[Menvi-discuss] Weak Knuckles

Carol Sexton sunshinepa at verizon.net
Thu Apr 18 09:52:18 EDT 2019

Hey you are absolutely right. Well I can tell you that inmy younger days I 
sang in choir and I was a ametzo. I had solo parts. Now my voice has gotten 
lower and I am what you may call a contralto. I guess that may be even lower 
than alto. I have kind of lost my soprano and I find it hard to vocalize 
just the way I used to vocalize. I think what they look for on the voice and 
american idle are those people who will yell to the top of their lungs on 
high notes. If you would do that you are definitely going to do harm to your 
throat. In my college and in my high school days, I had excellent voice 
teachers. So now my style has changed and country singers tend to have this 
style but one shouldn’t' sing through their nose. I am not taking up any 
training. I have found people who take you through vocaleese on youtube 
believe it or not.

Well I sdo think that one has to be ready to perform and if you need to take 
a break to get the technique right then by all means do that. I think you 
have had wise teachers and coaches. Keep up your good work. You re an 
inspiration as is everyone on this list. I am enjoying it immensely. These 
discussions about different and varrious things is very interesting and I do 
appreciate the input of everyone here.

Do any of you have anything on youtube? I should ask do any of you have a 
youtube channel and if so please let me know because I would like to look 
you up.

Later I want to come up or I mean to say discuss something else with regard 
to advertising for piano students.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Karen Gearreald via Menvi-discuss
Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 11:06 PM
To: This is for discussing music and braille literacy
Cc: Karen Gearreald
Subject: [Menvi-discuss] Weak Knuckles

Actually, people can learn to play the piano remarkably well with weak
knuckles, as my favorite piano teacher did during his very young years.
Eventually, though, he had to take time out to reform his technique under
the instruction of a capable and persistent teacher.  He has gone on to
become a fabulous pianist and vocal coach, able to play beautifully and
comfortably for many hours a day.

If we become aware of a major technical problem, whether as singers or
instrumentalists, we need to solve it, even if the solution requires us to
stop performing for a while.  Many singers have to do this sort of thing, as
the great mezzosoprano Marilyn Horne observed.  "Take two years to get your
technique right," she counseled, "and the world will be your oyster."  I had
to do that sort of thing when, on the advice of the best coaches, I was
changing from a mezzosoprano to a high soprano.  This was the right change
for me, but I couldn't accomplish it in a choir where various demands were
distracting me.  So I prayerfully dropped out of the choir for a couple of
years.  I still have all those low notes, but I don't rely on them heavily
and tensely as I did in my mezzo days.  Oh yes, as I approach age
seventy-five I still have the high C, too.

After seeking and considering the best counsel we can find, we have to be
brave about making our decisions.  The important thing is to make the
necessary changes while we are not under the pressure of performing.
At least that is my experience.

Best wishes to everyone who is diligently working to explore and develop
God-given talents.  Each of us needs to find the right way according to the
capacities that have been given to us, physically and mentally and
spiritually.  These answers don't come overnight, but they do come.  As one
long-lived singer observed, vocal study should be continued "until the voice
is unlocked."  The same idea can apply to instrumentalists, I'm sure.  If
the potential is there, a good teacher will encourage development; if the
potential is not there, a good and wise teacher will direct us to find
another instrument or endeavor that will satisfy.
Karen Gearreald


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