Is our voice really like a horse?

Last week a voice teacher in a group of professional teachers I follow wrote a witty and brilliant post with a list of points he follows in its lessons. I wrote that all the ones from his point 2 are mine and this takes away all the other points but the last. The last was on having a perfectly clean bathroom, yeah everybody still in lockdown and online lessons.

What was his second point to take away every other one? He does not accept students who do not sing in pitch: and as him many others do, as those who not have yet a voice. He asked me about my answer and I told him that basically I have all the students out of pitch the others did not want, the singers who start losing their pitch or never solved it really and have by that some career problems and I have had also many teachers when they start losing something and they do not know what to do about. In my concept they have to be treated in the same way, because they have something in common and it is the main reason teachers historically do not accept them.

To explain that I do a little diversion: some decades ago, as teen, it was discovered I could bring back into balance horses got dangerous. I am a pretty serious soul and I spent then summers in Uk to perfect my training skills and also there they gave me school horses not happy with kids anymore, or with various stiffnesses inexplicable or after surgeries while I did refine the technique. What I thought was that I could use some movements that were typical of a happy and joyful situation to change the emotional state of the horse, so to destress him and take away the preventive fear, and open back to what they mostly love: playing and collaborate with us. Also the joyful and happy gesture will improve and condition muscles and muscular chains and patterns so to have them present in every moment more than before. The origin being a physical trauma or not skilled kids moving heavy on their back or a not respectful or violent or inappropriate trainer? If repeated with no other input they would go in burnout as we do. So I was just putting back functionality and reopening the thing horses love most doing with us.

Why do I talk about horses? The voice is a horse and reacts as a horse. So is the student the horse? Not exactly. The student or the singer is both the horse and me, meaning by that the one the horse live playing with. Why teachers do not want the kind of singers we said previously? Because they have a bad horse? Not exactly, they do not refuse the horse but something the person clearly have shown of not being able to do: they have a burnout horse. So again: is the horse?

Do you remember bullies at school? Were they fragile or strong kids? We well see they are kids with a huge energy that has taken a bad flip, we see and experiment them as fragile as violent. Violent, not aggressive; their energy is not well expressed and it becomes the frustration of it in burst of violence. When do they save themselves, they discover that this fantastic energy they have inside is a hell of a gift. Taking care of their burnout horse is easy and will give some fresh air and good vibe to the other part, the smell of what they can really be and have inside. They will then have to learn not to always escalate but reopening easiness for their horse and by that the dialogue and playing with the other players. They have to learn to restrain themselves not to act the bully actions, suspending them for a certain time and thus letting the place for other things.

If they do then they will be the singers ev’ry teacher and musician want, as many of my students or professional have become. It is not easy and sometimes really annoying, and as teacher you must not have a problem in being profoundly straight as profoundly respectful of the human inside and fond of his qualities, with the vibe of the admiration of the true soul you have in front, acting protecting the horse but not loving less the non horse of that person. How this: not teaching the person but teaching on focusing and freeing and respecting the horse, that at the end is what we call in music listening and playing. Because a happy horse is sign of a hell of a rider ;).

In the group I will only write of how to free technically the horse. Have a good weekend everybody.

Alice and me the series the end

*the series was streamed on YouTube where it remained available for some months (then it was time to let it go and look at the future). Now some clips and a resume in the page dedicated here and some on Instagram  @lucia_cossu_voiceteacher    #aliceandme #aliceandmetheseries

We are at the end of these 6 weeks, Alice performs again. She decides to stream it on her Instagram while we stream on Youtube. She decides to sing 5 songs. She risks more, enjoy.

What means in sound the proper diaphragm connection in yet good singer.

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!

Vocal technique: some talks on fundamental questions.

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. 🙂

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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/

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Fundamentals. Adapt to times changing.

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Into expire lies inspire. The only question is how to work and treat expire, and adjourn this work on changings yet happened and preparing chagings happening.

Said in other terms you have the yin disclosure from a correct yang, at the end and as a part of a correct yang. To define and work on yang is the question now

* Ilse Middendorf worked very well to define what the yin was, looking for the definition of correct inspire. She took away totally the yang since she saw the prevalence of this into inspire and wanted to avoid the loss of the totally yin principle that is at the basis of inspire nature. Linklater has found back a yang but does start not from where has to, they are expire and inspire one into the other defined and separeted but not far. External muscles can make mixed actions, not the root.

** Manuel Garcia worked truly well on the expire pure and correct that has as a disclosure the opening of the throat that appears when diaphragm make an inspire without interrupting the sound. And the principle of Belcanto italian technique is to find the inspire from the expire. Correct expire is crucial, not being just a pushing of air.

Tips. Where a singer’s sound starts and from what.

What is it the voice sound? Does a voice sounds always the same and having always the same perception of physical work to start a sound?
Sound is a wave, starting from a vibrating source. A trained singer with his memory will have a complex reaction and he’ll have his body ready to make the note required and vocal folds vibrating, slightly before we put the energy and the mucosa wave that starts the sound heard outside (an experienced singer can prolonge this moment of singing without sound for quite a long time and it is something special to experience). Inside we have lots of other structures vibrating, we are not at the zero absolute point so everything in us ocillates,  sometimes vibrating in accordance with something else outside transmitting the oscillation or determined by our specific inside or even a sum of both. A good point to start singing is to just give an internal movement to breath related structures so to have a clear sound coming from our instrument that is generally what is perceived as our voice. The interpreter will make you dream, and have all this incredible effects a voice can have, does not just listen to its vocal folds and big muscles vibrating the note but hears and chooses something more precise perceived inside or outside, and puts the wave starting from this other point of oscillation or its waves to reach it in a summable way so to sum it in his proper voice and so making heard what sometimes we call the invisible that become visible. Truest interpreter will sound on something they feel as something precious or significant or simply with an inexplicable charm vibrating somewhere and just making it being where the wave starts or arrives to give it a voice.

Vocal tips. The excess of ego.

My artists know well how I can be tough and not movable in asking them to solve together something that I call an ego excess and it is not the natural exaltation of ego on scene. What I talk about is the not solved ego that wants to state its existence all the time, especially under stress (we always sing under stress that you can also call energy). I will say something engineers can understand well: if you want to make some waves and not only turbulences and crushes you have to manage every source of oscillation and  manage the waves produced. We have inside many sources of oscillations and we also react to those outside so we biologically and physically have many sources of waves. Voice production is according all the sources to manage and sum or to manage the waves produced internally to become a sound. An ego not solved states its existence making a fight and crushing everything not born from him,  so fighting every wave or source it has not given precedent permission so it and it is just useless and not adapt to have a control. An ego solved will collaborate to manage and create and accord this sum of waves produced by all can react in a human. (Not to talk the obvious successive reacting and according with others musicians also producing waves, and further exalting or dialoging with every thing has an effect on stage 😉 )
* I do not mind egos, just care about voice production. <3

Vocal tips

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.