how to sing

How to change the tone of your voice forever

 

how to sing

how to sing

Tips to change the tone of your voice and make it more attractive.

The voice is one of the most important tools to get attention in other people, but we do not always know how to use it.

While perfecting your vocal intonation and your diction can take a lifetime, it is possible to have a beautiful voice in a relatively short period. All you need is a little education and some constant practice.

Develop good habits to talk and sing

Speak louder:

It is important people hear you very clearly when you speak, so raise your voice! If you usually whisper, mumble or talk with your head down, other listeners are more likely to interrupt or ignore you.

However, this does not mean that you have to shout, but you must vary the volume of your voice according to the situation. For example, if you address a large group of people, you will have to speak louder to project your voice.

Speak slower:

Talking very fast could create a wall between you and the audience, because others can find it hard to follow the rhythm or even understand you, and are more likely to be distracted and therefore stop listening.

Therefore, it is important that you lower the rhythm by speaking the words slowly and stopping between each sentence. Thus, you will emphasize what you are saying and you can give yourself a break.

On the other hand, it may not be a good idea to talk too slow. This can be monotonous for your listeners and they may lose patience and become distracted.

The ideal rhythm to speak is approximately between 120 and 160 words per minute.However, if you are giving a speech, it is a good idea to change the speed at which you speak. Talking slower, or faster depending on the speaker helps to emphasize an argument, as well as conveying the feeling of passion and enthusiasm.

Pronounce well:

We could reinterate that speaking clearly is the most important aspect of developing a good speaking voice. Therefore, pay close attention to every word you say to pronounce it completely and correctly.

Make sure you open your mouth wide, relax your lips and keep your tongue and teeth in the correct position when you speak. At first it may feel strange, but if you make a constant effort to pronounce the words correctly, it will soon come naturally to you.

Some words are sometimes mispronounced or not well articulated. There are many reasons for this, such as our cultural accents and what we have heard from people over time.  However, a deep knowledge of words and diction practices could help.

Do breathing exercises:

Deep breathing is key to having a pleasant and intense voice. Most people do not cultivate a good breathing attitude. They sometimes breathe too fast and not very deep. This in turn, affect the way they sing and speak. The result is production of distorted and nasal tone.

Breathing must come from the deep, not the chest, with diaphragm expanding to support the chest bones . To know if you are breathing well, place your hand on the abdomen, just below your last rib. You must feel how your stomach expands. Do not lift up your shoulders when you breathe.

Do breathing exercises by inhaling deeply so that your belly fills with air. Inhale for 5 seconds and exhale for another 5. Get used to breathing with this method, daily and observe your tone.

Long breath, is a when you breath in for a few seconds and hold the breath as long as you could. With this, you fill in your lungs with air(the lubricant), and you would have enough strenght to sustain and power your voice.

Remember that sitting up and standing upright, with your chin up in the right position will make you breathe deeper and your voice will be more easily projected.

Good posture is also necessary to producing a good voice

Try to breathe in before you speak or sing, and at the end of each sentence. If you use this method to breathe deeply, you will have enough air to say the next sentence without intermitent breathing. Your listeners will also get a feel of the smoothness of your voice production.

Smile when you speak:

People will admire you and the content of your speech more favorably if you use a friendly and encouraging tone instead of an aggressive, harsh or monotonous one.

A good way to make your tone of voice more friendly is to smile when you speak or rather be reflective when making an emotional speech. It does not mean that you have to have a wide and exaggerated smile; just curl your lips a little upwards to make your voice sound more attractive.

Additional tips

The jaw and the lips are parts of the resonating box. They should be more relaxed. If your lips and jaw are relaxed and free to move, your voice will sound more natural and less forced or wobbled.

When your vocal cords produce sounds, you should feel vibrations in your chest, back, neck and head. This vibration will create resonance and give your voice an intense sound.


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The Story Behind the Song “I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS”

THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG “I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS”
About 150 years ago, there was a great revival in Wales, England.

As a result of this, many missionaries came from England to northeast India to spread the Gospel.
The region was known as Assam and comprised hundreds of tribes.
The tribal communities were quite primitive and aggressive.
The tribesmen were also called HEAD-HUNTERS because of a social custom which required the male members of the community to collect as many heads as possible.
A man’s strength and ability to protect his wife was assessed by the number of heads he had collected.
Therefore, a youth of marriageable age would try and collect as many heads as possible and hang them on the walls of his house.
The more heads a man had, the more eligible he was considered.
Into this hostile and aggressive community, came a group of Welsh missionaries spreading the message of love, peace, and hope of Jesus Christ.
Naturally, they were not welcomed.
However, One Welsh missionary finally succeeded in converting a man, his wife, and two children.
This man’s faith proved contagious and many villagers began to accept Christianity.
Angry, the village Chief summoned all the villagers.
He then called the family who had first converted, to renounce their faith in public or face execution.
Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man sung his reply,
“I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back.”
Enraged at the refusal of the man, the Chief ordered his archers to arrow down the two children and they did.
As both boys lay twitching on the floor, the Chief asked, “Will you deny your faith?
You have lost both your children already. You will lose your wife too.”
But the man replied, again singing,
“Though none go with me, still I will follow, No turning back.”
The Chief was beside himself with fury and ordered his wife to be arrowed down and she was.
In a moment, she joined her two children in death.
Now he asked for the last time, “I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live.”
In the face of death the man sung,
“The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back. No turning back.”
He was shot dead like the rest of his family.
But with their deaths, a miracle took place.
The Chief who had ordered the killings was moved by the faith of the man.
He wondered, “Why should this man, his wife and two children die for a Man who lived in a far-away land, on another continent some 2,000 years ago?
He concluded that “there must be some supernatural power behind the family, and I too want that supernatural power.”
In a spontaneous confession of faith, he declared, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!”
When the crowd heard this from the mouth of their Chief, the whole village accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.
What have you ever done for Jesus Christ?
Jesus wants you to make that decision to Follow Him today, because tomorrow might be too late.

Choir leadership & ministry

They came together to sing, in unison and harmony with a common purpose to communicate messages to the listeners.

Sometimes, they wear same uniforms or robes, or in different attires.

During the day, evening and nights; rainy days and sunshine, they came together to rehearse songs, pray and prepare for church services, indoor and outdoor events.

Men, women, old, young,ladies, teens of different age groups; people of various class: rich, poor, wealthy, posh…in a group to voice out harmonies week-in week-out.

They prepare songs just like a woman prepare soup for her household. Hubby could say salt isn’t enough, children may chant, this is fantastic while cousins or guests could say, it’s too peppery.
That doesn’t make her not to prepare more dishes for them.

Rejected, but encouraged; despised but not downtrodden; celebrated though without physical reward!
Likewise, our great choir, on a Sunday service, having prepared and delivered the rendition, few in the congregation may clap, appreciate and other may criticise them.

He/she gets the knock and shouts. If it’s good or worse, it comes back to the leader preparing the team for the church service or performance.

He/she serves them, pastoring the team as a shepherd under the main church Pastor. He/she cares and attends to issues aside singing, realising that a merry heart doth sing, while a troubled soul will struggle during service and performance.
Could it be possible to get a good tune out of an hungry member or a lady/guy with marital challenges?

However, this team-leader has his/her challenges in life. Atimes, he/she shouts over the team, a bit frustrated with occasional mixed feelings of laughter and deep crying inside.
So much decision to make on who leads the song or which song to sing in a congregation of diverse cultures.
The team must understand this: pray, support and be a source of encouragement all the time.

…….
Over the years, I have learnt to study my choir group, appreciate and value everyone as an important member of the team.
Laws are bent with integrity, allowing members to be stakeholder in the choir ministry.
Good voice is needed, other distuned voices get the necessary help.

I had passed through many lands, being blessed by great choir families. I have a heritage of glorious singing people.
I am humbled to acknowledge the Christ, God’s Holy Son for Grace to lead the choir team and serve in the music ministry for over 20 years!!!

Let’s continue in this ministry, be focussed and sing melody in our hearts to the Lord, communing with the Holy Spirit.
And weary not, for in due season our reward shall fully come. Amen.

Olu Sam
Tonality Music
musicolu@gmail.com

Biblical/church music development

Early music practices could be traced to the Old testament time (OT).   People in the ancient eastern world had various musical instruments that were used for religious, social, communal purposes.

In Gen. 4:21, Jubal was the father of those who play musical instruments. The Patriarchs lived in a culture where music was used during ceremonies.   In ancient Egypt, different stringed-like instruments were used in their festivals. Israel sang at the red sea and Mariam led the women to sing with a tambourine. Eks. 15:20.   Music was developed during the reign of king David.

He was a string player and Israel’s Singer of songs. He organised the musicians and singers to play to the Lord as they were bringing the Ark of Covenant to Jerusalem. 1Chr.15.   Solomon continued the music praxis as he organised musicians and singers at the inauguration of the temple in Jerusalem. 2 Chr. 5 -7.  Some of the biblical psalms are songs and chants accompanied with various musical instruments.

However, there was discontinuation of music practices at the temple when Israel went into exile. Psalm137:1-4.     New Testament(NT)-Early church   Music in the NT was scarcely performed. The synagogue worship entails reading of scrolls, singing psalms… At that time, Israel was under the Roman rule. During the apostles’ time, there were persecutions everywhere.

They had few singing at fellowship centers and homes. Paul and Silas sang in the prison. Acts 16:25-35.   Paul encouraged believers to sing and make melody in their hearts..Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19.   The early church fathers continued with the worship practices of the NT with less music, though, using psalms, creeds, chants and responsorial liturgy.   Organ was introduced to accompany songs through the middle ages. Music notation was developed to write down the composed songs and music.

From 13th century upward, witnessed the emergence of many western composers and performers: Sebastian Bach, Amadeus Mozart,  Friedrick Handel, Chopin. Orchestra music and many other instruments of music were invented and modified from their earliest forms. Such as Violin, horns brass, organ, wooden flutes etc.

Christians all over the world use music in worship, expressing their love, commitment and service to God; also applying biblical themes in psalms, and spiritual songs written by our inspired authors in the OT and NT.

OLU SAM
Tonality Music
Ikeja, Lagos.

intro to sound 2, music school lagos

MUSIC :Introduction to Sound (Part 2)

MUSIC: Introduction to Sound contd.


In Part 1, I talked about Sources of sound and materials producing sound. For example:
Humans, animals, cars, wind, heavens, musical instruments, voices…

On the physical and spiritual sounds, we have God’s voice, his word, joyful sound as well as voice crying for help. With those voices resonating in our ears, the humanity part of us shall respond, and this response would evolve into fulfilling the godly human project of love to all peoples and worshipping the LORD. (We’ll discuss more on this during the worship session)

Today, I will not really speak about sound from the throne room of God, and angelic-heavenly hosts voices, but share few tips on two instruments that we use daily and in our service gathering


1. Voices

Everyone has a natural voice with which he/she speaks. However, we aim to get a refined voice with adequate voice training. From childhood to adulthood and the aged; texture and depth of sound differ. A child’s voice is quite different from an adult’s, while in some cases, voices change as one gets older.
So, we have various pitch(highness or lowness of a sound).

We also have basic four parts harmony of, Soprano/treble, alto, tenor and bass voices. In classical nusic, we do have up to eight. We’ll study more under Music and Harmony.

I have heard beautiful voices from the villages to cities; Africa, Europe, the West, Asia, Caribbeans and the Americans. Each and every sound is perculiar and of pleasant tone, sonorous and sweet to hear. If all these voices combine together to make a shout, we will have ‘multiple sounds in complex rainbow colours’, all of God’s creation!

It does means that with our natural voices, we produce sound throughout the world. These sounds are heard by other creatures around us, i.e, birds, horses and the heavens. Occasionally, we can speak to the wind and oceans. Jesus did in Mark 4:39 ‘And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.(KJV).

Joshua said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon…: And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man…’ Joshua 10:12,14.

The Creator hears sounds from his creation day after day, as years passed by from eternity to eternity.
He listens to the,

Global voices,
Sounds from other planets and Spaces above,
Angelic-heavenly hosts voices,
Sound eternity.

2. Musical instruments

Jubal was the father of those who play musical instruments. Gen. 4:21.
Musical instruments were made from woods, irons, brass, steel…

The history of these musical instruments could be traced back to over 5000 years ago. From the Eastern world to ancient Egypt, Asia, Europe and Africa, every culture invented and made instruments of music from the natural endowments around them.

For example

a). String instruments: harp, lyre, lute, violin, indian sitar, guitars, piano
b). Horns: shofar, rams horn, trumpet, cornet, flugehorn
c). Woodwind: flutes, saxophone, kakaki, clarinet
d). Drums & Percussions: drums, timbrel, gong, rattle, tambourine, timpani, xylophone
e). Pipe organ

Please note that,
All things were created by God for his glory, including all musical instruments, irrespective of who invented them or what they have been used for in traditional worship.

A friend in ECWA once told me of how a White man broke down in tears when he saw people playing guitar in the church in 1950/60s. Because guitars were played in the club house in the Western part of the world, and the sound played had a connotation of sinful atmosphere. And again, those white missionaries were against the use of African drums just because they believed they were dedicated drums for idols.

I could also say that of few CAC in Ibadan in the 1980s. Whao! Thanks be to God for Jesus and our African founding fathers of SIM/ECWA churches, African Instituted churches, Pentecostals, Mainline churches who defied all odds to incorporate these instruments into the worship of God as well as composing tunes that truly reflect the biblical message to us in our intelligible languages.

I’ll stop here.


PRACTICAL

I hereby ask the musicians in the house to record one minute of each instrument they play for us to study and identify the instruments’ quality of tones or timbre.

Trumpet
Saxophone
Trombone
Bata drum
Talking drum
Flute
Clarinet
Guitar: acoustic/bass
Drums set(cymbals, sneer drum, crash…)
Organ
African xylophone
Kakaki
Choir voices: soprano, alto, tenor and bass

And any other instruments available.

……..
OLU SAM
Tonality Music
Ikeja, Lagos.

intro to sound, music blog nigeria

MUSIC :Introduction to Sound (Part 1)

MUSIC :Introduction to Sound-Music is an organised sound, pleasant to the ear, and giving pleasure to the soul and the listeners. (i.e melodious tunes from the choir, violin, trumpet, flute, guitar….)

Noise is a bad sound, very unpleasant to the ear! (i.e, crowd in the market…)

Music can’t be produced without sound. Sound can’t be heard in a vacuum.
Sound travels in a medium. For example, in a solid, liquid air/gaseous states. If you listen to your heartbeat, you could hear a rushing sound.

We also have sounds from
*Nature: trees, oceans,
*Heavens: thunder….
*Artificial substances: cars, piano, Trumpet, train, footsteps…

1. Sounds from natures

Whispering on the trees, wind and waves from the oceans (the ocean roars).

2. Heavens

Psalm 19: 1- 3 ‘The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament his praises…’
‘This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Mathew 3:17.

3. Artificial

Train horns, cars, fire.
Very important to study those sounds as part of life. Absolutely necessary to hear and understand sounds to avoid any unexpected danger.

Speech clarity, diction, dynamics, articulation, melody and harmony, good breathing amongst others are the bedrock for producing good sound, which could in turn help one’s singing.


Practicals

1. Let’s identify and study sounds from our environment, living and non-living
things…
2. Cry of babies, voices of our neighbours and children
3. Listen to the word, to our church members and choirs singing with joy or someone crying for help.
4. Pay attention to sound from our musical instruments(keyboard, drums), as well as from musical equipment (speakers).
5. Listen for God’s voice though the gentle Holy Spirit

Part 1, on Music: Introduction to Sound will end here.
Read part II here.
Do not hesitate to ask questions or contribute as well.

Olu Sam.