MW / Impromptu voice lessons

12:00:00 AM

I've long given up clubbing in favor of a more relaxed night out with friends. On most nights, I'd end up in Cyrano - I just show up and start a conversation with whoever's there. If the weather's great, we'll bring out the blanket and have a moonlit picnic. I've made a lot of friends there, including Denise Haak-Luchangco, who, in my humble opinion, is the best female vocalist the country has today. And she's not even a singer by profession.
Kick 'em heels and join the picnic
Anyway, one random night, Denise showed up with a friend who was leaving the country for good. After they've said their goodbyes, the conversation shifted to me and my singing. She encourages me to sing She told me I have a great voice (which is exactly what I think of her) - and that she would have wanted me to sing at her wedding had we known each other then. What a compliment!

And she even gave me lessons right then and there! The first thing she taught me was tempo. She was correct in pointing out that sometimes, I tend to go too fast when unaccompanied. She said it helps to tap your fingers or one of your feet to keep it in check. Denise also taught me diaphragm exercises that will help me with sustaining notes.

We then moved on to projection. According to Denise, my singing is good, but at times I tend to be bland because I don't own it. As a budding songwriter, I'll admit it's much easier for me to really feel songs that I penned because the words and the melodies are figments of my very soul. But I still have to sing songs I didn't write, and I need to own them just as much.

It's a matter of understanding the song - knowing when to hold back and when to go all out is key. The practice piece of the evening is Etta James's At Last. Denise made me sing it over and over until I figured out how to properly project. She told me to think about a person I'd like to dedicate the song to, which was a bit difficult considering I'm not really seeing anyone.

But I do remember how it once felt to be thoroughly in love with a person, and in my mind I went back to that time and re-lived it as I sang the song. I closed my eyes and I imagined I was singing the song to him, and instantly, my singing changed. I would alternately hold back and go all out, feeling every word, every note. I'm not a huge fan of my singing (ask any of my close friends and they will tell you I'm my worst enemy), but even I have to admit that I sounded great.

Singing is not just about me - it is about how I send the crowd a message through the song. A great singer will make the crowd stop talking in order to listen - he or she commands full attention not just through his or her voice, but through his or her soul in the music. I'd like to become a great singer someday. Not famous, just great. Every opportunity I get to sing, I do my best to apply what Denise has taught me. I tap into the deepest recesses of my emotional memory for whatever I have that is appropriate for the performance.

Thank you, Denise! :)


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Hello, reader! Thank you for wasting your time reading my blog. I do hope you enjoyed whatever you stumbled upon. :)