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More Range, More Power, Less Strain – Part 1

When I talk with singers (and I talk with a LOT of singers!) the three biggest things I hear is that they’d like to have more vocal range, sing with more power and eliminate vocal strain. Over the next few months we’ll be looking at some of ways to do just that! In this, Part 1, we’ll address one of the most common reasons for limited range and increased vocal strain – pushing too much air when singing. Did you know that you actually need to use less air when singing “higher” in your range? I realize that may seem counter-intuitive, but here’s why? Your vocal sound is produced when your vocal folds (commonly known as vocal cords) vibrate. These vocal folds are muscles that lay horizontally on top of your trachea (windpipe) just below your larynx; they are vibrated by air. As you sing through your range, the amount of air that is required to vibrate them varies because the length of them that actually needs to vibrate varies. When you speak or sing around your speaking voice, the length of the vocal folds that needs to vibrate is longer.  As you sing higher, the length of the vocal folds that needs to vibrate becomes shorter. This is not unlike playing guitar. When you play an “open string” you get a certain pitch. If you want to play a higher pitch on the same string, you put your finger on the fret boards, shortening the length of the string that will vibrate, and voila, a higher pitch. While your vocal folds are not strings, the same concept applies. Forcing too much air on higher pitches and you make you go off-pitch, feel strained, crack, […]

By |February 18th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments
  • Music2
    12 Music Success Kickstart Strategies 12 Music Success Kickstart Strategies

    12 Music Success Kickstart Strategies

12 Music Success Kickstart Strategies

2013 is already well under way and I’m curious….how are your New Year’s resolutions/plans going? Do they need a little kickstart? Here are 12 ways you can jumpstart your musical endeavors this year. You can try one a month or do them all this month, that’s up to you! 1)    Set goals for the year. Decide what you want to accomplish this year and get really specific. For example, rather than setting a goal like “I want to do more with my music this year”, set a very specific goal such as “This year I will write and record a 10 song CD”.  Notice two important things here, 1) the goal is very specific and 2) the wording is changed from “I want” to “I will”.  Post your goals in a visible place, such as on a white board or a large piece of paper, where you will see them everyday. A word of caution. As you are establishing your goals for the year, don’t self edit! It’s very easy to find yourself thinking…”well, I want to record a new CD, but where am I going to get the money or the time?”  Just set the goal and sort out how to get it done in the planning step (See #5). 2)    Organize your space. Now that you’ve set all these nifty goals for the year, you will be well served to set aside some time to set up your workspace and put some tools in place that will help you accomplish your goals. Set up a workspace where you feel comfortable practicing and working (if you live in an apartment this may involve a bit of sound proofing) and have all the tools you […]

  • new years singing
    New Year’s Resolutions – Make Them Stick! New Year’s Resolutions – Make Them Stick!

    New Year’s Resolutions – Make Them Stick!

New Year’s Resolutions – Make Them Stick!

New Year’s Resolutions, they’ve almost become a rite of passage from one year to the next. Each New Year’s Eve we make resolutions (this year I’ll get in shape, spend more time making music, finally get out of debt, make more money, move to a better place, find a great new man/woman…..on and on. Now answer me honestly, how many of those new year’s resolutions have you actually made a reality? To those of you who answer “all of them” I say congratulations and very well done! To the other 99% of the world’s population…….Ok, I think we’re all on the same page here. The reality is, most of the time, New Year’s resolutions are this nice idea that rarely materialize. Why is it that we can’t seem to follow through with them? Obviously they must be important to us or we wouldn’t have made them in the first place. Is it fear of failure, fear of success, just plain laziness? WHAT? The truth is, one of the reasons many new year’s resolutions fall by the wayside is actually quite simple. Failure to plan. Effective action requires at least some kind of a plan! Would you attempt to build a house without a plan? Climb Mount Everest without a plan? You probably wouldn’t even try to drive someplace new without a plan. So why set out to change the course of your life without a plan? That’s why resolutions don’t work, no plan. A good plan should consist of a series of doable steps, which, when done in sequence help you to arrive at your goal. If a step seems too difficult, or you can’t figure out how to accomplish it, it means that there […]

By |December 28th, 2012|Blog|1 Comment
  • Drop Falling into Water
    7 Ways To Keep Your Voice Hydrated During The Cold Winter Months 7 Ways To Keep Your Voice Hydrated During The Cold Winter Months

    7 Ways To Keep Your Voice Hydrated During The Cold Winter Months

7 Ways To Keep Your Voice Hydrated During The Cold Winter Months

This is an article I published a couple of years ago and the information is just as relevant now as we move into the cold winter months.  Do you have other strategies for keeping your voice well hydrated? _________________________ As singers, it’s important to keep our bodies and therefore, our voices, well hydrated. This can become especially challenging during the cold winter months. For many people, the cool crisp air of the fall and winter is a welcome relief from the hot, humid weather of the summer. For singers however, this isn’t such a welcome change. The cold dry air, while perhaps invigorating to your body, has a dehydrating effect on your vocal folds (commonly called vocal cords) as you breathe it in. Most home-heating systems are also very drying (some worse than others) and on top of that, because your body is cold, you may find yourself drinking less water and craving other beverages, such as coffee, tea and hot chocolate.  All of this can result in less moisture for your vocal folds, which to work well, need to stay hydrated. If you live in a climate where the winters are cold and dry, you’ve probably seen and felt the effects on your skin. Unfortunately that same dry air is having the same drying effect on your voice. While one solution would be moving to a tropical climate for the winter (believe me, I’ve thought about it!) there are, fortunately, other ways to help your body and your voice stay hydrated during the colder months. 1) Drink plenty of water! I know, it sounds obvious, however when you aren’t hot and sweaty, you may not feel like you need to drink much water. But […]

Embrace Who You Are and KNOW Your Value

It’s been a wild week here on the East Coast. Fortunately we were spared the worst of Hurricane Sandy, but too many others were not so lucky. If you were (or still are) affected by this unbelievable storm, please know that I am thinking of you and hoping that you and your loved ones are safe. It’s moments like these that remind me how incredibly lucky I am to get to do what I do and love so much on a daily basis, how fortunate I am to know so many amazing people and artists and that it truly is the people who matter most. We work hard, we strive for success, but really, at the end of the day, what matters most are the people. Unfortunately, artists (people) and the art they create are often sorely undervalued. But can any of us really imagine a world without art? Without music? What kind of world would that be? I want you to know that I value you! Embrace who you are as an artist and on those days when you are feeling the nagging voice of uncertainty, close your eyes and try to picture that world without art, without music, and know that the value of what you are contributing is simply too huge to be measured! All my best, Jennifer Care to comment?  

  • writteninstone
    Nothing Is Written In Stone Nothing Is Written In Stone

    Nothing Is Written In Stone

Nothing Is Written In Stone

My neighbor has a beautiful garden in her yard, in the center of which is a rock engraved with the words “Nothing is written in stone”. Get it? A stone, with the words “nothing is written in stone” written on it (sigh – makes me laugh every time!) The other day though, it got me to thinking….Have you ever hesitated in making a decision because you were afraid of making the wrong decision? Or hesitated in taking some action because you were afraid you might not do it “correctly” or well enough? As though somehow this decision or action would be written in stone, forever, no “take-backs”.  The truth is, life is full of “take-backs”. You try something, maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. If it doesn’t well than you try something else. Mistakes are an inevitable part of growing, evolving. If you make a decision and it turns out to be flawed in some way, you learn from it and armed with new information and a new perspective, you make a better decision the next time around. Like good decisions, mistakes propel us forward, whereas indecision and inaction keep us right where we are. So if there’s something you’ve been hesitant about, make the best decision you can right now and go for it! Care to Comment?  

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

I was re-reading Richard Branson’s incredible book “Losing My Virginity” the other day. Talk about entrepreneurial spirit! That guy is really inspiring. One story that I particularly love is the story of how he essentially began Virgin Airways. Apparently he and his future wife were in the Virgin Islands for a vacation. When they arrived at the airport at the end of their stay, they discovered their flight to Puerto Rico had been cancelled and an airport full of stranded passengers. I’m sure we can all imagine the scene….people frantically trying to arrange for alternate flights, angry to find there aren’t any available….trying to figure out how to get where they need to go or arrange for a hotel room….. But that’s not what Mr. Branson did. Instead, he made a few calls, chartered a plane for $2,000 and then sold the seats for $39 each. The flight sold out and they all got to Puerto Rico. That’s entrepreneurial spirit! Rather than looking at why something can’t work, or focusing on the problem, he found a solution. Granted it wasn’t a conventional solution and it required a bit of a risk on his part (what if nobody bought any tickets?), but it was still a solution! Sometimes the conventional solutions don’t work, sometimes it takes a risk (albeit a calculated risk) but there’s always a solution. We just have to tap into our own entrepreneurial spirit and create it! Care to Comment?

Overcome the Overwhelm

Any entrepreneur will tell you how easy it is to become overwhelmed. As “artist-preneurs” we’re particularly vulnerable to overwhelm. Not only are we developing our businesses, but the business is a hugely personal one. We naturally want to get it all done and of course get it all done right.  On the PR front alone there are so many things to focus on: Website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, e-mail mailing, blogs….not to mention press releases, radio campaigns, booking gigs…AHHHHHHHH.  Then when you consider the creative aspect to it all, the writing, the recording, the rehearsing, photo shoots, video shoots – it can all get pretty overwhelming. I’m sure you can imagine the scenario (maybe you’ve experienced it first hand) – It goes a little like this: You make your daily To Do list hardship withdrawal especially You decide that today you’re going to get it ALL done! You look at the daily To Do list You go into the kitchen and make some coffee You look at the daily To Do list again You answer some e-mails You look at the daily To Do list again You scan Facebook, surf the web, etc. You look at the daily To Do list again Hey look at that, it’s lunchtime……… Are you laughing yet? I hope so 🙂 How many times I did this, then wondered how it was that at the end of the day I had actually gotten so little accomplished. It’s not like I was watching TV or something, I was busy, right? I wanted to get it all done, but why didn’t I?  Overwhelm. Looking at that list, with the intention of getting it all done is really overwhelming. Where should I start? But […]

By |September 21st, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Running Your Own Race

Most of us are, to at least some degree, competitive by nature. Sometimes, this is a good thing. However, when it comes to your career – and your life – it can also get in the way. Especially if/when you start comparing your achievements to the achievements of others. Be honest here, how many times have you looked at someone who may be a few steps further along in his or her career and started comparing your success to theirs. Maybe they’ve recorded and sold a bunch of CDs, or are out there touring all the time, or simply have a great website, photos, etc. It’s really easy to start comparing where you are to where they are – like running a race. Here’s where the “I should have done this already” or “Why don’t I have that” or “They’ve done some much more than me”……starts to come in. These thoughts take focus and energy away from what you are doing. The truth is, while we can learn a great deal from those who are further along, the only race we can ever run is our own. Know where you are now, where you want to be and start taking the steps to get there. If you don’t know what the steps are, then your first step is to ask. You may be surprised by how willing people are to help! 🙂 Jennifer Care to Comment?

Are You Investing in YOU?

In keeping with the hot summer weather, I have a hot investment tip for you….are you ready…wait for it….IT’S YOU! I’m not an investment expert, but you don’t need to be an expert to know that the old “tried and true” investment models are pretty much out the window these days. The stock market is all over the place, everyone lost a bundle in their 401K accounts and real estate is proving not to be the safe investment it was once thought to be. There really don’t seem to be any truly secure ways to invest for your future these days, EXCEPT, yes, that’s right, YOU. You are, without question, the surest thing you have going. But, are you investing in this sure thing? How much time or money did you spend last year on professional or personal development? Was there something you wanted to do (i.e. Take a class or workshop, work with a coach or mentor, go on a retreat, etc) but you told yourself you just didn’t have the time or the money? For a long time, I rolled along doing what I did, knowing what I knew and while it was okay, it was when I started REALLY investing in myself, that things took off for me. In the meantime, my IRA has tanked and the value of my house has gone down, BUT I’m not worried. Because I know that these are not my real investments. My REAL investment is me and I know without question that I will always be able to take care of myself. Now THAT’s something worth betting on! Fast Cheap Payday Loans Happy investing 🙂 Jennifer  

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