Nobody wants to have a boring life. Some go to parties. Some go to malls. My way to escape boredom is to learn new things and to see what else I can do. Recently, I enrolled in UP College of Music Extension Program. I was so giddy about it as if it were my first time. For the past few months, I haven’t done anything to feed my appetites except my stomach appetite. So, I try to find satisfaction by taking a voice class.
Here is a note to myself. I keep forgetting the things I need to prepare for my voice lessons. Here are some reminders if it’s your first time to take voice lessons.
Wear Comfortable clothes
Dancers are not the only ones who should wear jogging pants, loose shirt during rehearsals. Singers should also wear comfortable clothes. Usually, a voice teacher will just let you vocalize every meeting. But my present teacher asks me to do a lot of things which cannot be done if I wear miniskirt or skin tight jeans. I lay down on the floor, kneel, and jog. Remember, comfortable clothes are equivalent to free body movement.
You may think that the only the instrument we use in singing is our mouth or our vocal tract but we actually use our entire body when we sing. My teacher asks me to do some warm-up exercises every meeting. For someone who is not physically active and who spends eight hours everyday sitting on a chair, it is painstaking. After my first session with my teacher, I experience some body pain. It lasted for three days. I even took some pain killers. Regular exercise can help you avoid sudden body pain such as those you experience from voice lessons.
Bring face towel
For a lady like me, it was quite embarrassing not to have a handkerchief during our first session. My teacher asked me to bring a face towel. If you don’t have a face towel, expect to wipe the floor with your face. She will ask you to face your right then your left on the floor.
Buy Pei Po Koa
Pei Po Koa is a Chinese herbal remedy used to cure sore throat, cough, and loss of voice. My cousin recommended this candy to me. He and his a capella group have these candies in their pockets before they perform in concerts. Pei Po Koa helps you avoid strained singing voice. When you lack sleep, you have a tendency to run out of voice. In these instances, Pei Po Koa will be there for you. I haven’t been singing a lot nor taking a lot of Pei Po Koa. I cannot really validate all those said-effects. But whether it’s placebo effect, at least it gives you some confidence.
Use contact lens instead of eye glasses
Eye glasses can be very distracting especially when you do a lot of body exercises. My eye glasses keep falling on my nose bridge and I need to fix it every now and then. For someone who has poor vision, contact lens are preferable. Not only because glasses are obstruction but you need clear eyesight. A voice teacher will always ask you to look in the mirror and observe how your face and body move. Eyeglasses somehow give you limited eyesight. You can only see well when your eyeglasses are in place whereas you can see everything with your contact lens.
Prepare music sheet of your dream piece
A voice teacher normally will ask you what song(s) do you like to sing. Sometimes, your teacher will give you the freedom to choose whatever song you like. Then you will rehearse it every meeting. Sometimes, you have to know what song you like and what song you can sing. My dream music piece is a semiclassical song titled “Pakiusap ko sayo.” Most music students (as in authentic music students) sing this song for their recitals because the song shows the strength of the singer. The song is very challenging with too many flying high notes. On my part, it will take me a lot of effort, practice or even a lifetime for me to sing that piece. For now, I have to exclude it from my song wish list.
So these were the things I forgot to do during my first two meetings of voice lessons.