tone was tight. So, the class began a discussion of thinking about the whole body. My sense was
that the sound was not connected to support and therefore would not be heard over the orchestra.
“How do we do this?” I asked. Jason suggested that we think about the cello and bowing a cello.
Questioning continued. I asked, “Do any of your voice teachers talk to you about support and
connecting to the breath? What do they say?” Lindsay answered, “Breathe low.” I requested that
the students who were taking voice lessons talk to their voice teachers about how connect the
sound to the breath.
As the dialogue continued, Cory suggested that we were not taking in enough air. But my
concern was what they would do with the air once they took it in. I clarified as follows:
Singing is a whole body experience. We talked about the way the conductor should be and the way the gesture should be, but you need to ask your voice teachers about “singing on the breath” and “engaging the support.” See what they say about these two items.
One student asked about “resistance.” We talked about tension, that there must be tension in
certain places. Dialogue centered on the phenomenon that no one can see our vocal mechanism
or hear our voices the way we do. “When you watched the conductor, you noticed that he was
conducting with a low gesture,” I remarked, “and you noticed body posture. You must connect to
that as well.”
More questioning followed. “Can you find “Lo the berries blue and red” and see how
you might attend to the articulation of the second eighth note in each group? What might be a
suggestion? What is the problem? Why am I stopping?” Rita remarked that “the notes are getting
smaller.” “What must we do?” I asked. Rita answered, “Enunciate!” I asked, “If you were going
to put a marking on those eighth notes, what marking might it be?” Jackie said, “Marcato!” I
waited for students to put the marking in their scores. “We want to emphasize the second eighth
note. Watch what happens when Ryan emphasizes the second and fourth eighth notes.”