Vocal Workshop open to all: the Science of Perfect Sound 15th September 2012

The St Paulinus Singers offer a warm welcome to come and take part in a workshop led by David Howard, vocal technique consultant on television programmes such as Hidden Talent and The Voice.

 This workshop will improve your basic technique, give you the tools to protect your voice and help you find out the reasons why your choir goes out of tune and how to solve the problem.

How to register: To register your place at this event, please email Sam Gardner on samgardnermd@gmail.com. It would be helpful if you could provide a very short overview of your current singing activities, including which part you currently sing, so we can pitch (pun intended) the workshop at an appropriate level for the delegates.

Venue: Wavell Junior School, Wavell Road, Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, DL9 3BJ

Cost: £15 per person (£10 for members of St Paulinus Singers), payable on the day + something to share for lunch

Session 1 – The vocal instrument

  • the power source – Breathing: Posture and breathing are basic to achieving a healthy vocal output and the three ways of breathing will be described and worked on.
  • the sound source – When we sing we engage the vocal folds in the larynx. Its function will be described with reference to models and sounds.
  • the sound modifiers – To set up different sounds when we sing or speak we change the shape of our mouths and throat and may make use of the nose also. Together these are known as the vocal tract and the acoustic changes that are brought about will be explored with reference to models.

Refreshment break

Session 2: Acoustics of the singing voice

The acoustic output from the voice will be shown using real-time displays that enable the main elements of sound that are used in hearing to be demonstrated and tracked in practice during singing.

Key elements of choral singing

  • Breathing and long lines
  • Vowels
  • Consonants

Bring and Share Lunch – including an opportunity to see if you have what it takes to become an opera singer by taking the tests you saw on Channel 4’s “Hidden Talents” programme

Session 3: Key elements of choral singing

Practical exercises for each will be worked through, always with reference to the vocal instrument itself.

  • Pitch, tuning and intonation
  • Performance matters
  • Ensemble singing

4.00pm Finish

Biography – Professor David Howard

David is the Head of the Department of Electronics at the University of York. His research focuses on the analysis and synthesis of singing, music and speech, tuning and pitch drift in unaccompanied (a capella) singing; the effect of singing training particularly on boy and girl choristers, the acoustics of singing in different styles and ‘ring’ and ‘tingle’ in the singing voice.

David engages frequently with the media and was made an EPSRC Senior Media Fellow specifically tasked with engaging the public with science, engineering and technology. You may have seen him on programmes such as BBC4’s Castrato, Voice and Channel 4’s Hidden Talent Show.

David has published a number of books and book chapters relating to his teaching and research. He writes apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch mainly in the area of sound and music and he conducts a local choir, Vale of York Voices, which sings Evensong approximately monthly in York Minster.

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