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Mendy Smith

Sing It!

November 15, 2011 at 2:20 AM

It is almost cliché: "If you can sing it you can play it". During my last lesson, that is exactly what my teacher asked me to do. To be honest, I was too embarrassed to try thinking that I have a voice like a frog. When I did try, I croaked my way along with my "la's" and "da's" to the tune of Bruch's Romanze, or something sort of resembling it. She insisted that I go home and try it on my own.

At home, it wasn't any better with the "la's" and "da's". It came out flat-lined and boring. So I decided to try to a different approach and come up with some lyrics to add interest. Lo and behold, I found myself walking around the house, holding my cat, and singing a love song to her and my other two to the tune of "Romanze":

"~~~You are my ki-tties, my kitty cats. You're black and white, with long soft hair. Oh how I LOVE my alley cat. I really love you...~~~" and so on. Not the best lyrics in the world, but they fit the rhythm and mood of the piece, and my cats seemed to like it and the attention they were getting.

After I came up with these silly lyrics, I began to realize how the opening of the piece should/could be phrased. It is much like the difference between speaking in mono-tone and speaking normally with well placed commas and periods.

I have a feeling that my cats are going to have a lovely, somewhat silly, kitty love song composed just for them by the end of the year.


From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on November 15, 2011 at 2:22 AM
I love this! I feel self-conscious about singing my violin pieces as well, I'd rather play them. In fact, in some ways, that's the whole point of playing an instrument in the first place--not having to sing, or to listen to the sound of my own voice. But a song about kitties, I could get behind that :)
From Asher Wade
Posted on November 15, 2011 at 7:38 PM
I agree with Karen. THAT'S WHY I LEARNED TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT !!! - On the other hand, it is true that if you can sing the notes of your sheet music [as the theory goes], it should enhance your aural sense of the music and, therefore, decrease your dependence on the printed page and increase the possibility of playing by ear (pun intended).

But again like Karen said, who can tolerate listening to their own voice, let alone their own 'singing' voice? You all, I'm sure, have experienced someone recording you speaking, or reading a selection from a book, and then thereafter going back and listening to your own voice; try it and then tell me honestly you didn't cringe?!?! - But still, "in theory", this method 'does' work. "Allons-y"

From Millie Bartlett
Posted on November 15, 2011 at 10:22 PM
I agree, my voice isn't much chop either. But the funny thing is, whilst I am learning a new piece, I inadvertently find myself humming it over and over during the day, without really realising it. It somehow winds its way into my psyche and stays put for a while. Eventually my humming takes on forms different to the music, I put an accent here, staccato there, a slide somewhere else. Bits joined together that normally aren't and sometimes a little section of harmony. There are no words, just the humming and it's all only on a partly conscious level. I don't know if it helps with my playing at all, but I guess it's a way of consolidating the piece and how it relates to me.
From bill platt
Posted on November 15, 2011 at 11:21 PM
Good work :-)

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