument even with excellent teachers or coaches. I was a soloist and being trained in Italian Belcanto technique. A chronic disease that affects my inflammation level in the body related to a medical malpractice made my career last just three years during which I achieved goals I even had not dreamt about (further details https://luciacossu.com/about/).
I started then teaching, vocal technique. Being frustrated by seeing some structural issues that made some singers think about them and never relax into a deeper dialog with music I tried to found ways to solve them forever with the same approach to sound I had when I was a soloist. So I invented some physical exercises and discovered in what they were useful to a wider range of persons, even if invented on someone specific. This became a corpus of exercises, some totally invented by me, some are yoga or dance exercises modified to be useful for voice muscular chains. I have so found some principles to work on the reason why some can’t have a proper vocal technique even with good teachers. I found the relation voice-muscular chains in a way not imagined by professionals and now also the way some Manuel Garcia vocalises were intended and why even my excellent belcanto teachers couldn’t use them correctly. . It is a very specific work, nothing to do with others body practises for singers, useful but less precise for a vocal purpose. To be sure that the results with my students were really appropriate I put some people with and without vocal problems under medical control before and after our work together and it was confirmed the solution of their vocal problems in very short time, while a medical prevision of no improvement possible (https://luciacossu.com/cossu-method-program/ ) and those with no issues had confirmed an improvement in voice and posture.
When I say it is new I don’t mean that my work comes from nothing and goes to a new land, no. I mean that it is a step forward in what is the italian belcanto technique. I mean that it brings to the vocal land many that couldn’t previously reach it. And those who are yet there have a way to refine and obtain more.
That it is: a way to bring to voice (and voice styles and technique or even just natural voice) those who couldn’t before and to refine and find tools and expression for the advanced and the professionals.
It is a sort of way to put everybody to the zero point.
Professional singing is not natural and it is a wearing activity, that’s why you need a technique. A technique, a good technique, will make yourself and nobody notice those two things and that’s why it is so important for singers to build a proper technique instrument, and for us the professional of voice to ajourn our tools and adjust and evolve them with the evolution of music.
In vocal technique to solve a technical point often means to make in the perception of the singer the disappearing of the question. This is the case for the passaggi, or vocal bridges. When truly solved the mechanism to adapt gesture and postures and muscles work and copertura will make the singer never perceive that such passaggio do exist.
* This is one of the typical examples of how a technical level will give opposite perceptions, even if from a physiological level the question is the same. In a technical solved level the singer will say exactly the opposite of the not solved singer about any question.