RK Vocal Studio

Singing Tip! How to reach those high notes with more ease.

Thursday, January 31, 2019 by Rebekah Keogh | Uncategorized

There are many reasons why you might be finding it difficult to reach those high notes. It could be down to bad technique, lack of experience, poor health, or anxiety for example. Working with a singing teacher who has some knowledge of how the voice works can help you achieve your singing goals.

Be prepared to get physical! I once had a student who when asked to do this exercise asked me if I was having a laugh...I wasn't! In fact he was so taken back by it, he never returned! That has only happened once, and most of my students come to class with an open mind and are willing to roll with it, even they shy ones, because they want to improve their singing! So don't be a shy panda and give it a go!

Hands Up!

This is a trick I picked up at the ‘BAST’ workshop, at the Vocology In Practice seminar last April and its proven to be quite successful in my studio. As you approach the high note or phrase, raise your hands, over your head and bend the knees slightly at the same time. This transfers the muscle effort to your arms and legs, distracting your brain enough to stop any muscle tension happening in the vocal tract area, helping to eliminate strain. You can do this exercise without the knee bend, but I have found it to be an effective addition. Relax back to your normal posture as you leave the difficult area of the song or scale.

It also positions your rib cage for optimal breath support. Basically, your lungs will have space to fill with air, as opposed to how slouching restricts the breathing mechanism (the lungs) when we are slumped over. This made complete sense to me when I learned about this exercise, as I compared it to when we need to yawn, we often automatically have to stretch our arms upwards in order to satisfy the need for more air. This is instinctive, and our body's way of helping us inhale more oxygen when we need a top up. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you.


Useful links

https://www.thenakedvocalist.com/hands-up/

https://www.ohniww.org/bad-technique-and-vocal-injury/

https://www.basttraining.com/

Multi - Sensory Learning

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 by Rebekah Keogh | Uncategorized

Having completed 'Music & Dyslexia', a level 2 certified course, back in November, I was inspired to create some more multi-sensory teaching tools. ‘Smiley arpeggios’ for my singers and keyboardists & ‘Smiley Chords’ for my partners guitar students. 


We have all been in a situation where we didn't fully understand, or understand at all, something that was being explained to us 1 way, but another way might make a bit more sense. Well multi sensory learning is a way to demonstrate ideas and information to a much broader spectrum of learner types. Students of all ages can benefit from this teaching style. It makes it more fun and interesting for student and teacher!

No student should feel they cant do something just because the way it has been explained in the past to them didn't appeal to their learning type. There is something for everyone with a multi sensory approach.

If you don't know your learning preference, google ‘VARK’ (Visual Auditory Kinaesthetic) test and do a quiz to find out. I did it and Im almost 50% Visual and 50% Kinaesthetic, which means I’m probably not very good at learning in a lecture hall type setting where I have to ‘Listen’ to retain information. Made so much sense to me as I always joke about how bad my memory is for names and other info that calls for good auditory skills.

Let me know if you try it and if like me, you were not surprised at the results.


Useful links

Guitar and Bass Lessons with Stephen McGrath 

British Dyslexia Association

VAK Test