I spent Saturday at a vocal training day with Geraldine Latty (who my Mother-in-law loves.)
Over the course of the day, we looked at vocal warmup with and without scales, control and support, singing in parts, arranging back-up vocals, vocal care and fun. We became a gospel choir for the day; all 90 of us! We had great company too.
The sort of stuff I guess you'd hope for from such a training day.
However, what I really learnt was rather different.
I sing once of twice a month when I lead at church and I'm not really that good. I can do what I do simply by applied confidence, supported by technology.
So to spend a day just singing without my attention being split between, reading words and chords, playing guitar, listening to the band and watching the church whilst trying to hear from God (no wonder I'm exhausted after church most Sundays!) was a real pleasure. I learnt how to enjoy singing on it's own. I actually like it more than I thought, especially singing in parts. I'm now more interested in investing in my voice; exploring the tones of it, exercing it and warming it up properly (I have now learnt through experience that if I warm up properly, I can sing all day and still speak, whereas if I don't I can barely make it through a single service!) I also noticed that I sing louder when I am singing to a mic than if I sing on my own....bizarre?! I should remember that the mic is there to work for me, not the other way around.
I encourage those of you who sing in a group/choir to spend time just singing. Really enjoy singing on it's own. I'm finally looking at taking my voice seriously because I want to, not because I have to.
If you get the chance to work with or learn from Geraldine...take it. She is a genius, not a little mad and a very soulful person (just get her talking about Gospel music and you'll see what I mean.) A true teacher.