Voice lessons are fun and well-paced, keeping young people engaged in the process. Lessons include visual tools, body movement, encouragement and positive reinforcement, age appropriate songs, ear-training and more.
Voice lessons begin with fun exercises to wake up the body, loosening the pelvic muscles and opening the muscles in the torso, chest, neck and face. This includes some movement to get the heart-rate and breath going. Posture is an important part of singing, and the student learns to check their own singing posture to see if it is in alignment.
This is followed by breath work. Singing is basically making sound on an exhale. Students learn about the action of the diaphragm, how to build good breathing habits, how to lengthen the exhale and build stamina.
After working on breathing, we move to making sound with air support, using "the Siren" (sweeping up and down the student’s range). Moving to the piano, Surya takes the voice through exercises in stepwise motion. Exercises include the trill, slides, and legato and stacato sounds. Different vowels are introduced here, with different consonants added as well (such as Mee, May, Mah, Moh, and Moo).
Once the voice has been warmed up, lessons includes learning Solfege(movable Do) with accompanying hand gestures. This teaches young singers how to identify the notes of a scale in a fun way.
Singing involves articulating sounds that differ somewhat from normal speaking articulation, so students learn fun tongue twisters to get their lips and tongue muscles working.
Following articulation, the student learns a song. The song is broken down into different musical parts: the scale and key, the vowels and consonants, the rhythm and other elements such as dynamics, legato vs stacato, and breath management.
Surya writes down what was done in the lesson, and the student goes home with plenty to practice for the next week.
Stretching/movement, Posture check - 5 min
Breath work - 5 min
Sigh, Siren, and Exercises - 10 min
Solfege and Articulation - 5 min
Song - 5 min
Total time = 30 min, three or more times in a week.
Surya uses The Full Voice curriculum, as well as material from The Contemporary Singer by Anne Peckham, Singing Lessons for Little Singers by Frankenbehler, Hoffman Music Academy and Faber Music Theory.