Voice Beginner

Voice Beginner: Week 2

Hello Class!

Great job singing and making some rhythms today! We began class by doing some breathing exercises (found in Week 1 recap) that help to strengthen the breath and develop vocal control. We sang through the C Major scale using Solfege, and began building chords together using notes in the scale, to introduce singing in harmony. We practiced hearing and feeling time, imitating rhythms, and reading rhythms. Finally, we sang through the melody of “Bring me a little water, Sylvie” by the famous blues and folk pioneer, Lead Belly.

Listening This Week

Billie Holiday has become one of the most celebrated Jazz and Pop vocalists of the last 100 years. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by the jazz instrumentalists she worked with, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Notice that she slides between notes with effortless expression, almost like a trombone or saxophone soloist. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education. She would famously lead entire bands and jazz orchestras without any knowledge of nomenclature or terminology, but by describing things with her voice alone, which was so versatile she could sing any instruments part by ear. My personal favorite was her first recording released on Decca Records, called “Loverman”. The success and distribution of the song made Holiday a staple in the pop community, leading to solo concerts, rare for jazz singers in the late 40s.

Assignment for Next Week

Continue to sing through the C Major Scale, using your breath control warm-ups and using the Piano to match your pitches as best you can. Sing a C major Triad up and down (Do, mi, sol, me, do).


Be able to comfortably sing through the first and second verses of “Bring me a Little Water, Sylvie”.

How to Practice at Home

Make sure to try your breathing exercises at least once a day to begin to build your breath control. This is a process, so start slow and just do what you can! Make sure to stand or sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed. Follow the Piano above. You don’t have to sing loud, but don’t be afraid to feel all the possibilities of your voice!

Dylan McKinstryComment