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V.com weekend vote: Can you sing?

Laurie Niles

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Published: November 20, 2015 at 9:16 PM [UTC]

I'm guessing some of you are quite good at it, but not everyone is! In fact, it is possible to play the violin very well, yet sing like a frog.

singing vs. playing

But singing is still a part of our education, and it should remain an influence, when playing an instrument that sounds so much like the human voice. We can help our concept of just about any musical line by singing it, even if we are singing it badly!

Recently Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Paul Stein mentioned in his blog about bow distribution that "teachers should ask the students to sing during lessons, even if the voice is not developed. Someone with a bad voice should be encouraged to sing something resembling the rhythm of the music. This helps create a connection between the origin of the music in the ear, and what goes in and comes out of the instrument."

I do agree that it's a good idea to make the effort to sing, and also to vocalize rhythms.

So can you sing? Do you sing well?


From Brecklyn Ferrin
Posted on November 20, 2015 at 10:38 PM
One of my artist-teachers could barely sing at all, but played beautifully. Interestingly enough, it was he who first converted me to the idea of singing my concertos or other violin pieces to practice phrasing and musicality.
From Jim Hastings
Posted on November 20, 2015 at 11:25 PM
Interesting subject. I have a keen sense of pitch and a fairly wide range, but I don't think I'm soloist caliber. Had a lot of sight-singing in school as part of ear training -- I thought it was fun.
From marjory lange
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 7:28 AM
Used to be good--valued for precise reading (so I was popular with choir directors, who needed reading altos to help the non-readers learn their parts)

Too many years of sinus colds have left me with an unreliable middle range, and croaky--but I'm still on pitch...just bucket quality now.

From 209.222.8.196
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 1:13 PM
Can't sing. Can't dance. Plays the violin a little. That's me.
From 68.69.91.96
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 2:39 PM
As a teacher, I began noticing that my student who were raised singing in churches adapted to learning violin easier. I've had a few that came from learning to sing out of hymnbooks, and it was interesting to see how quickly they learned theory and harmony. I always wondered if it was because they had already seen music since birth and began absorbing some of it!
From N.A. Mohr
Posted on November 21, 2015 at 3:08 PM
I can't sing. I can sing beautifully IN my head...but what comes out is totally different. I can hear that I am off...but can't fix it (don't know how to fix it). I have a limited vocal range as well. I am also an alto...I don't know if that's part of my problem - not knowing how to adjust an alto voice to fit in harmonically with what seems to be mostly soprano.

But I don't let that stop me. I sing all the time! In the car and in the shower! Or when my only audience are the family pets!

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