VoiceCouncil will no longer be updated. Articles will still be available for some time.

The Case of the Poor Ear

Probe with Rachel BennettJamie was developing a warm and lush timbre but his intonation fell very short of the mark.

Jamie was running through his scales relentlessly, tiring out his voice and getting nowhere.

He couldn’t understand why this prescribed remedy wasn’t working.

From Major to Minor

In Jamie’s first session it became apparent that he was afraid of mistakes and felt very embarrassed about his predicament.

He was attempting to reach the last few notes of his scales before he had sung the preceding notes – he was rushing through so that it would “all be over”!

Every song has a scale! So why not have a song for every scale?

We listened to some nursery rhymes and children’s songs and worked out that many of them ran the scale or at least a good part of it … Jamie found this fascinating.

We practiced some children’s songs and played with adding a “touch of soul” to them.

Then we took a major scale and made up our own nursery rhyme, adding a word for every note.

We developed this process over several weeks adding arpeggios and new scale games to the session

Jamie was soon singing through his own ballad repertoire with increased confidence.

A New Way of Navigating Songs

Learning a song is a process; it’s ok to slow down and break it into manageable sections that identify key, key change and melodic contour, all within the given pattern of a scale.

When the song melody moves away from the scale (as so many do) at least you will have a base to return to if you are unsure of your intervals.

Jamie has learned how to navigate the song melodies now and simply relates the words to the notes with a new approach

As a by-product he is faring much better with sheet music now too, it’s all beginning to make sense because he can hear the scale!