Cool down after a Performance

Out of my long stage experience I want to encourage you young singers to install the habit of cooling down the voice after a performance. Like in the sports world, singers also use muscles to sing. In my opinion it is not only important to exercise the voice everyday but also to cool it down after a long performance or recital.

You can use the “u“ vowel to do so only in the middle register of your voice. For example you start with quinte third tonica or you go down a five tone scale. When you sing it softly abd with your support, the vocal chords return to freedom. It just takes 5-10 minutes to do so, but the benefit is a healthy relaxation of the voice. Remember treat your voice like your best friend and acknowledge and take care of its needs.

There is another benefit of this procedure: You will build up a sensitive relationship with your voice, knowing if you have sung in the right way through your performance.
The voice will show you afterwards, if it is too tired, you definitely pushed too much, gave too much volume etc. There can be several reasons for this, but now you know you have to find out. Knowing how to keep your voice healthy and fresh is crucially important for a singers life and career.

With appreciation
Vera Wenkert

Working with the airflow

I remember when I worked with a dramatic soprano on Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung. (In my opinion to sing this Brünnhilde is the most challenging of the three Brünnhildes.)
We worked the whole part and I cannot emphasise enough that to get through this big emotional and technically demanding role, the singer has to know crystal clear what to do technically. I tried to convince her that she just has to think of the pitch and to trust that the airflow does the work with the open throat, that the fexible support system is working and supporting the vocal production. 👍 She is a very fine singer, but when nerves or a little stage fright comes in, anxiety habits sneak in and she locks the ribcage and stops the breathflow. So, in our lessons we worked a lot with exercises to free the diaphragm and to unlock the jaw. As a result she finally she got rid of the increasing subglottal pressure and her big beautiful sound came effortlessly out of her mouth. It was pure joy to hear her Brünnhilde ❤️
A word of advice from my experience on stage: Never give 100% of your voice. Sing with 80% only. Then you will sail safer through your entire career.

AFFIRMATION: Healthy singing is singing on the airflow and not trying to make a big sound with muscle strength.

All the best,
Vera Wenkert

Daily Voice Care

As a Singer you have to take conscious care of your voice.
Normally, the voice serves us automatically and we do not even think about this beautiful habit of speaking or singing, but if we have chosen to work with our voice professionally, we have to develop consciousness in dealing with this very special and personal instrument to keep it healthy.
In a series of weekly nuggets you will find some good suggestions.
You are invited heartly to join me the next couple of weeks to find out more about DAILY VOICE CARE.
First, the vocal cords work better if they are hydrated. Especially, in winter time in heated rooms they need moisture and therefore you have to drink a lot. Of course, not a lot of alcohol because this dries the vocal cords and the voice gets tired easily.

With appreciation
Vera

Caught a cold!

A singer with cold symptoms is very very unhappy …
Especially before an upcoming performance.
Here are emergency tips. Yeah!
If you feel you get a cold take lots of vitamine C
during the whole day and Zinc. A good thing is also to start with an immunebooster like Echinacea. Gargle with salty water and drink a lot of warm tea or ginger water. If you feel you are really down with an infection ,rest your body and most important rest the voice ! .Do not go to the piano every half hour and check if the voice is still there .. I know this is crucial – just to accept the cold. When I was singinc Sieglinde Walküre , I got a cold but instead of freaking out, because I love this role soooo much , I told myself meditate , send positive vibes to your body Vera and take immunebooster. Guess what in 4 days the worst was over and I could sing the Walküre performance.
The secret to get better quickly is to relax and trust nature and the body that it is already on the way to healing.
I urge you not to force the voice to sing pitches, which it does not want to do at the moment.You can damage the voice by doing this. The less you use your voice the quicker it recovers and the tissues around it. It is better to cancel a performance then to sing on a throatinfection. You only have one voice and it is serving you every day ; so treat yourself and your voice with respect and appreciation ; the same as you would treat a.good friend, when he or she is ill. And as you know in a week the cold is mostly over. Good news. Have a wonderful day Vera

What matters in learning new repertoire

As a singer we are obliged to have respect for every detail and nuance in the music.We need time and experience and healthy good advisers and teachers to grow as a singer and musician. Nothing in life can develop under pressure and therefore I try to create a friendly and nurturing enviroment for the singers , so that the talent can blossom in inner peace
Vera