The holiday season is the season of singing, the time of year when vocal music is heard the most. Groups of singers go caroling, the local classical music radio station plays choral music, and there’s a wealth of choir concerts to choose from. Singing expresses the joys of the holiday season. Here in the NLS Music Section, our calendars are quickly filling up with concerts that we’re either performing in or attending. As a vocalist, I especially look forward to all of the opportunities to sing that the holiday season in particular brings. Perhaps you are doing some singing this holiday season or going to hear a choir in your community perform choral masterworks.
In this season of singing, if you feel inspired to break into song, the NLS Music Section has plenty to offer you. We have a substantial collection of audiobooks that provide singing instruction so that you can get in on the fun and sing with the choir. In the coming weeks, I’ll explore this rich part of our collection in three blog posts. For today, as Maria proclaims in The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…”
To begin using your voice, I recommend the following audiobooks that will provide a foundation for healthy vocal production and technique. When you’re starting out, learning to breathe into your belly–not your chest or shoulders–is especially important, as is allowing your voice to flow in a smooth, connected stream of sound, rather than trying to push or control it. Breathe, relax, and sing. By practicing healthy techniques for breathing and vocal production, you’ll find that singing gets easier.
- Singing Lesson: Breathing and Vocal Tone, Vocal Creativity (DBM03686) by Carol Lynne. This hour-long course teaches breathing exercises and beginning exercises in vocal tone and diction.
- Ear Training: Singing on Key, Improvising (DBM03687) by Carol Lynne. This hour-long course helps you learn to sing on key and helps those who do sing on key to improve their musical ear further.
- Basic Vocal Technique (DBM01301) by Penny Nichols. In this six-lesson course, pop singer and composer Penny Nichols discusses relaxing the body and voice, projecting the voice, and singing intervals and ornaments. Each lesson begins with a new song to learn.
- Singing Success Library: High Voice (DBM00579) and Singing Success Library: Low Voice (DBM00580) by Macon Delavan. This progressive series of lessons, which is 7.5 hours of instruction in total, provides instruction on singing techniques and tone production. The course includes exercises and instructions for a song and suggestions for developing self-confidence and stage presence.
- Born to Sing: Complete Voice Training Course (DBM01527) by Elisabeth Howard. Cartridge only. This course covers vocal technique, vocal style, and vocal exercises.
In my next post we’ll look at the different directions you can take your singing with the NLS Music collection once you have the basics down. Until then, get out there and celebrate this season of singing!