SINGING MEN: Vocal Workshop Saturday, September 20, 2014
With Frank Kelley
Sponsored by Massachusetts ACDA
Frank Kelley’s presentation and work with our Singing Men: Vocal Workshop participants went far beyond my expectations! He brought skill and expertise as well as a true talent for reaching folks with wide-ranging skills. People were certainly impressed with his artistry, but they were particularly touched by his ability to encourage, demonstrate and explain the techniques under consideration. Very few voice teachers are able to communicate and engage as effectively as Frank Kelley did with our group yesterday. He showed people that they could sing better.
-Tom Berryman, R&S Chair for Male Choruses, MA ACDA
Comments received from participants:
-I consider Saturday’s vocal clinic with Frank Kelly to have been very worthwhile. As a person who likes to understand the mechanics of the way things work. I found it to be useful to relate the exercises we have been taught to the anatomy of the soft palate, tongue and lip position, the size and shape of the resonating chamber and the function of the muscles which control the vocal chords, as demonstrated using the anatomic sketches.
Aside from issues of mechanics and technique, I found it a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday morning with friends and fellow singers from other vocal groups. Singing always seems to release some “feel good” endorphins.
-He answered my questions about going to “falsetto” on high tenor notes as well as coming back down to normal singing when lower.
-I really enjoyed the workshop. The best thing I liked was the work on tuning. I think for the first time I was made aware of not just that we had a tendency to go flat, but where that tendency often comes from (dropping the end of phrases, and repeating notes with different vowel sounds), and with specific recommendations on how to combat that tendency.
-The one area I would like to have addressed more is how male voices can sing with controlled sonority and greater subtlety for more diversity of sound. We got into it somewhat on dynamics but I noted that even when the group tried to sing softer, it was still quite loud and with much rumbling.
-What a great teacher. I found myself taking notes on my phone.
-I was especially interested in Frank’s explanation of breath control, to avoid running out of air. Being aware of how proper posture and chest expansion enables pianissimo singing. His explanation of the amplifier made complete sense.
-Frank was great explaining many fine points about good vocal technique. As an ENT physician who sees lots of singers, I would suggest a bit more detail on an anatomical basis showing how the mucosal surface on the vocal ligament is actually what vibrates and gives vocal quality when both vocal folds can appose each other. As the pulmonary MD. pointed out, the diaphragm is a muscular structure and not a passive membrane. Singers understand the process well whenthey can visualize how the vocal folds move.
-Clear explanation of both the mechanics and the artistry – immediately useful.
-In a word, I thought the session was great! As one who has never had singing lessons or has sung with a formally organized group, I learned a great deal. I just have to continue to do what Frank instructed. It was a morning well spent.