On Friday I was lucky enough to be able to play my harp and banjo at the Wellspring Op Shop at Iluka. I feel very fortunate to have had an opportunity to play there. The people who run this Op Shop work very hard and do amazing things to support our local community.
In spite of rain threatening for most of the morning while I was there, I managed to avoid being rained out and met many lovely local people who came up to chat and listen to the music.
The Op Shop is open Wednesday 9am – 12pm, Thursday & Friday 9am – 3pm and Saturday from 9am – 1pm. The Food Pantry is now open at the new time of 9am – 2pm each Friday.
Being the last day of the school holidays meant that there were many children and families from all over who were out and about and keen to come and say hello. That was great and it really made my day. I hope I see more of those happy faces this term for music lessons. Term 4 lessons start from 14th Oct through to the 20th December.
Lessons with StringSong Music are available Mon-Fri from 10am to 7pm. I teach from my home in the Lower Clarence Valley or via Skype (Singing, Bass, Banjo, Celtic Harp & Autoharp, Flute, Guitar, Keyboard, Mandolin & Ukulele). I offer Casual and Ongoing rates for half an hour or 1 hour.
If you are interested in learning more you can contact me via my Contact Form.
Have you ever thought to yourself “I love that cool groove, maybe I should learn the Bass Guitar”? If so then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are 10 reasons why playing bass is a fabulous musical pursuit:
1. The bass guitar has a rich sound that cannot be replaced by any other instrument.
2. It is versatile and adds depth to all musical styles and all bands need a bass player.
3. You can be both a percussionist and a note player all in one.
4. Without the bass player the band can and in some cases does loose their way.
5. The bassist and drummer can lead the band and keep the groove in place.
6. It is as complicated or as simple to play as you decide.
7. The bass can sound great whether you are a beginner or an experienced musician.
8. It is way more portable than a double bass and has a very satisfying sound.
9. You can be creative in developing your own runs and patterns.
10. There is so much music available to play on bass.
If you are interested in
making an inquiry about Booking Leeann for Music
Lessons in the Lower Clarence Valley or via Skype
(Singing, Bass, Banjo, Celtic Harp & Autoharp, Flute, Guitar, Keyboard,
Mandolin & Ukulele) or Performances please use Leeann’s Contact
be so much fun, our favourite songs can take us back in time or bring feelings
of intense joy, peace and euphoria, as well as help us tap into deep feelings
of sadness or melancholy. Before we know it, time passes and we may have sung
the same song over and over or waded through several tunes not knowing how long
we’ve been singing or why we chose the songs we’ve sung.
is about engaging in the song fully and becoming one with it, often this occurs
in isolation when we can be uninhibited and free to go with the flow.
Practicing, however, is almost the opposite to this. It involves understanding the challenges and skills
required to perform the song to the best of our ability: pitching,
phrasing, dynamics, use of tonal variations, appropriate breathing and
expressing ourselves in a way that invites the audience into our space.
love to sing teach us about how we use our voice and what is meaningful to us. Developing
a personal style is important as a singer because every singer has something
unique to share. It takes time to
understand your sound and ‘your voice’, so be patient – it can be like
digging for treasure. Half of good singing is listening to what we are doing as
Practice time needs to be planned. It is a good idea to have a place
where you feel safe to perform, rehearse and try out new skills. Lots of people
practice in their bedroom. A room where you can stand is good so your posture
supports you. Some people practice sitting, this is really a last resort (eg if
you are practicing in the car). Know what you want to learn and make a list of
songs you’ve decided to master. Think about how hard or easy these are. If you
only have a short space of time to practice decide how much of the song to work
on eg just the chorus or a single verse. A short practice biting off a small
chunk is better than no practice.
start working on chosen songs you wish to master, make sure you use your vocal warm ups your singing teacher has
shown you or ones you feel help you to loosen up physically and emotionally to
get you going. Usually these are a mix of body
work and breathing exercises and then pitch and vocal stretches (scales and
songs you choose are ones you know well, try
to only work on one song in each practice session and do it well, rather
than just singing songs from beginning to end and moving on without
polishing. Sing your chosen song a few
times and then record yourself.
Listen to your pitching, phrasing etc. What are you happy with? What do you
need to work on? If you don’t have sheet music, use the lyrics on paper so you can highlight and write reminders to
yourself about what you are doing eg breathe marks, variations in dynamics etc.
Phrasing takes time with a new song so remember to breathe.
you have half an hour set aside to sing the structure for your practice time
might be like this:
* 3-5min on breathing and physically stretching
* 5mins on scales and vocal patterns (dependent or how you’re feeling)
* 3-5min singing a favourite well known song you feel you’ve already mastered
* 15min closely working on your chosen new song,
singing through 1-2 times all the way through and then breaking it up into sections chorus, verse, bridge etc and polishing these sections as you go
If you feel
you have struggled with a song it is a good idea to finish your practice time with a song that you really enjoy singing.
Sometimes practice sessions help us to understand the challenges in songs that
we may not have first seen. We can feel disheartened when we realise that
perhaps the song is harder than we originally thought. Familiarity can breed
contempt for a song and at this point and we may feel like giving up, but
sticking with it offers the reward of true mastery. Be patient with yourself. Communicate with your teacher so they can
provide some assistance.
practice routine helps you to further develop your intuitive skills as a
singer. Songs that have been practiced rather than sung over and over can become works of art that you create.
Copying other artists’ styles helps singers to grow and exposes them to the
many tools vocalists use. Once you’ve played with these tools you can make them
our own, and go beyond copying to creating.
practice work to find the ‘rules’
that someone else has made in each song, they learn them, master them and then break them when they want to,
in order to make the song their own. Singing then is the beginning and end of
the process – with practice as the mid-point, so that whether you sing in your
bedroom or to an audience you can feel
free and uninhibited enough to showcase your gifts.
If you are
keen to learn more about singing, warm
ups, exercises and finding your voice, feel free to contact me or leave a
comment about your own experiences.
When we arrived it was winter and there were so many lovely shades of green – it rained hard for a few days and since then no rain really (maybe it has been 2 months now without rain). I realise we are more fortunate in terms of rainfall here than many of our friends and family who live further inland from the coast and have had little if no rain at all.
Since the 1st of September the garden has come alive. A new friend told us that at this time of year ‘it is as if the flowers just know it is time to wake up’ and they do. I have a baby Japanese Maple that I brought with me from our garden in Victoria. I have been worried it was about to die. During our travels between leaving Victoria and moving into our new home the Maple suffered the misfortune of being nibbled by a rabbit one evening when I left it outside in the fresh air. Now however, after being re-potted and given some fresh soil she seems to have come back with to strong healthy branches and a tiny curl of leaves forming between them.
I am learning a lot about how things grow in a new climate. So far it has not been very hard as most things love it here as much we do. You are welcome to add a tip for me about planting, veggie patching, mulching or anything you love to share about your favourite plants…