Every year since we got married, I would tell hubby that I wanted to take voice lessons during our summer break. His response would always be, “Sige!” But I never did. This year, when I told him I wanted to enroll, his response was, “Dati mo pa sinasabi yan. Ikaw lang naman, eh.” So I felt very much compelled to finally enroll and long story short, yesterday was already my fourth session. It’s been quite a journey!
My voice coach is none other than Jojo Acosta, the first person here in the Philippines to offer customized voice lessons. He has 30 years of voice coaching experience tucked under his arm. He can play the guitar, flute, and keyboards. He is a loving son, dependable kuya, loyal husband, awesome dad, and yes, he is my brother-in-law. =)
After four sessions with kuya Jojo, I have greater respect for singers. I used to think that dancers sacrificed more since to hone their craft they have to move their whole body. With singers, I always thought it was just about the “voice box” and diaphragm. However, if singers sing properly, they must use their whole body to perform! Oh, and more than anything, it is about good posture and proper breathing. As kuya Jojo would say, “Singing is just a breath away.” Nice!
Being the teacher that I am, I have learned about the different Learning Styles of individuals, and I am very happy that my “customized voice lessons” have been feeding the “analytical” me. I figure since kuya Jojo has known me for more than 5 years already, he has seen the need for things to be broken down for me first. I have sung only twice in my four sessions with kuya Jojo. Once during my first session when he wanted to hear me sing and the second time was yesterday, and it was just a verse of a song, but mind you, I feel like I know so much about singing already. Here’s why:
Day one – kuya Jojo talked about good posture and he explained to me how the different body parts contribute to singing properly. Singing with your chin held not too high and not too low. Think “dangling earrings right above your shoulders” is what he says. But after executing homework in front of the mirror, I’m now thinking, “Hide double chin.” and this works perfect for me. LOL! Kuya Jojo got a good laugh out of this when I told him about it during my 2nd session.
Day two – was all about proper breathing. I felt like I was having a workout with all the different breathing exercises. It was hilarious and enlightening at the same time! The “proper” way of breathing is an individual thing because what is most comfortable for me may not be the same for someone who has a left nostril that is clogged, or whatever.
Day three – had to do with facial positions. Tapping on my visual way of learning, kuya Jojo used animals to show the proper way of opening one’s mouth when singing. Here are the three animals that he used:
Again, there is no real “best” way of opening one’s mouth since it all depends on which one is the most comfortable to you. Though there is a preferred type for majority of singers.
Day four – had me “drinking vowels”. Who would have thought that each of the five vowels place themselves in different parts of our “home”? The letters “A” and “O” come from the dining room, letters “I” and “U” from the main gate and letter “E” from the front door. Huh? I’ll hold back on this lesson because you just might want to discover all about it on your own…for as kuya Jojo would say, “Anybody can be a singer!”
I have six more sessions to go for the summer program and already I’m thinking of enrolling in the whole year round program. Lea Salonga, eat your heart out! LOL