Whilst in session with a pupil just yesterday, I made her sing Amazing Grace. However, something was obviously missing and I quickly pointed that out: my pupil’s voice was sounding great—she’d come a long way in just a few hours of training—but her mouth was hardly opening. And so I reiterated on the importance of exaggerating the vowels and how it will help project a bigger and more refined note with every word. And so I stopped the session and went back to the piano to simply run some scales with the vowels AEIOU.
After a short run, I immediately took my pupil back to the song Amazing Grace, and as if by magic, her mouth was now fully open and articulating each word very clearly. She was sounding miles better already, just by that one quick move back to the scales on the vowels it’s as if the mouth had automatically let loose.
But here’s the thing. When you pay attention to yourself and you completely tune in to your own sound production, you will quickly notice your shortcomings and your journey into discovering yourself will begin in earnest. In this particular case, my pupil was probably unaware of her shortcoming, but when I pointed that out to her and had her do some simple scales on the vowels to fix it, she was able to relax and to allow the art of shaping each note on the vowel correctly take shape, naturally. And so the next time you sense you’re losing your notes to the wind, try to pay a little more attention to shaping your vowels.
You are the instrument, learn to sing like a pro!
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