Be Open To All Viewpoints

Posted on August 1st, 2017

When a student comes to me and says that their way is the only way, I quickly know that the road to there destination is a very long one. Everyone comes from a different background and different training. We all have methods that have been taught to us and work for us well. We also should be aware that there are many methods which have been used over the years to accomplish the same task.

As mentioned before, I think of it as a toolbox. The more tools, the more prepared you will be to accomplish whatever it is you want.
In this case with sight reading, the more tools you have, the better off you will be. In every circumstance there are opportunities to utilize more than one method and create a situation of success.

Be open to all opinions and ways toward advancement. You’ll find that others may have a nice little trick that works for them and will work for you too.

What Sightsinging Does For Me

Posted on June 5th, 2017

I recently was called for a live performance. There was no music ahead of time and only a few run-throughs before the show which was to take place in front of an audience of 10,000 people. It was a thrill and honor to be able to be called for this but more than anything, it made me realize how many more opportunities I gain by being able to read music quickly. The end result was to be able to sing with an amazing group of 24 singers and experience an exciting live performance.
There was no teaching of parts. Just a count off and “BAM” we were off and running.

Take A Snapshot

Posted on May 1st, 2017

Take A Snapshot

My college professor used to make me take small snapshots of measures and then cover them up so that as I was playing the measure covered up, I was reading ahead to the next measure at the same time. This is great practice.

For example, you look at measure one and memorize quickly. Then cover it up with a piece of paper. While playing/singing measure one, you are making a mental note of measure two. Then cover up measure two and sing that measure while taking mental note of measure three. And so on………….

A sight readers, we are always looking ahead to see what the next bit of music is. This keeps us on our toes and prepared for what is coming next.

Be Open To Learning New Methods

Posted on February 28th, 2017

A recent student in class pointed out a different way of approaching key signatures. She was a little hesitant to say anything due to the fact that I was teaching it completely opposite from the way she learned. We discussed her method and learned some really neat new ways to think about it. I’m totally open to whatever works. And I find that the more tools you have in your box, the better. Some of us learned Solfege, some numbers but in the end, if you can sightread the music, then whatever works is awesome.

Be open to different routes to the same destination. Open your ears and try something new. You will then fill your box with amazing tools to assist this sometimes difficult process!

Teaching The Godfather How To Sing

Posted on November 14th, 2016

I wanted to share this article that was posted this week. Wes Moore has been instrumental in providing a video service for this site that works tremendously. Take a look and share!

Teaching the Godfather How to Sing

Looking Ahead

Posted on April 30th, 2016

Look Ahead For Possible “Crash & Burn” places. Take a few minutes before every piece and see what is ahead. It’s like some learn in Boy Scouts, “Always Be Prepared.” Look for possible key changes, tricky intervals, page turns with many notes during the turn, words which may be hard to pronounce or appear as tongue twisters. These are just a few but as long as you know what is coming up, it makes reading much easier. Often times you’ll have more than a few minutes to even practice some of the harder parts and be ready when you get to those parts to sing. – See more at: https://www.lasightsinger.com/member-welcome#sthash.TCr6aKJo.dpuf

What Are Your Habits?

Posted on February 29th, 2016

Whatever your habits, these are the things that mold and make who you are as a singer. All the little things we do that we don’t pay attention to like……losing sleep over time, letting your posture start to fall forward, drinking too many cups of coffee…….or just turning on the t.v.,  when instead 5 minutes of looking over a piece of music would put you a few steps ahead.

I encourage you to just be aware of what steps you are taking daily to move forward in your music. Whether this is being a better sight reader or better singer, daily steps have to be taken to keep the ball rolling. Are you stepping forward or are you falling back?

Take notice of your habits. You may not even be aware that some of those habits are holding you back.

Say It Outloud

Posted on August 31st, 2015

Every time you look at a piece of music, ask yourself the basic questions out loud. Then answer yourself out loud. There is nothing better than seeing, hearing, speaking and thinking something all at the same time. It becomes part of your memory much faster that way. This will also get you in the habit of a consistent review. So next time your choir has rehearsal for instance, before each new song, quietly to yourself, review the basics: key signature, time signature, starting note number, dynamics, etc……… –

Just Do It!!

Posted on July 1st, 2015

Just Do It!

I remember several years ago where I was involved in a year long program, teaching me to be a “Champion.” It was quite an experience  and I’ll never forget entering thinking I was going to figure out the “secret” to success. There were many books to read, audio tapes to listen to, conferences to attend and repeating positive affirmations to increase the results of my actions.

This year was the most productive year I ever experienced but not because of the books, the positive affirmations and all of what I thought was going to be my secret. What was it? It turned out to be the fact that this program forced me to be accountable, to show up and to get the job done whatever that was supposed to be.

I opened a new studio, gained an assistant and tripled my clientele. Why did this all happen?
Again, it was the fact that each week I had to be there. I had to do my homework and be accountable.

I had to “Just Do It.”
I equate it to working out. If you can just make it out the door, you’ve won the battle. Doesn’t really matter which program you use, just pick one and go with it.

I write all of this because the more successful this program becomes, I’m faced with many who ask why I do it the way I do. Why do you use numbers instead of solfege they ask. I answer them by saying, I chose a way and just started doing it. Why do the local classes work so well? Because we show up. We just do it. Any method we use would work. But the difference is we choose one and run with it.

When you are practicing your sight-reading, know that there is no best way. The right way is if you are consistently moving forward, whatever method you choose.

Pick some class to be a part of and “Just Do It.”

Ask Yourself The Hard Questions

Posted on January 1st, 2015

Ask Yourself The Hard Questions

As we come into the new year, we always stop and evaluate where we are and where we are going. Even if we don’t plan to, our minds seem to go there. Did we get what we wanted this past year? Will I ever learn to Sightread or do anything else I put my mind to for that matter?

As you start off this new year, ask yourself a few questions and think about what it really takes. I wrote an article to my private students about being excellent at your craft. Being so good at what you do that they just can’t ignore you. And to accomplish this level of excellence, it takes good ole fashioned hard work.

  • How bad do you really want to learn to sightread?
  • How much time everyday do you spend practicing this craft?
  • Do you put yourself in situations requiring you to sightread?
  • Are you taking classes?
  • Are you forcing yourself to learn the new piece one measure at a time or are you getting someone to play it for you?
  • Are you falling for all of the gimmicks? Or do you realize that this comes by daily practice and hard work?

I always compare these situations to eating and health. Why? Because we all have to eat and we all have to maintain health. And we all know that none of it is accomplished overnight or with an app. It’s accomplished by very small daily steps which keep us on track and moving one little step forward at the time.

I encourage each and every one of you to keep going. Remember the small steps. I repeat this over and over and believe it wholeheartedly. You will get there IF you take the small steps consistently.

I wish you all a very successful 2015!!