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Re: having trouble staying positive [Re: ten left thumbs] #2231188 02/13/14 08:54 PM
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jdw Offline
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I play the flute but have never been able to whistle. Without the instrument I'm helpless, sadly.

Sorry to be keeping things sidetracked....


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:​
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Sinding, Frühlingsrauschen (Rustle of Spring)
Beethoven, Sonata no. 14 in C# minor (Moonlight)
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Re: having trouble staying positive [Re: ten left thumbs] #2233553 02/18/14 05:48 AM
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ten left thumbs Offline OP
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Update: lesson yesterday.

Strangely enough, was feeling quite positive by the time I got there! Had a good chat with my teacher. I opened by saying that she and I are very, very different musicians, she is a singer, a singing teacher, and I am not at all a singer. Specifically I said I have to swallow a lot of embarrassment to sing for her at all. I'm quite glad I got that one off my chest, and had to remind myself 'you can't expect her to mind-read - if you don't say it, she won't know'.

We discussed the actual exam requirements and the range needed, etc, and did some exercises to get my singing different pitches, and when we went out of range, I just said, and she accepted.

We went on to do some sight-singing, at which point I began to realize, she really doesn't have much easy materials (strange, that!) because she kept pointing to something then we would realize it's just too hard for me. What we did manage to find, I didn't manage as well as I would have done at home. There just seems to be a blank. So now I realize I need to super-duper practice at home to have a chance of performing under exam conditions. Also I've ordered some more materials which I will bring along next time.

So all in all, very glad to be able to keep going. I didn't want to make a big thing of it with her. If there was a problem, it arose because I let her flounder around for too long, being unsure what to do with me.

Was very glad to be able to let off steam here! smile

Re: having trouble staying positive [Re: ten left thumbs] #2233595 02/18/14 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
We went on to do some sight-singing, at which point I began to realize, she really doesn't have much easy materials (strange, that!) because she kept pointing to something then we would realize it's just too hard for me. What we did manage to find, I didn't manage as well as I would have done at home. There just seems to be a blank. So now I realize I need to super-duper practice at home to have a chance of performing under exam conditions. Also I've ordered some more materials which I will bring along next time.


I think you need to be a bit more diagnostic about your sight singing gaps.

Sight singing is not so much a continuum from easy to hard, it is a collection of different difficulties, each of which must be mastered individually, or a different strategy used.

Did you have trouble with tonal music? That's a different problem from missing an interval of a fifth. If you missed an interval of a fifth, is it because you failed to recognize it on the page? or because you knew it but couldn't sing it?

I would write down everything you failed at at the lesson, and target them one at a time. If you didn't sing a fifth, sing fifths all day up and down the keyboard until they are rock solid and you can never miss a fifth. Then next week do the same with a fourth. Sing them until they are perfect - no don't, you know how I feel about "perfect" intervals! (when I work on a vocal part, I play the piano part one eighth note behind while I sing in tempo. That's forced choice with immediate feedback)

If you were rhythmically imprecise, dig out the Robert Starer book or the Navy manual and your metronome, and clap rhythms every day.

Build your repertoire of things you can do.

And sing inner parts in church - alto and tenor take more concentration to find the notes. If you don't go to church, steal a hymnal (no sin involved, you're not a believer) and sing along with some MIDI. All hymns are online in MIDI. Hymns are tonal and that won't help you with pure leaps, but some sightsinging IS tonal and those will be easy.


gotta go practice
Re: having trouble staying positive [Re: ten left thumbs] #2233870 02/18/14 05:46 PM
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All good points, I just ordered the Starer book. Joining a choir would probably help but just pressed for time.

For sightsinging (I use solfa rather than intervals as such, but it amounts to much the same thing, what I find is that sometimes I will get it, hear it just fine, then other times I won't. I certainly see the point of writing down the failures as already I've forgotten what happened yesterday.

Re: having trouble staying positive [Re: ten left thumbs] #2234298 02/19/14 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
All good points, I just ordered the Starer book. Joining a choir would probably help but just pressed for time.



I found Starer useful, I'd be interested if you do as well. It's pretty old, but then again so am I.

There are probably other rhythmic resources too. Currently I'm working through a book on stage band syncopation because I ended up reading some jazz duets and recognized I do not have some of those rhythms ingrained. The more that is in your memory bank for retrieval, the less you have to do prima facie sight reading.


gotta go practice
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