Beginner's Yoga Sequence for Singers
Let’s be real. Starting to practice yoga can be intimidating. Perhaps this is because of its inherent connection with having to be flexible (which you don’t) or needing to twist yourself into a pretzel (which you don’t). A very wise yoga teacher once told me that yoga is a breathing practice, and the physical postures are there to facilitate a deeper connection to your breath. One of my favorite singing teachers told me instead of thinking of singing well,...
Confessions of a Singing Yogini
One frigid January evening when I was not even 20, I stumbled into a hot yoga studio and took my first yoga class.
I hadn’t the slightest clue about body alignment in postures, no grasp of Sanskrit and its place in in the yoga class, and definitely no concept of just how much water I would have to drink afterward to rehydrate.
Here’s what I did know for sure: I was hooked. Something about the dance-like nature of the yoga postures, the focus and stamina that...
Yoga is becoming more and more popular and singers are no exception. We must be aligned in our bodies and in tune with what our bodies are telling us to really create incredible music and yoga is a fantastic tool to help us do just that.
Mezzo and Yogini Krista Costin has written several articles about her journey as a singer who discovered yoga and received some incredible gifts along the way.
So join us tomorrow through Saturday for Yoga for Singers, right here on Open Intervals!
3 Tidbits about Virgil Thomson and his song cycle "Praises and Prayers" - Hear it June 22nd in Minneapolis!
Virgil Thomson was a pillar of 20th Century American music and a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer. Although he looks a bit grumpy in this photo, rest assured he was a productive, creative individual, producing 8 books in addition to his numerous compositions. He also earned 20 honorary doctorates. 20!
All that before the computer and "the internets."
1. Thomson was a paid organist at the age of 12 and attended Harvard on scholarship. (Link)
Having a regular gig from the age of 12 is pretty...
We need to talk.
You and your phone...you're together 24 hours a day. You've got Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and Instagram and apparently you have email and hey, look--that thing even makes phone calls!
Yes, that computer in your pocket--you can use it to actually talk with another person!
What I mean when I leave you a voicemail that sounds like, "I need a pianist/conductor/recording engineer/graphic designer/web developer/photographer for this project I'm working on, so please call me...
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Confession: I'm an office supply geek.
Having the right writing utensil is a goal for me (and I know a lot of other people who are like this, too). Having just the right pen or pencil is part of every-day writing, not just for letters or for signing contracts, but for making notes, writing down blogging ideas, marking scores, everything. And now...
Some organizations just don't have a large budget, yet they offer great concerts, wonderful experiences, and provide wonderful resume-builders for singers. And we should, for all reasons, sing them and bring music to people. That is, after all, the whole point. So let's look at a few ways that organizations offer and singers accept gigs that are perhaps lower on the pay scale but high on education, respect, and worthiness.
a/k/a How to ask a singer to sing your concert when you't have much...
It’s time to mythbust [insert dramatic music here] “Singing for Exposure!”
(N.B. this is not singing for free according to the Singing Donation Budget or when you take a lower-paying or free gig because it makes you happy and proud even when it doesn’t fill your pocketbook; this is concert presenters who ask you to sing for a lot of hours for dirt cheap.)
More and more frequently people offer ‘exposure’ as a benefit for professional musicians to sing a gig that’s poorly paid (or not paid at...
I once received an email asking if I would sing a series of concerts for what was a very low sum of money. As is typical in negotiations, I countered with an offer that was higher and noted that if my request exceeded their budgeting, I would gladly put them in touch with other singers. Pretty standard.
The presenter said there were no more funds, but s/he could offer exposure, which is when I ended the exchange with a friendly “My fee for this would be $X and I’d be happy to work with you...
Scansion (pronounced scan-shun) is matching the meter of the words with the meter of the music, so that we have the right ACCent on the right SYLLable, and not an acCENT on a syllABle. (See what I did there?) The accent of the music and the accent of the text must match.
Written for Perfect Scansion: Maybe So
There’s a pretty cool scansion story behind the brilliance that is “Maybe So.” It began as an exercise in scansion and ended up heart-wrenchingly beautiful, an devotion to unrequited...