Why Should a Brilliant Violinist or Trumpet Player Start Singing?!

We welcome a new HELLO STAGE Blogger Brigitte Ulbrich, who discusses the benefits of singing for professional musicians, with some input from violinist Andrea Bischof, who teaches chamber music and violin at the University of Music in Vienna.

Imagine there is a blockage when it comes to practicing, you are tired and exhausted even before having started?

There are passages which you can’t manage although tried over and over again. "No chance!" passages?
You are sometimes too nervous on stage to play calmly and without trembling and you are playing the piece differently to an amount, because of fear?
There are instrumentalists and even singers among us that maintain that singing and breathing lessons can help in all these and many other matters. There seem to be methods and techniques among instrumentalist who use breathing methods and their whole body when playing. By not moving around wildly, or inhaling and exhaling, mainly in a controlled way, but also by using their breathing and letting breath flow as it comes and goes in a natural way - this enhances the flow in playing. For some of them it is playing without being afraid of a passage. Or even without the fear of breathing itself, as they are saying. But how can we reach this goal - natural breathing and stressless playing?

Voice coaching and singing for instrumentalists?

Many instrumentalists, whether in classical music, jazz or any other of the many styles, swear that singing brought them back to their music life - to real life.

One thing is certain: singing is breathing - exhaling. Singers learn how to breathe naturally, they have to work on their body awareness and on releasing un-natural tensions which hinders them to produce sound. Their instruments are their bodies, so they know how to look after their bodies well in a conducive way. So why not take care about our bodies and physical well-being first, before starting with our every day practicing and jobs? This way, there is a certain distance to our daily routine and we create a good start into the world of feelings, sensibility and creativity. It seems to be that physical well-being is naturally followed by mental and emotional well-being and naturally also the other way round. Thus singing creates release in body and mind, feelings of happiness through hormones, attentiveness and mental power. If we look after our bodies, we will find out more quickly, why something goes eventually wrong sometimes. After a time certain obstacles will not occur any more. The concept of singing lessons and training in breathing naturally can help to overcome feelings of pressure and nervousness, fear or even boredom. It can enhance creativity, stimulate energies and give power and strength. Breathing naturally and fluently can change your whole life. Your personality develops and unfolds, which is beneficial for your overall musical performance, output and creativity! Musicians, who have already had the experience of singing and breath training say that they’ve always made use of the positive effects of these activities.

Why sing when you are a brilliant percussionist or violin player? Just for breathing techniques?

In jazz, as an example, we have always wondered why great bassists, guitarists and piano players often sing along as they improvise. Why many of the best horn, trumpet or cornet players also happen to be great singers - Louis Armstrong, Clark Terry, Shirley Horn...?
Great musicians all around the world seem to have developed the ability to sing, whether they’ve had singing lessons or not. For all of us, from the music professional to the leisure time music lover, singing is definitely a natural part of musical development and artistic expression. The voice is our first instrument and everyone can play it. For serious musicians, the voice is actually a crucial part of all their technique and one that can always be improved upon.

So what does Andrea Bischof, a professor at MdW say about singing and breathing lessons for instrumentalists?

„Breathing is an absolute matter of course, when teaching instrumentalists and singers, breathing is always essential. You can notice if a musician is breathing or not. Breathing is life, life is music, music is life, life means breathing!“ For Andrea Bischof conscious breathing and singing is a matter of course when teaching instrumentalists. She always sings with her students in her chamber music lessons, she very often doesn’t even have her violin with her.
Andrea Bischof has been taking singing lessons from a young age, it is her passion. „We, some members of the Concentus Musicus Wien, often do enjoy singing together after concerts - madrigals for example...Breathing plays an important role for the text behind the music, the rhetoric that reveals the overall message and richness of what composers and interprets want to convey. Breathing is essential for the composition, of course for the phrasing, conscious breathing and knowing about breathing techniques help to perform adequately.“
A student of hers managed to play precise entries by using breathing techniques; letting the breath flow naturally helped her use the bow at the beginning of the phrase entry calmly without any trembling. Students at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna are offered extra voluntary breathing lessons with Prof. Leutgeb. Andrea Bischof emphasizes that music is ‚speaking‘ and the text of the music requires adequate and conscious breathing. Andrea is a permanent member of Concentus Musicus Wien and Quatuor Mosaiques.

Brigitte Ulbrich is a Speech- and voice coach and Atem-Tonus-Ton® practitioner. "Voice is music, it reflects emotions and moods, a versatile instrument. To speak effectively means to communicate clear thoughts, to be clear for ourselves and others, to create resonance and response. Inner and external balance, working with our own voice, without judging, are the basics for development and leads to effective and authentic expression - whether for singers, instrumentalists or any other person who looks for harmonious and authentic expression." You can find Brigitte's website here..
Author: Brigitte Ulbrich
Comments [0]
Please LOGIN to leave a comment. login



After clicking on JOIN NOW you can start working right away. When you are done look into your inbox you will get an e-mail for authentication.
-- Advertisement --
-- Advertisement --