We started this lesson by going through the assessment chords, I personally believe my confidence and overall performance of these chords are progressing as time develops. I just need to remember to not try as hard and think of my soft pallet been risen which will lead to me having the correct placement. In this lesson we sung through my chosen rep ‘What it means to be a friend’. I knew the lyrics which was fantastic as it enabled me to think about characterisation etc.( the look cover,check method did work) One weakness that Gavin and I have identified is that I aren’t confident with the higher notes, because of this it results in them sounding weak compared to the rest of the song. This song doesn’t have many high notes however because most of the song is sung in a lower key when the higher notes come I haven’t got the correct placement. Gavin said I need to prepare ahead by anchoring and raising my soft palate. He also told me to think that the high notes im singing aren’t the highest in the whole song. When i started to think this way I felt as if I had the correct placement and my confidence was also stronger. Transition between chest and head voice is something that I know I need to work on, I believe the advice Gavin has gave me has already improved this slightly. Also Gavin noticed that on long phrases/notes my overall diction wasn’t as strong. For example on the lyric ‘Friend’ he has told me to stay open on the vowel ‘e’ and to keep open until the last minute. This way my diction will sound much stronger and clearer. For next lesson Gavin wants me to look at the emotion behind the lyrics so my characterisation will be much stronger he also wants me to look at the song study as this is what we will be working on next week.In  this lesson we also breifly spoke about vocal health, Gavin confronted me about being a smoker. He told me the risks that it brings which I was already aware of. Below is a list of the factors we spoke about:

  • Smoking can decrease the range especially in the upper register
  • Breath control isn’t as strong, because smoking effects the lungs capacity. This could be one of the reasons why I find it difficult to perform the vocal chords ‘E,ah,ar,or’ in one breath.
  • Constantly having to clear the throat due to mucus before a performance.

Singers should take care of their vocal health and avoid anything that puts strain on their vocal cords or lungs Gavin and other health sauces say, I do understand the importance of vocal health and the effects smoking can have. I also understand I should try to quit as I dont want smoking to eventually effect my performance career.

This is an image of a smokers vocal chords, the image shows that the folds are watery, pinky and swollen due to smoke.

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