Today 11 year old Tait started preparing for his School of Rock video entry. Here's his first shot - pretty good already! I love how Tait has such an easy flow to his voice and such a clear tone. We worked on
1) Singing on the vowels not the consonants.
Vowels allow the throat to be open, and the space in the mouth to become a productive resonating chamber for the sound: like singing in a lovely big cathedral!
Consonants, while great for storytelling, energy and engaging the diaphragm (another topic!) they also shut the mouth, make the tongue get in the way and potentially tighten the jaw.
In the video, you can see how Tait makes sure he sings on the vowels, especially as he starts to sing higher.
2) Using different vocal registers.
People talk about "head voice", "middle voice" and "chest voice". I don't believe we have three voices but there are different techniques that need to be applied when you're singing in different parts of your range. To get the best sound from every note in your range (clear, warm easy, non-breathy, powerful, controlled yet free!) you need to understand really understand your voice.
For example, when you sing higher, you need (as above) to open the vowels wider, which consequentially loosens the jaw, which lowers the larynx (another topic!) and gets the tongue out of the way.
You also need to use more air support as you sing higher as the vocal chords become longer, thinner and tighter.
Listen to how Tait tries to adjust things as he moves into the very top of his range.
For more on this please take a read of:
"Singing tips for resonance" - Your personal EQ.
"Singing tips for resonance" - The house.
3) Dynamics and musicality.
These come naturally to Tait, as they will do for many of you, but listen to how the song grows, how the phrases seems to dance in the air. Tait and I have spent a lot of time encouraging him to use his dynamics and musicality so that his singing comes alive.