This video is all about connecting to the physical enjoyment of singing without getting bogged down with rules and techniques. Lari uses a simple nursery rhyme to demonstrate how this works; since you're probably familiar with the tune, it's a good place to start.
- This lesson is called Keep It Simple because I really want us to start not thinking as much as just enjoying singing and really connecting with just the visceral, physical enjoyment of making sound with your instrument. What we're going to sing today is a nursery rhyme. We talked a little bit about the fact that everybody sings, human beings have been singing since before we evolved to be able to talk, and singing is something that we very naturally are taught and we experience as babies.
Part of how we learn how to talk and communicate is by hearing people around us sing these little nursery rhymes. We've all sung the ABC song, ♫ A, B, C, D, E, F, G right? We've sung ♫ Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques These are songs that everybody knows and one of my favorites, one of my personal favorites, big hit all over the world is Mary Had a Little Lamb. I'm going to demonstrate with Mary Had a Little Lamb.
You can choose your favorite nursery rhyme, and again, you can sing it a cappella, you can accompany yourself, just make sure you stand as you sing it. But here's what happens when you, as an adult, a grown person, you go back and sing the nursery rhymes that you learned as a baby. They're part of your DNA by this point. They're so familiar to you, you know them. You don't really have to think about them so much. They're songs that no other artist has claimed, you know you don't have to worry about hearing in your head the Aretha Franklin version of Mary Had a Little Lamb.
It's that you're competing with or colors your idea of how it's supposed to be sung, so they kind of belong to everybody. And you get to reconnect with an emotion, an emotional experience that you had when you were a child and you heard these songs, as an adult. It's almost like regression therapy or something, something very important and intense can happen when you go back and sing nursery rhymes.
So I'm going to demonstrate just a little bit, as I said, my favorite. And I'm going to sing Mary Had a Little Lamb in E-flat. ♫ Mary had a little lamb, ♫ Little lamb, little lamb ♫ Mary had a little lamb ♫ It's fleece was white as snow ♫ And everywhere that Mary went ♫ Mary went, Mary went, ♫ Everywhere that Mary went, ♫ Her lamb was sure to go.
So here's some of the things that are coming up for me. I'm realizing that this song has a story, that as a child I knew the story, but my perspective was completely different. As an adult, I have all this world of information that I didn't have as a child that I'm bringing to this scene, this story of a little girl who's got a lamb that follows her around and that's a really sweet story, its' a sweet observation.
I'm actually feeling, in a way I didn't as a child, the poignancy of that scene and that story. Here's another thing that nursery rhymes do, they have inherent repetition, most of them, so they give you a little bit of an introduction into good acting skills. Any time you're repeating something, you want it to have a slightly different nuance or color or piece of information in it as you repeat it so that it doesn't just become monotonous and boring repetitive.
♫ It followed her to school one day ♫ School one day, school one day ♫ It followed her to school one day ♫ Which was against the rule ♫ It made the children laugh and play ♫ Laugh and play, laugh and play ♫ It made the children laugh and play ♫ To see the lamb at school I remember singing that song as a two year old and it has a completely different meaning for me now, I have three children of my own, I've lived a lot of years, so all of this new information is informing my experience of Mary Had a Little Lamb.
So you pick Mary Had a Little Lamb or one of your favorite nursery rhymes that you remember from childhood. We've actually got a couple of backing tracks for Mary Had a Little Lamb in a couple different keys so if you want to have a backing track it's here on the site and you can use that. Or you can sing a cappella.
Note: This course was recorded and produced by ArtistWorks. We're pleased to host this training in our library.
- The history of singing in human culture
- Reviewing the key ingredients needed to be ready to sing
- Understanding your vocal instrument
- Caring for your voice
- Building core strength
- Developing the correct mental approach to singing
- Key terms and vocabulary of the music language
- Using a piano to find the right key