A sampling of the things that I have learned over the past three months, ranging from things vocally technical, things musical, life lessons, to random miscellany:
- It is actually possible to sleep on a plane from time to time.
- I’ve learned a ton of new French vocabulary (like how to discuss train strikes, for example).
- I have a tendency to hold tension in my left shoulder and arm when I sing, and this prevents me from grounding into a lower support and causes me to lock my abdomen. (Thank you, Susie, for pointing out my perpetually bent left arm – it was a bigger problem than you realized)
- I have learned to rely on resonance to project the sound even more than I used to (rather than muscle).
- The French tax situation is better than the German one for us singers.
- Being alone on the road is easier than it used to be.
- You need a fairly good internet connection for Skype to work effectively.
- I can navigate my way around Paris Gare du Nord, Charles de Gaulle airport, and London St. Pancras Station quite easily now.
- I am constantly reminded that phrasing is a good thing.
- Marking in rehearsal is not always a bad thing.
- Slow and steady wins the race (although not tempo wise in Rossini…then simply being steady wins the race).
takes a long time to make. Champagne
- Bulgaria fought on the side of Germany and Austria-Hungary during World War I.
- Always explore the local farmer’s market as soon as you can – don’t wait until the last weekend you are in a city.
- Even if I feel tired, if I immerse myself in the music, it will feed me the energy I need.
- The lower and more grounded my support is, the more musical options I have at my disposal.
- Recording is a REALLY useful tool.
- Arriving 35 minutes before a trans-Atlantic flight is not enough time, no matter how good your excuse is.
- The French are an incredibly polite people.
- It had been ten years since my last tetanus shot.
- Tetanus shots make your arm really sore for days.
- You don’t need a prescription in
to buy the tetanus vaccine at the pharmacy. France
- It is possible to learn a great deal of things vocally on my own without a voice teacher holding my hand.
- I can do an upward bow in yoga now.