ZingliZh Fall and Spring Sessions -- Introduction to Singing Concepts
Class Format - 4 week class - Spring or Fall Session
If you are new to taking my classes, I'd like to explain what to expect. The classes are held in a private residence in Rohnert Park, CA. This is a safe fun place to get to know, or to improve or free up your voice. The Introduction to Singing Concepts is a prerequisite to the intermediate classes. It sets the foundation for everything I do and clarifies the difference between contemporary and classical singing techniques. The start of each class, there are lessons, terminology, demos and QnA. After that I give mini private lessons for each student who wants to sing, and the class can observe and learn.
Class tuition includes a 30 minute private voice lesson and is good until the last day of that semester (Full price tuition only. Not valid for discounted specials.) This is to give you a little one-on-one time. But you do need to use it before the last class as it does expire. Toward the last classes, I introduce a little bit about song writing and we do some improvised singing where we make up a song or two. I also touch briefly on harmony, what it is, how to do it, and a bit of ear training. (Special workshops are offered on ear training, harmony and songwriting.) We do a lot of laughing along with learning! I often will start or end class with group singing because it's just so wonderful to sing together!
Having a song or two to work on can be a good learning tool. Some students do a different song each week. Some do the same song because they are working on something for a performance, maybe church or a wedding, and would like specific feedback on that song. Maybe you are a songwriter and need help coming up with a melody or interpretation.
I won't have you do generic scale exercises, but instead melodic isolation exercises which work specific muscles of the singing instrument to gain strength, flexibility and control. I will create specific exercises just for you based on on what you need at the time. You will be surprised what your voice can do with ease once you know how.
I also work on stage fright and we do some powerful, but playful games to help deal with our insecurities. Sometimes beginners aren't yet comfortable singing by themselves in front of other people, and that's okay. In my beginning classes, you are never put on the spot to sing alone unless you want to. It is always your choice. Singing should be joyous and not intimidating. It is valuable, however, for me to hear just your voice so I can help with your instrument's specific needs.
My goal is to make it fun. I love using visuals and to help you learn by doing. It's like vocal kindergarten. Don't be surprised to find balloons, straws, soup ladles, a shield, rubber bands, a turkey baster, and a very cool vintage 1987 Yamaha Keytar as part of my teaching toolbox. You might even learn a few vocal tricks from Mickey Mouse and Scooby Doo!
I often use a rubber band to show students how the vocal cords stretch. A funny thing happened one private lesson when the rubber band flew out of my hand and landed on the floor in the shape of a Treble Clef. Wow! That was amazing. I excitedly told the student. "Look! My vocal folds turned into music!" And so they do!
Each class is based on the needs of each student in attendance. Every person has different challenges and different goals and we give ample class time to those issues. Most students repeat the introductory class a second time. Hearing similar information with your singing skills at higher level, feels like new information! It is an affordable way to get some basics before moving onto the intermediate or the workshop classes.
I have decorative curtains around the room to create a fun atmosphere, one looks like a piano, one a wall of guitar amps, and the other looks like a stage curtain. It's a way to engage the "pretend" part of you to keep the class playful and lighthearted. Much easier to learn if you are relaxed. You can always just sing from your seat (but it really is fun to be on "stage.")
People are encouraged to bring an instrument, like a guitar, uke, or we can use recorded music. I like to have a Showcase at the end of each semester with students in ALL of my classes. You may participate if you choose to, or just come and support the other students. Family and friends are welcome to come.