Carol Welsman Master Class Tips

Posted by admin on August 20, 2015

International jazz chanteuse Carol Welsman taught a master class at The Cabaret on Saturday, August 15, 2015. Here are some of her tips to aspiring performers:

  • Remember that you are putting on a show; if you have three people on stage and they are static, that is not the same as if performers are moving around and catching attention
  • Focus on vowels; “vowels are the soul of words”
  • You have to pretend that the person in the back of the room can’t hear or that the room is 2x as long
  • The vowel makes the sounds. You need to pull out the word with breath control; it is like you are drinking the sound in.
  • Consonants are launching pads for the vowels
  • You want to drink in all that sound – all the imagery in the song gets passed to the audience.
  • Think of your head as a globe that gives your voice sound.
  • Always recite your lyrics: saying the lyrics helps convey the emotion of what you are singing.
    • This is something you should do in front of the mirror. This is good exercise; you need to convince yourself of the song before you convince others.
    • You need to dramatize the song in your mind, looking for the degree of emotion.
  • Looking for clarity in the song, especially in musical theater song.
  • On stage, you have to sing to the back of the room. In recordings, you can be more controlled.
  • With a long, story song you don’t want to give away all your tricks too soon; you need to save something for the end.
    • Leave yourself room to build on the energy you create in the beginning
  • Sing in as many places as possible and practice singing publicly
  • Videotape yourself while you sing; become your own worst critic.
  • Vocal production is important; you need to sound the same throughout your register; the overall tone should be homogenous.
  • Re: energy – Comedians and storytellers are great at “dosing” their stories. Singers need to do that too.
  • Think of the mouth as the curtain; everything behind the mouth is the stage, props, etc.
    • You want the least amount of things to get in the way of the song.
    • You need to create space in your mouth; that is the space you need to sing the song.
  • Always lift your cheeks (like a small grin) when you sing, even a sad song. Lifting the cheeks will also lift your soft palette, which will improve the space that you leave open for your voice.
  • You can open up the sound by creating more space/opening your jaw
    • Try adding “ahh” into the vowel of the word “thing” so that you almost since “thahng” – This will help create space
  • Think in the opposite direction of the notes – this will help keep your pitch in check
    • Think up when singing low
    • This makes the tone richer
    • Lifts low sounds up into your head
  • Exaggerate the beginning of words
    • Ex: Put “Yah” in the beginning of “you” so that you don’t get an “eww” sound
    • Remember that you are putting on a show; if you have three people on stage and they are static, that is not the same as if performers are moving around and catching attention
    • Focus on vowels; “vowels are the soul of words”
    • You have to pretend that the person in the back of the room can’t hear or that the room is 2x as long
    • The vowel makes the sounds. You need to pull out the word with breath control; it is like you are drinking the sound in.
    • Consonants are launching pads for the vowels
    • You want to drink in all that sound – all the imagery in the song gets passed to the audience.
    • Think of your head as a globe that gives your voice sound.
    • Always recite your lyrics: saying the lyrics helps convey the emotion of what you are singing.
      • This is something you should do in front of the mirror. This is good exercise; you need to convince yourself of the song before you convince others.
      • You need to dramatize the song in your mind, looking for the degree of emotion.
    • Looking for clarity in the song, especially in musical theater song.
    • On stage, you have to sing to the back of the room. In recordings, you can be more controlled.
    • With a long, story song you don’t want to give away all your tricks too soon; you need to save something for the end.
      • Leave yourself room to build on the energy you create in the beginning
    • Sing in as many places as possible and practice singing publicly
    • Videotape yourself while you sing; become your own worst critic.
    • Vocal production is important; you need to sound the same throughout your register; the overall tone should be homogenous.
    • Re: energy – Comedians and storytellers are great at “dosing” their stories. Singers need to do that too.
    • Think of the mouth as the curtain; everything behind the mouth is the stage, props, etc.
      • You want the least amount of things to get in the way of the song.
      • You need to create space in your mouth; that is the space you need to sing the song.
    • Always lift your cheeks (like a small grin) when you sing, even a sad song. Lifting the cheeks will also lift your soft palette, which will improve the space that you leave open for your voice.
    • You can open up the sound by creating more space/opening your jaw
      • Try adding “ahh” into the vowel of the word “thing” so that you almost since “thahng” – This will help create space
    • Think in the opposite direction of the notes – this will help keep your pitch in check
      • Think up when singing low
      • This makes the tone richer
      • Lifts low sounds up into your head
    • Exaggerate the beginning of words
      • Ex: Put “Yah” in the beginning of “you” so that you don’t get an “eww” sound
 

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