• THIS IS THE ART LIFE

    Before studying vocal technique and becoming a teacher, I was a film student. I still love film, and enjoy getting lost in a great movie. Art has always crossed over with music, and veteran film director David Lynch has had an extraordinary influence on music! His influence is not only heard, but seen in countless music videos.
    Lynch’s cinematic style can be summarised as twisted, dreamy Americana.
    Bat for Lashes’ latest album and accompanying music videos are littered with Lynchian imagery. Lana Del Rey even covered Blue Velvet, a song ubiquitous with Lynch’s film of the same name. Lykke Li and Karen O have both worked with David Lynch on tracks. Watch the videos below to see what I mean. 🙂

    A few years ago, I spoke to David over Skype at a live Q&A session at the photographer’s gallery . I only had a moment to speak to my hero, but I was able to ask him how he stays so creative. (The answer apparently lies in his passion for transcendental meditation!) I’m always curious to learn more about his process and I got another opportunity last week when a new documentary about Lynch premiered in UK cinemas.
    As always I found his commitment to creativity and following his gut motivating and inspirational. Here is what I learnt…
    David talks about how he ‘sucked at painting’ when he started out (his first medium before film) but that he just carried on and on until he got better. He worked hard and stayed committed to the process of refining his craft, even on bad days. Amen to that.
    Lynch is known for being a bit of an enigma, and he rarely talks about his personal life. During filming he opened up about the experience of being a young artist- he recalls showing his father research for an art project (decomposing fruit and insects) and that his father believed him to be deeply disturbed as a result. He describes his parents as supportive, kind people. Despite this, they doubted the legitimacy of his career as an artist. On fathering his first child, his father and father in law put pressure on him to abandon his art and take a steady office job. David was heartbroken but channelled his desperation into making his first film a success. He went on to make one of the most celebrated TV shows of all time (Twin Peaks) and direct several critically and commercially successful films including Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive.
    Dedication to your craft and your purpose, even when others doubt you? Dedication to your craft and purpose even on days when you don’t feel like it, or you realise you suck at painting (or dancing, or singing)- and doing it for the love of it anyway?
     THIS IS THE ART LIFE.
    July 27, 2017 By @HannahMarie Inspiration Lifestyle Video , , ,
  • Loving your voice- right now: appreciating your strengths in the present moment

    For a lot of us, January is a time of resolutions and good intentions. We may want to make positive changes to our lifestyle and set goals for the year ahead. I think it’s important to work towards goals, but it’s also important to appreciate where you are right now.

    Taking a moment to reflect on what you do well (as well as what you’d like to improve) is important. Appreciating your current level of ability and the obstacles you’ve overcome to get there is a strong motivator. Think about the skills you have to offer your audience right now. Perhaps you have a gift for touching people with your vulnerability or you have a vital message to share?

    It’s desirable to develop strong technique, but if we become obsessed with perfection, and overlook the strengths we already possess, then singing quickly stops being enjoyable. And wasn’t that the point to begin with?

    So when you’re setting your goals this January, don’t forget to build upon your strengths as well as working on your weaknesses. If you’re not sure what your strengths are, ask a couple of people (you trust, who have heard you sing.)

    Jenny Lee Lindberg recently spoke out about learning to enjoy her voice

     

    Jenny Lee Lindberg, solo artist and bassist in Warpaint recently discussed the unrealistic demands she imposed on herself: “I didn’t like my voice for a very long time- I’d have to tell myself, ‘You’re not gonna sing like Barbra Streisand, Patsy Cline, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston… Eventually I asked myself, ‘What is your strong point? Go there.’ And when I started doing that, all of a sudden I didn’t hate the way my voice sounds. You know what? Now I kinda like it.”

    Look at the singers and bands who have inspired you. Often the things that move us in other singers are reflective of our own strengths, even if those strengths are not currently being used. Use this time to get clear on who you are as an artist, and what the new year holds …

     

    January 9, 2017 By @HannahMarie Advice Singing , ,
  • SPECIAL OFFERS GALORE! Record a track in a professional studio, perform live and exciting new group workshops! It’s all happening!

     

    Uptown Studios Anthony Galatis

    I hope you are excited about Christmas! I have lots of exciting news, offers and opportunities to share with you.

    First things first, I have a special offer for current students that I hope will come in useful for the festive season..

     

    Treat a friend to a singing lesson and get a FREE lesson for yourself.

    Singing lessons make great gifts, and it’s even sweeter when it means treating yourself too! Send me a message if you’re interested!

     

    An exciting opportunity- Get your tracks professionally recorded in a prestigious studio…

    A few months ago I met up with the very talented Anthony Galatis, who is a hit songwriter, producer and mix engineer ( and also happens to be a really lovely person!) Anthony runs Uptown Studios, a boutique recording studio, based in the prestigious Matrix Complex in Parsons Green. Ant is incredibly passionate about working with up and coming singers and we will be working together to record YOU!

    Recording for the first time can feel like a daunting experience, but with a beautiful, plush and professional studio, expert skills and an inspiring team, it becomes a hugely rewarding experience! This means SWH students can opt to receive one on one vocal instruction and performance coaching in the studio with me while Ant helps to craft your masterpiece with his awesome skills.

     

    GROUP PERFORMANCE WORKSHOPS!

     

    I am also very excited to offer group performance workshops in the new year. These workshops will take place in Kentish Town in a warm, supportive atmosphere where we will encourage each other as artists and performers. Attendees will be invited to perform a song in this small group of other SWH students. We will then workshop your piece and take your performance to the next level. From my own experience of being a singing student, these performance workshops are always so useful. You learn so much about yourself from performing (and in such a supportive environment) Often you learn even more from watching others on their journeys! (oh and hopefully make friends too!)

    I want to keep the groups fairly small and so far I’ve had a lot of interest in the group workshops. If it’s something you are interested in, let me know!
    STUDENT SHOWCASES

     

    I am also keen to get you lovely lot showcasing your voices in the new year, most likely at the fabulous and legendary Map Cafe. If you would like to perform, please get in touch so I have an idea of numbers.

    Have a wonderful weekend and keep singing! If I don’t speak to you sooner, have a magical Christmas!

    Hannah

     

     

  • Creativity for Singers

    I’ve recently started reading the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Published in 1992, the book has since become a cult classic, and with good reason! When I first heard about the book around 5 years ago, I made the assumption that it was for visual artists rather than singers or songwriters, and that was the end of that!

    A few weeks ago I found a copy in a charity shop, and I’m so glad that I did. As soon as I started reading I knew this was the book I’d been waiting for. If you’re an artist of any description I recommend this book. Perhaps you work in an office and sing for a hobby and you doubt that you are an artist. If you sing, then you are an artist. If you still don’t believe that you’re an artist, you will find tools in the book to help you tap into your creativity- and who doesn’t want that?

    Try this simple exercise and watch your creativity blossom

    If you are committed to developing your artistry as a Singer or Songwriter (or both) then try this exercise, as featured in the book.

    Upon waking, every single day- make your ‘morning pages’ the first thing you do. What are morning pages? I hear you ask. Quite simply, you are going to put pen to paper and write 3 pages of whatever comes into your head. There are two rules;

    1) don’t take your pen off the paper, just keep writing. If all you write is ‘blah blah blah’ – then that is ok.
    2) Don’t review what you have written when you have finished. At least not yet- leave it a week.

    What is the purpose of this exercise?

    The primary reason for this activity is to facilitate a ‘brain dump’- i.e to unblock and get rid of mental ‘noise’, leaving you refreshed and open to new ideas. Looking back on your pages, you may even find songwriting ideas emerging. ( This practice is also known as ‘free writing’ and was a favorite writing tool of beat poet Jack Kerouac.)

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    Jack Kerouac was a fan of freewriting


    Try practicing this exercise every morning for 7 days and see the results for yourself. Does your mind feel less cluttered? Do you find yourself looking at the world in a new way? Let me know how you get on! 

  • Warm up with Lip trills (video)

    Find out how to warm up with lip trills/ lip bubbles. A vocal exercise that’s rumored to be a favourite of Beyoncé if you needed more convincing! 😉 If you missed the straw warm up you can catch it here.

    New Sing with Hannah videos are released every Monday- subscribe to make sure you never miss out. Have any questions? email me at: info@singwithhannah.com or leave a comment. Happy vocalising!

     

  • The Inner Singer-a podcast for vocalists

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    You know that phrase- where have you been all my life? 

    Well, that’s how I feel about The Inner Singer podcast. Mike Goodrich is a vocal coach based in Los Angeles, and started his podcast with the goal of providing encouragement and coaching to singers.

    Mike covers topics such as mindset, confidence, and self belief. Being a singer is about more than sounding good- it’s about being a storyteller, and connecting with your audience. Often we know this intellectually, but can get bogged down in self criticism. Our left brain (logical, analytical) can dominate, where our right brain (creative, emotional) needs to shine.
    If this strikes a chord with you, I highly recommend that you give his podcast a listen. Each episode has a relaxed, gentle pace to it- always with a gem of wisdom. Modern life can often feel rushed- there’s so much information out there it can be overwhelming, but Mike’s podcast just feels like warm, heartfelt advice from someone who has been there.
    So put the kettle on, and listen to Mike’s podcast here. I also highly recommend the book The Inner Game of Music  to those of you who want to learn more about peak performance.
  • Find out why a straw is your new best friend..

    My first singing tip video is here! I hope you will find them useful- I keep them short and sweet, so leave a comment or message me if you would like more information. This exercise helps balance the air above and below the vocal folds- which helps them function efficiently and easily. This ultimately results in increased stamina, co-ordination and vocal range. Not a bad result for making silly sounds into a plastic tube!

    If you would like to learn more about your voice and how to look after it, read my post on vocal health. You can also ensure you are first in line to see upcoming tip videos by subscribing!

    I’ll be uploading a new video to my Youtube channel  every Monday. The videos are for you, so get in touch if there is a topic you would like me to cover.

    Keep singing!

    Hannah

     

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