I don’t know about you, but I’ve been doing a lot of cooking during the pandemic. Some of my family and friends are exceptional cooks who never follow a recipe. I only cook during apocalyptic events to stay alive, so following a recipe is a necessity for me. I can manage eggs though.
For singing, I believe there is a simple recipe we can follow to create a more beautiful sound:
- Alignment. If the body is not balanced the breath cannot enter or exit efficiently.
- Hear in your mind’s ear the quality of the sound you wish to create. Don’t just barf up any old sound and call it good. The color of the sound and the intention should be clear.
- Look around for flying insects. Open the space to receive air with the tongue relaxed forward.
- Inhalation. Invite the breath in through the vowel shape (ah space in back).
- Release the purely produced vowel sound through a sigh (without scooping), which will create a more balanced onset and carry the tone forward.
- Maintain an appoggio throughout the phrase. The famous teacher Lamperti referred to this as the “noble position.” The appoggio entails a relatively high sternum, expanded ribcage, and shoulders floating on top of the ribcage. Be proud like sopranos.
We should repeat this recipe for every phrase we sing. Practice it until it becomes second nature.
I’m trying a mashed cauliflower recipe tonight. Please send thoughts and prayers!