Saturday, January 22, 2011

my weekly check-up and prescription

Part of the benefits of singing with my choir is that I am entitled to a half-hour of voice lessons every week. Every Monday at 5pm I have a lesson with Vincent, a bass who also sings in the Paris opera in addition to other freelance work. I have to admit that Vincent is the first voice teacher, in a long list of teachers, whose explanations make complete sense to me. Talking about the voice is difficult and usually relies on imagery, and in the past I never quite understood or "got" the images or the language of other teachers. With Vincent, it all seems so clear.

We start with some vocalises and he listens and analyzes as I sing, much as a doctor would analyze a person's heartbeat or breathing. At the end, he makes his diagnosis and gives me some exercises to try at home in order to work on the particular things that he hears. I call this my prescription. He writes the exercises in my cahier (I love it - it reminds me of piano lessons when I was a child) and then we go on to the pieces I have been working on.

I wish the lessons were longer - 30 minutes is quite short to work on exercises and pieces - but I'm thankful for the free lessons that would otherwise cost at least 40€/hour. At this point, it's one of the few carrots keeping me in this large (75-voice) choir!

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