I’m sitting in a hotel in the San Fernando Valley because while Rebekah and I were driving back to New Mexico from Oregon, my clutch decided that it was a good time to pass away.
Oh well. There were a million other places on this drive that would have been much worse than Los Angeles county for the clutch so fail, so I have very deep gratitude for my truck’s timing. The folks who’ve helped me including the tow truck operator and the shop owner have also been great.
I figure that I can use this time to keep doing research. I’m rereading Ingo Titze’s Principles of Voice Production and reading Cooksey’s Working with Adolescent Voices. I’m researching male adolescent voice change in preparation for a workshop I’ll be giving next weekend for the All State Festival in New Mexico. It’s fascinating and really useful material.
I’m also becoming more and more interested in the use of small straws for training a lighter voice production. Over the winter break, I began singing through a small stirring straw as my primary warmup, and the results are tremendous. Titze’s written and spoken about this numerous times, but the idea is simple; by phonating through a straw, you impede the airflow leaving your vocal tract. This creates an environment within the vocal tract that makes it easier to phonate throughout the entire pitch range. Big drinking straws are fine, but the little stirring ones are just great. The itty bitty stirring ones with two conjoined chambers might be too small, but I’ll keep working on it.
And of course…Die Fledermaus is approaching at NMSU, and that will be an awesome amount of work and joy.
I hope you have a very happy and creative New Year.