Thursday, 9 January 2014

How does Physical Exercise affect Singing


Among professional singers and students attending vocal classes, some of you may wonder vocal training just involves hardwork, and of course an excellent coach/trainer.  Well, before I read this article, I never would have thought that Physical Exercise has an effect on how well you sing and how you project your voice.

In this study / article,

It talks about 3 Main types of Exercises which are thought to improve one's singing ability.

  • Aerobic exercise,
  • Muscular conditioning and
  • Neuro-muscular coordination exercises

A quote from the article states:
"You (your voice) is your instrument."
This statement is undoubtedly true as it doesn't work like any other musical instruments, such as: Piano, Violin, Flute, or percussions.

Another quote that is also true in the article is
"Whatever improves the instrument(s) helps the voice."
Now, let's go back to the types of exercises:

1.  AEROBIC EXERCISE

As singing involves breathing using the abdomen, it can be considered as an athletic activity.

You probably have heard of Aerobic and Anaerobic exercises in your high school / secondary school Biology class.  This is the Aerobic (meaning: with oxygen) exercise we are talking about here which stimulates heart and breathing rate.

The exercises in this group includes walking, jogging, swimming and aerobic exercises (such as Starjumping), dancing and hiking. 

 

       The use of Cardio Machines in Gyms 

Many may have heard that cardio machines will help one's fitness level tremendously.  While those   machines may be used, but you can successfully do aerobic exercise without them as well.

2. MUSCULAR CONDITIONING

This type of exercises involve strengthening the muscle groups in our body.

Some of them are Sit-ups, Push-ups and perhaps Weight lifting 

However, one set back of these exercises may include tense shoulders as well as neck, and this may affect the singer's voice.  This is because, in singing, one of the main goals is to strive for "greater energy, without greater tension".

 

 

3. NEURO-MUSCULAR COORDINATION

Neuro-muscular coordination exercises include Yoga, Alexander Technique and Tai-Chi.  It is thought that these type of exercise helps a singer's relax and energise him/herself.  Neuro-muscular coordination also involves 2 levels: intra-muscular coordination and inter-muscular coordination.. 

For more information, visit the following sites.

Strength and Fitness UK: Neuromuscular Coordination

Physical Exercise for Singers

Curing Voice Problems with Alexander Technique

The link betweeen Alexander Technique and Pianists - For pianists seeking to know how Alexander Technique benefits piano playing


Monday, 6 January 2014

Internship Experience: The Beginning

Amy is a young 19 year old girl, aspiring and experimenting to do more for the society.  In her blog, she shares life experiences, reviews for food, drinks and travel, as well as books (coming soon).  In the upcoming months, she will write on her music teaching experience as well as post some Youtube covers for easy piano pieces for those interested to use as tutorials.
Writing stories, real life stories have always been a burning desire for me (well I am Amy if you haven't already know).  I love non-fiction.. not saying that fictions are unlovable, but what interests and inspires me most are the power of Real stories touching hearts and lives.

In modern China towards the Qing dynasty, a medical doctor Lu Xun 鲁迅 , specifically trained in modern western medicine.  Well, he ended up quitting his job as a doctor and become a writer / philosopher instead.  He desires to mend/treat the Chinese's (in China then) heart.  He seeked to influence the minds of the Chinese then, for with his medical knowledge and expertise, he could only treat the ill, and can never reach the hearts of the people.

In the short paragraph above, the story of how Lu Xun became a writer instead of a doctor influenced, in some aspects the reason I now write real life encounters and stories.  

Back in the days, when I was in a national (government) school, a.k.a. high school, I too was trained by my English tuition teacher to write real stories.  As I recall, they were stories of the current condition of the Malaysian society, i.e. how crimes were rampant, and rape cases occurring everyday, people getting stretched to their limits due to financial reasons or psychological problems leading to suicide cases.... things like that. 

These issues are the things I like to write on.  Hence my application to a local news publishing firm end of last year for an internship position.  I was granted a 2 month long internship at the firm and hence begin my journey learning the ropes of how things work in a publishing firm.

I was assigned to the editorial department and have just started work last week.  Well, so far, I have enjoyed my experience.  The workload for an intern, really is not very much.  But I went into the firm with the attitude that "If during this internship, I am assigned to write something, I would consider myself lucky and blessed. On the other hand, if I am not, I will also give thanks to the experience."

I was indeed blessed by many of my co-workers (so called).  They are great people willing to give me some pointers on how to go about interviewing other people and writing a piece of work, things like that.

Allowance will also be given during my internship as well to cover my costs on transport, food and parking.  I have yet to find out whether it would be enough to cover my costs haha as paycheck has yet to arrive.

hmm.. That's about it for now.  Stay tuned for more of my experience in the firm!  

Disclaimer: 
As I am writing quite explicitly on my experience with my work / internship, hence I would not entertain any enquiries on the details of the company I work for, or details that contain Private and Confidential (PnC) material to protect the privacy of others.  Kindly understand the point that I am trying to get across.

Lastly, if you enjoy this post and would like to read more of what I write, please follow my blog via email or simply Bookmark it! 


Amy


Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy New Year 2014!!!

Hi guys n gals,

Wishing you people a very prosperous new year ahead!

It has been great for me to start this year as I started my internship at a local news firm.  I have also just came back from Phuket, Thailand (a short vacation).  As I hope fervently that year 2014 will bless each and everyone of you, stay tuned for a comprehensive review on Patong, Phuket!

Cya soon!

Amy