I have been practising vocal exercises since I joined Bénédicte’s French choir about 3 years ago. Previous choirs have not required much by way of proficiency and have not assessed my usable vocal range. (Just because you can make a tone at a certain pitch doesn’t make it singing.) I sang at school until the age of 16 because it was a requirement for Higher music. After that, nothinguntil the ceilidh band. However, the only time that I sang was to start off “Auld Lang Syne” if it was requested. So the punters got “Should …” and they were on their own. It’s a good job that I didn’t continue because I had the music and words in front of me and “cup of wine” is a rubbish translation for “williewaught” but, because I wasn’t joining in, I had no right to “correct my audience” – not clever. Anyway, I still don’t know how to pronounce “williewaught”. Being Scots, and Ayrshire, it doesn’t follow “normal” spelling pronunciation rules, so who knows …
We live at about a 30 minute car ride from the town and supermarkets. This gives me the correct amount of time to practise one round of my vocal exercises. I bought them from New York Vocal Coaching where their inspiring founder records free and paid-for content. There’s a copy in the atelier, one in the car, and also on the ipod. Since we are in a very low-population area, and especially since the national back-road speed-limit is reduced to 80kph (48mph in imperial) then not much road concentration is demanded of me. When I get to town the vibes go off in order that I can get safely and smoothly from A to B without going via H-ospital. If Jenny is in the car I don’t practise; she doesn’t need to hear my noises, especially in the confinement of the car. To be honest, the cats stare at me until I let them out when I practise in the house.
One positive about having to cook for myself each day, is that I can do the exercises whilst doing food prep. When your mind is engaged in an activity, the body is free to perform without the brain trying to control the physical body.

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